Palacio de Meres - Asturias - Spain
At the entrance guests will find one of the most well-kept groves of English Oak trees in the centre of Asturias. Its botanic and faunal values greatly enrich the house's surroundings and offer a highly important environmental value to the estate as a whole.
Set in six hectares of land, the forest is home to hundred-year-old oak trees that live alongside numerous varieties of trees like the birch, yew, boxwood, beech, northern red oak, German oak and corn-oak.
This environment is the perfect habitat for a vast number of arthropods, vertebrates, mammals, molluscs and other animal species that live in freedom in the forest. The most prominent of these being birds, of which there are more than fifty listed species living in the Forest of the Palace of Meres. The estate boasts a large population of the robin redbreast, blue tit, common chaffinch, as well as birds of prey such as the sparrow hawk, kestrel, buzzard and night owls: barn owl, tawny owl and little owl. There is also lesser-spotted woodpecker, hawfinch and the brambling.
The House of Meres has Historic Archives that were entrusted to the Library of the University of Oviedo in 1990. It is a multi-generational family archive, originally devised as an archive for managing and administering the family's estate. It is an ancestral archive, given that the Argüelles de Meres lineage is included within the noble landowners of the Council of Siero, with a few of them being notaries. In fact, the House of Meres housed seven of the twenty-one books held in the Notary's Office in the Town Hall of Siero in the 17th century; protocols whose documents were the only ones kept from that period, given that those belonging to the aforementioned notary's office vanished during the Spanish Civil War.
The Palace has a very extensive furniture collection, most of which have been completely restored. Others are currently in the process of restoration. Complete sets of chairs, cabinets, chests of drawers, and large popular style chests; those carved by the Asturian painter José Uría y Uría are the most noteworthy.
In the dining room of the house there are numerous objects made of ceramic and porcelain, complete sets of Limoges porcelain, Asturian ceramics and countless pieces of silverware.
In the front garden beside the pond there is a Tarshish Grave Stele dating from the 9th century. BC, presumably transported from Extremadura more than a century ago.
Among the numerous paintings hanging in the Palace are: Portrait of the Bishop of Oviedo, Juan de Llano Ponte, Saint Nicholas of Bari Anonymous, portrait of Antonio Argüelles Valdés, Marquis of La Paranza, Portrait of Eduard Ríu Cercós).
In nearby Oviedo, the Museo Arqueologico de Asturias and the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias are well worth a visit.