Municipalities of Navarre: merindades de Estella and Olite
Viana, a house of French evocation
Viana did not have its own town hall until well into the 17th century. From the Age average the meetings were held in different rooms, civil and religious, including the own houses of some of its members. In 1586 a private house was acquired as a temporary measure, but it was not until July 13, 1657 when the construction of a new building for the meeting of the meetings was proposed, although the project failed due to the shallowness of the foundations. The municipal services to the castle of the town lasted almost three decades.
After successive auctions, the works were finally awarded -together with those of the bull balcony- to the French Santiago and Juan de Raón, and to the Vianese José González de Saseta and Bernardo Murillo, who on August 16, 1684 undertook to build the new house for 4,240 ducats, with the final appraisal being made in 1692.
The town hall was built in the place Mayor, today place de los Fueros, a place of confluence of the main roads and an essential part of the social life of the city. Inside it was arranged as follows, according to the needs of the time: conference room of meetings, audience, chapel, file, jail and fish market.
The main façade, built in ashlar stone, is harmonious and sober, following the French baroque style, much more rational and classical than what was the norm in Spain. It is composed of a structure of seven rectangular openings and balconies that sit on the arcades. Articulated in seven semicircular arches, they rest on square pillars and smooth pilasters that give way to three entrances with linteled frames and lugs in the corners.
In the second body are located the aforementioned openings, articulated in three balconies and separated by fluted pilasters that give way to a plain frieze, decorated only with triglyphs. The whole is crowned by a balustrade with vases, truncated in the center by a decorative shield with the Spanish coat of arms, dated 1688 and remodeled in 1767, which ends in a royal crown and cross. At its feet there are two lions lying with the front paws on balls, and on the sides heads of cherubs, scrolls and two children raised on pedestals that support the Vianese currencies. In each angle emerges a brick turret, with balconies of half point and oculi. Both are topped by a spire with a ball, weather vane and cross, and compensate for the horizontality of the Building.
Inside, a wide staircase of three flights with its corresponding wrought ironwork leads to the second floor and leaves space for an imposing box that is crowned with an elegant hemispherical dome on pendentives. The building was completely restored in 1983 to adapt it to the needs of the town.
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ANDUEZA UNANUA, P., "Arquitectura y poder: ciudad y familias", in Viana en su VIII Centenario, Viana, Ayuntamiento de Viana, 2019, pp. 62-85.
ANDUEZA UNANUA, P., "La arquitectura señorial de Navarra y el espacio doméstico durante el Antiguo Régimen", in Cuadernos de la Chair de Patrimonio y Arte Navarro, n.º 4 (2009), pp. 219-263.
ANDUEZA UNANUA, P., Patrimonio y familia: la casa y el espacio doméstico en Navarra, Pamplona, Chair de Patrimonio y Arte Navarro, 2019.
ARMENDÁRIZ AZNAR, R., Panorama n.º 32: Tafalla, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 2003.
FERNÁNDEZ GRACIA, R. [Coord.], El Arte del Barroco en Navarra, Pamplona, Gobierno de Navarra, 2014.
GARCÍA GAÍNZA M.ª C. and FERNÁNDEZ GRACIA, R., El arte del Renacimiento en Navarra, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 2006.
LARUMBE MARTÍN, M., Academicismo y la arquitectura del siglo XIX en Navarra, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 1990.
ITÚRBIDE DÍAZ, J., Panorama n.º 21: Estella, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 1996.
JUSUÉ SIMONENA, C. and RAMÍREZ VAQUERO, E., Panorama n.º 12: Olite, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 2010.
LABEAGA MENDIOLA, J. C., Panorama n.º 37: Viana, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 2006.
PASTOR ABAIGAR, V. and FELONES MORRÁS, R., Panorama n.º 33: Los Arcos, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 2004.
VV.AA., Casas consistoriales de Navarra, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, 1988.
VV.AA., Gran Enciclopedia de Navarra, Pamplona, Caja de Ahorros de Navarra, 1990.
VV.AA., Catálogo Monumental de Navarra: Merindad de Estella, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, vol. III, 1982.
VV.AA., Catálogo Monumental de Navarra: Merindad de Olite, Pamplona, Government of Navarra, vol. II, 1985.
Websites of the municipalities of Allo, Los Arcos, Estella, Viana, Larraga, Olite, Tafalla and Miranda de Arga.