Nava Palace

Palacio de Nava.
Nava Palace

Built within the Historic Site of San Cristobal de La Laguna, the Palacio de Nava is located in the northwest corner of the Plaza del Adelantado, offering two facades: the main, to the square itself and Nava Street, formerly Water Street, and a side to the street Deán Palahi, south.

The first building was erected on an old plot of land that was, from 1500, owned by Jorge Grimón, the conqueror of Tenerife. The construction of the building began in 1585; and it suffered modifications in the middle of the 17th century. In 1776, Tomás Nava y Grimón y Porlier, completely reformed it, covering it completely with stone and giving it the appearance it has today. The House or Palace of Nava is an accredited example of cultured architecture on the islands, although the facade does not observe the precepts of a particular style as it is the product of successive additions.

The building has a rectangular floor plan, two interior patios and a rear garden. The configuration of the orchard and the closest courtyard has been altered by modern additions.

The main façade, entirely covered in stone and with cushioned strips on both corners, has two floors. It ends in a parapet with a balustrade with a central crown that hides the traditional Arabic tile roof. It has five openings on each floor aligned symmetrically; the location of the doorway is axial.

On the ground floor, the entrance door, with a lintel and the Grimon coat of arms carved in stone on the frieze, is flanked by paired columns, Corinthian, on a plinth with rhomboid decoration. On the first floor, the balconies, made of grilles, with the stone base resting on S-shaped corbels, are outstanding; the exterior of the windows are decorated with moulded Tuscan pilasters and a triangular pediment (the door-windows were reformed to adapt them to the Neoclassical taste. The central opening, in symmetrical correspondence, respects the width of the one on the ground floor. It also repeats the paired columns of Corinthian order on a plinth; it ends in a split semicircular pediment that links up with the cornice. The latter is highlighted by two zoomorphic stone gargoyles. The crowning of the frontispiece is entirely baroque and reminds us of the attics that used to top the altarpieces. In the centre is the coat of arms of the Marquises of Villanueva del Prado; on the sides, paired Solomonic columns, and a recessed cornice at the top, with pagoda shaped tops and scrolls at the apex. On the sides, linking this cornice with the parapet, two wings with identical decoration of scrolls and ends. In the lateral facade the facing is smooth, with eaves of three rows of tiles.

In the interior, the main courtyard stands out, which is accessed by crossing the entrance hall and an iron gate. The high gallery is closed, of factory and with windows towards the courtyard. From the low corridor, open with chasnera slabs, the columns that support the gallery stand out. Carved in basaltic stone, they have plinths decorated on all four sides; grooved shafts in the first third and with helicoidal grooves, from a collar, in the next two thirds, and Corinthian capitals supported by wooden shoes.

In the rear bay of the courtyard, two semicircular arches communicate with the second courtyard, and with the upper floor. A marble staircase with three flights and two landings leads to the upper floor. The volume and heaviness of its structure forces the upper landing to be supported by a Tuscan column. Above this staircase there is a coffered ceiling with the family coat of arms in the almizate, profusely carved on the skirts and polychrome. It combines the Mudejar skill in carving with the Portuguese influence (chromatism), considered by some authors to be the best example of Portuguese roofing in the Canary Islands.

The Palace of Nava has been an Asset of Cultural Interest, with the category of Monument, since September 6, 2000.

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