“La Galana”, a “corrala” in Sestao

la galana, sestao“La Galana” is not the most beautiful building in the Basque Country but it is a very interesting example of an architecture that was quite common at the end of the 19th Century, especially in Madrid, where it became known as “corrala”. This is a building in which all houses have a patio or corrala (referring to the place in a farm where chickens peck) in which all entry doors are placed one after each other around a wooden gallery.

They are pretty poor houses that were built for the first workers of local steel mills with around 50 square meters, no bathroom, a kitchen, around 3 bedrooms and just one window. Most of the rooms were interior and people spent lots of time outdoors in the corrala with their neighbours. Privacy was not a feature of these buildings. Nowadays they are sold for less than 60,000€, after they went through a big refurbishment. In the old times they changed hands quite oftern as workers came in and out.

La Galana was designed by Francisco Beriozabal and is the last building of this type both in Sestao and Barakaldo, where there used to be another one near the steel mills (“Altos Hornos de Vizcaya”). Its name is related to the fact that a gallant used to live here and his widow, “la galana”, was pretended by many men in the city because of her beauty.

la galana, Sestao

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