The Meirás gardens have opened to the public this Thursday afternoon for the first time since the property became the property of the State with a guided tour in which victims of the Franco regime and members of memorialist associations they have listened excitedly to the story of the manor residence.
In total, 26 people have traveled the 93,000 square meters of the visit, among which were retaliated sadenses, trapped Galicians of the Franco regime and relatives of outstanding fighters against repression.
The tour starts in the Paciño, former playhouse of Carmen Franco, and continues on the farm, a fourteenth century fortress converted into a summer home that was rehabilitated by the State during the dictatorship and was used as a residence service building for the Head of State. Afterwards, the path passes through the pond to reach a bamboo forest and discover the camellia and magnolia walk.
Leaving the trees and forests behind, attendees can get to know the lobby of the Torres de Meirás, built by Emilia Pardo Bazán between 1894 and 1910, and the chapel where the statues of Abraham and Isaac del Mestre Mateo are located.
In this scenario, Xosé Díaz, son of Isaac Díaz Pardo, has told that the visit “is a marvel” because it means “seeing the liberated pazo for the first time.” “We have already made other visits, but guided by the Francisco Franco Foundation, and today they are guided in a democratic way“, he has celebrated, and has underlined the importance of recovering the historical memory” to know where “to walk in the future.
Also the daughter of Alexandre Bóveda, Amalia Bóveda, has stated that the recovery of the property for public heritage is “the best thing to do”.
“Here a historical debt is fulfilled”
The tour guide, which details the history of the different areas and includes a map of the enclosure, is made by the authors of the book ‘Meirás: Un pazo, un caudillo, un espolio’, Manuel Pérez Lorenzo and Carlos Babío, both historians. The latter has indicated that this Thursday was an important day for “walk towards democratic normality”.
It has also considered that they have worked for “democratically normalize” a space that until a few days ago represented “impunity.” “Today representatives of reprisal families are here, of historical memory associations that have been committed for years. And this is what we must celebrate today, that here a historical debt is fulfilled“, said the historian.
The subdelegate of the Government in A Coruña, María Rivas, has also called this day “historic” and has indicated that “soon” an institutional act will be held with entities of historical memory in the Pazo to “value” their work. In addition, it has advanced that the Government will transfer 106,000 euros to the Xunta to carry out grave exhumation projects.
Opening to the public
As of July 4, the general public will be able to take the guided tour by prior reservation on the page [email protected], from Tuesday to Sunday, in groups of 20 people. At the moment, there are already 300 occupied places and there is no space until the 11th.
The first three days are reserved for Galician groups and entities with historical memory in collaboration with the Irmáns Suárez Picallo Association. On Saturday July 3 there will be a institutional visit to which all the people who were part of the Sadenses corporations since 2007 and up to now will be invited.
The visit will offer a general explanation about the origin and evolution of the farm, with the two important moments: the time of Pardo Bazán with the construction of the towers and from 1938 as a use of Franco’s summer residence.