Palace of Orleans

Located in the upper town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, we find another place inhabited by a ghost that never ceases to be famous. This place is the palace of Orleans, named for being the residence of the Dukes of Montpesier and infants of Spain.

It was the year 1848, when France established the third republic, so that the French royal family, flees the country, including the second son of the last King Luis Felipe I. This son was Antonio de Orleans who was Duke of Montpesier and having married with the Infanta of Spain Maria Luisa, infant of Spain of consorte way.

After leaving his country of origin he settled in Seville, and finding in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a place to spend the summer, he built a palace in 1848. This palace had all the influences of a capricious nobleman, diplomat and adventurer who, after a long stay in the East as a soldier, had the palace decorated with neo-classical, Gothic and Mudejar influences, giving the house a combination of different styles that caused a great contrast.

Likewise, they designed a garden where you could see Sanlúcar, the Guadalquivir river and the Doñana reserve, with different botanical species brought from different parts of the world.

The palace was a dream place enjoyed by the Orleans and their descendants over the years to come, yet tragedy would strike one of their descendants.

In 1936, Prince Alfonso de Orleans, a young man of 24 years who had enlisted in the national army as a combat pilot in the Spanish Civil War. He was one of the many noble young people united to the noble cause with the idea of ​​overthrowing the republican regime and restoring the monarchy. His longing for adventure had made him a pilot just like those pilots of the First World War of the German lines. However he could never see the war won since he died that same year.

However, despite the death of one of the descendants, his figure did not leave the place. Today, the palace is the seat of the town hall and many of the councilors and workers, speak of the presence of a pilot pilot of the 30s down the main staircase and having the most common conversations,

A well-known case is the well-known aristocrat and journalist, José Luis de Vilallonga, who married in Sanlúcar and went to spend the night in this palace, home of his political family and, according to him, the same day of the wedding, he met the pilot deceased, giving him advice about his family as if he were a normal person, without noticing that he had been dead for more than twenty years.

We do not know, if today the ghost of Don Alfonso, will give advice to the aediles who live daily the building converted into a town hall and if at some point of the guided tour or not, we will be lucky to see his wake wandering the main staircase.


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