Casa de la Vall
Built in 1580, Casa de la Vall is the last seat of the General Council. It was built by the Busquets family and purchased in 1702 by the General Council so as to have a seat in which to meet. The various alterations which have been made over the years, above all in the second half of the last century, have only served to increase the beauty inside and out of one of the most representative buildings in Andorra.
The architecture of Casa de la Vall is mixed as it includes defensive elements in a building intended for civil use: the watch tower on the façade, the battlements over the door and the tower built onto it with battlements and arrow slits in its upper part. The door is made in cut stone with a pointed arch and to its right there can be see the old coat-of-arms of Andorra, above it there is the polychromatic stone shield of 1763 and at the point of the arch the coat-of-arms of the Busquets family and the date of building.
The building consists of two storeys and an attic. On the ground floor there were once the stables where councillors coming from the more distant parishes could keep their mounts; about forty years ago, when the house was being restored, this space was allocated for the offices of the administration of justice. Going up to the first floor, on the left there is the Syndic's office, formerly used as a meeting room for the Comú of Andorra la Vella and a school and a library, inside which there are some 17th century murals coming from the church of Sant Romà dels Vilars. In the main hall, the old dining room, we can admire some late 16th century murals representing scenes from the passion of Christ. Originally these paintings covered the whole of the walls in the Syndic's office. From the main hall one can access the meeting room of the General Council at the end of which there is the chapel dedicated to Saint Ermengol with a plank retable and the cupboard of the seven keys in which the most important documents of the Principality are kept and which can be opened only in the presence of councillors from all seven parishes. From the old dining room one can also access the kitchen which was used in the past when the sessions of the General Council lasted more than one day. On these occasions, the councillors also slept in the building in the rooms which had been built in the attic.
Next door to the house there is also a tower dovecot and in the gardens surrounding it one can admire art objects of various periods and several sculptures, in particular "La Dansa" by Josep Viladomat.
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