On a tour of the town, pazos and stately homes appear before our eyes as a reflection of the splendour that the city experienced in other times, a symbol of the power of nobles and wealthy families.
The House of the Baron, the current Parador de Pontevedra, is a clear example of a 16th century Renaissance palace. The Counts of Maceda, the Marquis of Figueroa and Atalaya or the Baron of the Goda House, Eduardo de Cea y Naharro, were some of its owners. The tower and the spacious loggias on granite columns are from the 18th century, and inside there is an impressive carved stone staircase.
Palace of the Mendoza
Another of the most outstanding stately buildings is the mansion of the Mendoza family, located in Santa María Avenue, very close to the Basilica of Santa María La Mayor. The site was acquired in the 19th century by Soledad Méndez Núñez, sister of the famous sailor Casto Méndez Núñez. The execution and design of the mansion were entrusted to the architect Alejandro Sesmero and are still as they were then. Later the mansion would become the property of Carmen Babiano, and finally by the sisters María and Concepción Mendoza Babiano, the last owners. This place was the center of meetings and gatherings of important personalities and is currently the headquarters of Tourism Rías Baixas. The sculpture that shows its exterior was made by Paco Pestaña on an old yew tree from the 19th century.
The Casa das Campás, whose name is documented for the first time in 1587, also deserves special attention. It is one of the oldest civil buildings in the city, whose façade is presided over by two heraldic words from the 15th century. It also has three doors with large voussoirs, characteristic features of the 15th century, two of which end in an ogee arch. The house was built by a member of the Puga family, who had a plot of land in Ribadavia. The presence of this lineage in both places is no coincidence, as the wines of Rivadavia were in great demand in the Cantabrian ports, and were shipped mainly from the port of Pontevedra. This house is also related to the adventures of the Pontevedra pirate Benito Soto, known as the last pirate of the Atlantic, born in the seafaring quarter of Moureira in 1805. It is said that he hid part of his treasure in the house, although it never appeared. It is currently the headquarters of the Vice-Rectory of the Pontevedra Campus of the University of Vigo.
The site now occupied by the Liceo Casino and the Main Theatre was where the Church of San Bartolomé or Vello stood until the 19th century. It was in a state of ruin and despite great popular opposition, it was decided to demolish it in 1842. In the year 1864 the works of the building for the Society of the Liceo Casino with annex theatre, known later as Teatro Principal, began. The author of the project of the Liceo Casino was the architect Domingo Lareu; and of the Teatro Principal Faustino Flores, inaugurated in 1878. On April 14th 1980 a great fire destroyed the buildings. Later the city council acquired the main theatre and renovated it, inaugurating in 1997 the current design by the architect José Miyer Caridad.