The impressive landscape of Galdames Township is home to a defensive tower whose foundations were built at a time when noblemen fought for power in the "Banderizas" Wars, then plaguing the territory of Biscay. In this land, rife with manor homes and fortified towers, the influential lineage of Ochoa Garcia de Loyzaga built their defences around their family bastion, until rival clans defeated them in the 14th Century.
The remains of the tower found their historical revival in an idea brought to life throughout three decades of overwhelmingly imaginative and intense work. The innovative and highly versatile businessman, Miguel de la Via, natural of the Encartaciones region, a talented landscape painter and musician, had the necessary foresight and means to take on the task of restoring this once hostile settlement and lending it new historical importance. The restoration of medieval ruins made way for a setting combining lush landscapes, extraordinary architecture and a unique personal undertaking.
Master stonemasons were called to the old walls of the tower to handcraft a new building using plans drawn-up for the project. The stones they cut would form thick walls arranged to scrape the sky at a height of twenty-five meters, crowned by battlements which would never see battle but which instead became a pleasant viewpoint. Little by little the fortress took on a medieval air as the facade was decorated with narrow windows and embrasures. At the base, a drawbridge leading to an emblazoned door crossed a gardened moat while three lines of walls were built to guard the tower and enclose the adjacent buildings.
The yards are colored with large lawns and beautiful trees, including the fruit consecrated by so many gods of ancient civilizations. Olive trees hundreds of years old symbolize both victory and life. They have taken root and prospered in a land which has also been witness to ancient times.
And at the same time, a new project was to be born. His early hobby and passion for cars led Miguel de la Via to imagine what would later become a magnificent Collection of Antique and Classic Cars, well-known as one of the best private collections in the world.
The excellent and selective Rolls Royce Collection speaks for itself, and includes forty-five cars, each faithful to the search for perfection in every detail proclaimed by the slogan of the manufacturer. This excellent collection includes each of the models manufactured by the British firm from its founding to the time of its purchase by a German group in the nineties. This most illustrious flagship of all automobiles is the driving force for this selective collection and blends in perfect harmony with another inevitable collection of prestigious brands.
The Tower receives visits from a wide variety of groups and organizations that come to enjoy the car collection. Coinciding with the Grand Opening of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997, the Tower was also home to an important event. A Gala Dinner was served for the representatives and patrons of the Guggenheim Foundation of New York as well as numerous art and film celebrities, who each had the opportunity to leave their signature in the Honour Visitor’s Book.
Another famous visitor, the writer Antonio Trueba from nearby Montellano, obviously did not have a chance to sign the book. More than a century has gone by since he found his inspiration in the walls of the tower, "the proud queen," and made his own special tribute. In his first and youthful poem "To the Tower of Loizaga," he declared with zeal "for a throne you have the hilltop upon which you rise majestic."