The Valley House is one of the main attractions of Andorra la Vella. This legendary building is located in the heart of the Old Quarter, which has long been considered the hallmark and symbol of the city.
The three-story building of the Valley House in the style of rural Catalan architecture was erected in 1580 and originally belonged to the noble and wealthy Busquets family. The Valley House is a medieval Catalan manor with towers, embrasures, hanging loopholes, battlements and steel bars on the windows. In 1702, the building was purchased by the General Council of Andorra. For three centuries, before the erection of a new building, a parliament met within its walls. During this period, the Valley House was rebuilt several times until it took on a modern look.
At one time, the House of the Valleys (Casa de la Val) at the same time housed the San Ermengol chapel, court, prison and hotel. It is worth noting that the prison was privileged, so only the inhabitants of Andorra sat here.
The house of the valleys has a rather austere and ascetic appearance and resembles a fortified castle or a small medieval fortress. Its walls are made of durable and unprocessed gray stone. The decor is completely absent. On the one hand, a rectangular tower with a sharp roof adjoins the structure, which simultaneously served as a sentinel and a dovecote. The chapel holds the flag and coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra.
Today, the Valley House is a museum whose interior can be viewed by anyone. The asceticism of the interior of the house is in perfect harmony with the general view of the building. Inside the house on the perimeter are wooden benches. Of particular interest to visitors are the ancient frescoes of the 16th century. in the main hall, copper candlesticks and an old dining room with preserved old utensils. On the lower floor of the building is the Hall of Justice - the only court in the country, on the second - the Council Hall and the Postal Museum with a philatelic collection.
Andorra la Vella is the capital of Andorra, whose history dates back to the time when the most ordinary village was founded in a picturesque mountain valley. Today, this place is called Barry Antique, which translates as Old Quarter for Andorra tourist.
Barry Antique is the historical center of the city, which, despite the rapid economic and tourist development of Andorra la Vella, was able to maintain the spirit of the past and its individuality. Walking through small squares and cobbled narrow streets with ancient stone houses, as well as visiting local shops will allow tourists to get acquainted with the history and culture of Andorra.
In Andorra la Vella's Old Town, time seemed to stop. In the narrow dead-end streets and alleys you can feel the spirit of the Middle Ages. Colorful old two- and three-story houses of roughly hewn stone with wooden balconies have narrow slit windows. It's hard to believe, but at the beginning of the twentieth century. almost all the inhabitants of Andorra la Vella lived on the territory of this ancient quarter.
In Barry Antique are the main attractions of Andorra la Vella. At the entrance to the oldest district of the capital is the church of St. Stephen (San Esteban). Due to the fact that the temple was rebuilt several times, from the ancient building of the XII century, made in the Romanesque style, only the apse and part of the nave wall have survived to this day.
At the same time, the pride and main asset of Barry Antique is the “House of the Valleys” (Casa de la Val) - the legendary historical building erected in 1580. Initially, the house belonged to the wealthy Basket family. But in 1702 the building was purchased by the General Council. In 1761, for three whole centuries, the official residence of the Andorran parliament was located in the house. In its appearance, the building is very reminiscent of a small fortress or a medieval castle. The watchtower rises nearby. Also in the Old Town near the "House of the Valleys" among the old granite buildings is the national library.