THE BEGINNING OF A DREAM

The first time we saw photos of La Venta de Miyares was on the internet. It was being sold through a well-known real estate portal.

We marvelled at the majestic stone façade, the immense kitchen, the living room with its period furniture, the dining room with its crystal chandelier and its walls painted as if they were made of wood, the ceramic floors, the great wooden staircase going up to the first floor, the ceilings of some rooms with impressive artistic paintings, the great wooden gallery that flooded the upper floor with light and above all, seeing it as if the years had not gone by. Everything was so well preserved and intact that it seemed as if its Indian owners still lived there.

From there, we started investigating to find out where exactly it was. We located it through a friend, who had a real estate agency in eastern Asturias. The place was Miyares, a small Asturian town in the municipality of Piloña, at the foot of the southern face of the Sierra del Sueve, 50 kilometers from Oviedo and 20 from Cangas de Onís and Covadonga.

So one rainy and cold November day, we showed up in front of its impressive completely closed gate. As Paulo Coelho wrote in the Alchemist: “When you want something, the entire universe conspires to make you realize your desire” and that is exactly what happened.

That day it was so cold that after standing at the door of the house looking from outside for a long time, we decided to warm up in the small bar in town. We asked Pilar, the owner, if she knew the owners of the Indian house and not only did she know them, but she had their phone number.

We spoke with Germán, one of the owners, and he told us that if we wanted to see it, we should ask Mino or his granddaughter Lorena, who lived opposite, for the keys. And that's what we did. Mino is a man who, despite his advanced age, has a prodigious memory. He accompanied and guided us on this first visit, telling us interesting anecdotes and stories about the house and its inhabitants that excited us. At that moment we definitely fell in love with it and decided to try to buy it.

August 17, 2018 - After arduous conversations with Germán and Luisa, direct heirs of Mr. Fernando Pintueles, the Indian who ordered the construction of La Venta de Miyares in 1898, we reached a very interesting agreement for us and on August 17, 2018 we became into its new owners, starting our precious dream.

THE ESSENCE OF THE SALE OF MIYARES

To understand and feel the essence of La Venta de Miyares, we must first know who the Indians were and why they had their impressive houses built.
The indianos were the Spaniards, especially from Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, who at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, emigrated to America in search of a better life and the indiano houses, the most notable and usual manifestation that they used to show his countrymen his wealth.

This was the main reason for the construction of La Venta de Miyares. In 1898, Fernando Pintueles returned triumphantly to Miyares, his beloved hometown in Asturias, from Puerto Rico, where he had managed to make a fortune in the coffee export business. He had La Venta built, a large house in an eclectic style (very fashionable at that time), to be used only a few months a year, when he and his family returned to Spain to spend the summer in Asturias and where he would finally end his days later. to retire.

We do not know the name of the architect who commissioned the work, but we do use top quality materials that have meant that the house has been preserved in excellent condition to this day.

La Venta de Miyares has a peculiar distribution and characteristics that make it unique, which is why it is cataloged and protected by the Cultural Heritage of the Principality of Asturias, such as: ceilings with decorative paintings of high artistic value in several rooms, hydraulic floors and original wooden ceilings, a beautiful cast iron stove in the stairwell, the impressive fence that runs through the entire garden, the majestic exterior stone staircase next to the wonderful main façade, the elegant furniture, the clocks, the lamps, the paintings..., all these elements and many more, make up the soul of La Venta de Miyares and the way we find them, is how we want to show them to the world: preserving and respecting their authenticity as much as possible, without transforming them or destroying them, just trying to minimal intervention on our part, recover their original essence and splendor.

STORY OF AN INDIAN

Fernando Pintueles was a young man from Miyares, a small town located in eastern Asturias, in the Council of Piloña, who in the mid-19th century and with the approval of his parents, embarked for Puerto Rico in search of a better life.
He did it as many young Asturians did in his time: attached to a large commercial house, also owned by Asturians, which took care of their boat tickets, transfers to their destination, maintenance and accommodation, in exchange for learning the business and working. from dawn to dusk, giving himself body and soul to his "new family."

Fernando was a good looking man in every sense: tall, strong and handsome, as well as intelligent and with character, it did not take him long to gain the trust of Mr. Manuel Fernández Alonso, owner and founder of Fernández y Cía, one of the most important coffee exporters on the island, located in Ciales, a municipality in the central mountainous area of ​​Puerto Rico.  Fernando, little by little, became his right-hand man and Mr. Manuel, very concerned about the future of his company and his eldest daughter, Ricarda, always in poor health, granted him her hand and the direction of his business. beloved company when it retired a few years later, renamed from that moment on: F. Pintueles & Cía or Casa Pintueles, as it would be better known.

THE PINTUELES HOUSE 

When Fernando Pintueles took over the coffee exporter from D. Manuel Fernández, the first thing he did was replace its original name with F. Pintueles & Cia, because his intention was to change and intensify the company's businesses and give them his own imprint. .

At that time, Ciales was a small town but well organized into neighborhoods. The facilities of Casa Pintueles, as it would be better known, occupied the central area of ​​the municipality with offices, stables, warehouses, workshops, a bakery, accommodation for employees and the house where the owner and his family lived.

How Casa Pintueles worked - At the beginning of the 20th century, coffee production was booming and Puerto Rican coffee was considered the best. Mr. Fernando Pintueles knew how to take advantage of the moment, using commercial agencies in different cities in Europe and America. When they sent an order, the perfect Casa Pintueles machinery was put into action to meet the delivery deadlines: they bought the coffee directly from the growers, transported it to their facilities to roast it in the large drums that worked with steam, selected and They packaged the best grain, transported it in carts pulled by mules to the Manatí train station and from there to the port of the capital, San Juan, where it embarked towards its destination.

The other businesses -  The coffee business was going from strength to strength and Fernando Pintueles decided to try other activities. He built a large warehouse for groceries and various merchandise with a shop. In this way it supplied the nearby Haciendas with all the products they might need, so it was common to see at its doors, a large number of mules unloading the coffee that had been harvested on the Haciendas and returning to them loaded with groceries and tools.

These were the years in which the entire Pintueles/Fernández family traveled annually to Spain, staying during the summer months in La Venta de Miyares and returning to Puerto Rico at the beginning of autumn.

When Mr. Fernando Pintueles planned to expand his businesses at the beginning of the 20th century, a key man for the future of La Casa Pintueles appeared: Elías Torre, another Asturian who was lucky enough to win a prize in the Santo Domingo lottery when he worked as a sales assistant. in F. Pintueles & Cía and decided to invest his money in the company, immediately becoming a partner in it and later son-in-law and successor of D. Fernando.

Elías Torre was the son that Mr. Fernando would have wanted to have: smart, educated, with a vision of the future and very hardworking, instead of Fernando, his true and only son, who preferred to enjoy life and dedicate himself to other things in Madrid. , with no intention of working in the family business. Just as Mr. Manuel Fernández did at the time with his first-born Ricarda, in order to safeguard the future of his legacy, Fernando Pintueles arranged the marriage of his eldest daughter, Ramona, with Elías Torre in 1910.

Starting in 1912, Mr. Fernando delegated the management of the company to his son-in-law. With Elías Torre almost entirely at the helm, Fernando Pintueles spent much more time in Spain, at La Venta de Miyares and only returned to Puerto Rico every one or two years, to collect his profits.

Without a doubt, the golden age of the Casa Pintueles was the First World War, when coffee was scarce and in high demand, especially in Europe. What for many was a great tragedy, for a few it was an opportunity and La Casa saw its profits increase considerably, investing them in turn in expanding and diversifying its businesses even more, such as: the raising and sale of livestock, the purchase and sale of Puerto Rican products and the sale of tobacco to the United States. 

After the First World War, profits multiplied, but then came 1918 and the Great Depression, which caused the fall of the world market and huge losses for the Pintueles House, since many of the orders were canceled and others that were already underway on their way to Their destinies were irremediably lost.
D. Fernando, despite his age, decided to return to Ciales to help his son-in-law who was sick. Thanks to his determination and intelligence, he was able to save the company from certain bankruptcy, although the Pintueles House could no longer recover its former splendor.

The end of the Pintueles House - Some time later, Fernando Pintueles returned to Miyares and never returned to Puerto Rico. He died in La Venta in 1928.
Elías Torre, in very poor health, also traveled to Miyares with his family and had a beautiful house built very close to his father-in-law's, where he would die a few years later. 

The Pintueles House in Puerto Rico was left in the hands of administrators who did not prevent its fall and little by little it disappeared. In Ciales, some buildings still remain standing today, such as the manor house, but most have collapsed over the years or have been destroyed.

Here ends part of the story of the first residents of La Venta de Miyares, but the family saga continues…

THE CONTINUING SAGA

After the death of Mr. Fernando Pintueles and his wife Doña Ricarda Fernández in 1928, La Venta de Miyares was left in the hands of their children Fernando, Ramona (married to Elías Torre) and Luisa. It was Luisa who finally took over the property, as her two siblings died prematurely in 1934, leaving her as the sole heir.

Luisa Pintueles Fernández, born in Ciales (Puerto Rico) in 1891, married Manfredo Palacio y Navarro, with whom she had five children: Manfredo, Luisa, Margarita, Aurora and María Teresa.
For years, the couple enjoyed some lovely family summers in Miyares with their children and later with their grandchildren, until 1966, when Mrs. Luisa died and La Venta became the property of her second daughter, Luisa.

Luisa Palacio Pintueles was born in 1910, also in Puerto Rico, when La Casa Pintueles was a thriving business. In 1933 she married in Spain the lawyer, writer, literary critic and essayist Ricardo Gullón, born in Astorga in 1908, Prince of Asturias Award for Letters in 1989 and member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in 1990.

Ricardo Gullón was born in Astorga in 1908 and died in Madrid in February 1991.
The son of a lawyer, he had no choice but to study law, although it was not what he really liked. His dream was to be a writer and from a very young age he struggled to fulfil it. At university he came into contact with intellectuals of the time, such as Ortega y Gasset, who invited him to take part in Revista de Occidente. In 1933, after passing the public prosecution exam, he founded the magazine Literatura and married Luisa Palacio Pintueles, granddaughter of D. Fernando Pintueles, the indiano who ordered the construction of La Venta de Miyares in 1898.

The civil war and its consequences - As a public prosecutor he was assigned to Soria and just three years later, when the civil war broke out, the couple moved to Alicante, where he worked for the republican army. After the war, he served three years of forced disqualification, after which he was assigned to Santander, as a lieutenant prosecutor. The Santander years were very productive years from a literary point of view, as he wrote several books. He co-founded the Altamira School, an association of critics and painters which gave an enormous boost to the cultural life of post-war Santander.

Juan Ramón Jiménez and the American journey - While he was already chief prosecutor of the provincial court, his great friend, Juan Ramón Jiménez, whose health was very delicate after the death of his wife Zenobia, called him from his exile in Puerto Rico to help him organise his works. He did not think twice and left Spain and the fiscal career in 1956 with his wife and three children, Soledad, Luisa and Germán, for his own American adventure.
Juan Ramón Jiménez, ill and with a difficult character, found in Ricardo Gullón the help he needed to organise his writings and a great support after Zenobia's death. The result of these experiences was the book Conversaciones con Juan Ramón (Conversations with Juan Ramón), which was very significant as he died shortly afterwards.
From Puerto Rico he travelled to the United States, where the University of Texas at Austin offered him a professorship, which he gladly accepted; thus began his North American journey, which kept him in Austin for fifteen years, with various periods as a visiting professor at Stanford, New York University and the University of California at Los Angeles, until 1974, when he moved to the University of Chicago, where he remained for six years, before moving on to the University of California, Davis, where, almost in his eighties, he continued to teach doctoral courses.

And the prizes came - A tireless worker, he obtained his reward without asking for it, becoming the first literary critic to be awarded, at that time, the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters in 1989 and was made a member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in 1990.
His stays at La Venta de Miyares were always constant, but intensified after his wife, Luisa Palacio Pintueles, inherited the house. It seems that in the summers they stayed there with their children, nephews, nieces, nephews and other relatives. After his death in February 1991, his wife continued to spend her summers in Miyares surrounded by her family until her death. The house remained in the hands of his children and grandchildren, who enjoyed it for years, until they decided to sell it in 2018.

And that's when we came along, just at the right moment, when the whole universe conspired to make it possible for our dream to begin.