Valle-Inclán High School

The Valle-Inclán High School is a large eclectic and Art Nouveau building located in the city centre of Pontevedra, Spain. It is named after the writer Valle-Inclán who studied and lived in Pontevedra. Today it is the seat of the Valle-Inclán Secondary School and was the first an the only secondary school in the province of Pontevedra[1] from 1845 to 1927.

Valle-Inclán High School
Instituto Valle-Inclán
Facade of the High School
Main façade on Gran Vía de Montero Ríos Avenue
Alternative namesValle-Inclán High School
General information
TypeHigh School
Architectural styleArt Nouveau
LocationPontevedra, Galicia, Spain
Coordinates42°25′51.1″N 8°38′50.8″W / 42.430861°N 8.647444°W / 42.430861; -8.647444Coordinates: 42°25′51.1″N 8°38′50.8″W / 42.430861°N 8.647444°W / 42.430861; -8.647444
Construction started1908
OwnerXunta de Galicia
ManagementXunta de Galicia
Technical details
Floor count3
Design and construction
ArchitectJoaquín Rojí López-Calvo and José de Lorite Kramer


The school is located on the westernmost side of the Gran Vía de Montero Ríos avenue (built in the 1870s), opposite the Alameda de Pontevedra. This is the new middle-class neighbourhood created by the demolition of the city walls in 1855. The construction of other large buildings such as the Palace of the Provincial Council of Pontevedra, or the Pontevedra Normal School Building made this place the great leisure space of the city's bourgeoisie at the end of the 19th century and in the first decades of the 20th century.


The Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza de Pontevedra (later called General and Technical High School of Pontevedra, Instituto General y Técnico de Pontevedra and Instituto Nacional de Pontevedra) was created by the Royal Decree of 30 October 1845 within the framework of the General Plan of Studies (known as Plan Pidal), which created a centre of secondary education in each Spanish provincial capital.[2] The Provincial Public High School of Secondary Education of Pontevedra was inaugurated on 19 November 1845 and its seat was established in the former Jesuit College, located in the building next to the church of Saint Bartholomew. In 1880, the school hosted part of the regional exhibition that took place in the city.

In 1903 it was transferred to the Normal School, a building that now belongs to the Pontevedra County Council, to put an end to the numerous expenses incurred by the repairs of the old Jesuit College. The official initiative for the construction of a new building for the High School came from the Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, Manuel Allendesalazar Muñoz de Salazar, at the beginning of 1903, when a competition was launched for the elaboration of the project.[3] The Pontevedra City Council ceded the land annexed to the Ruins of the Saint Dominic Convent, which was partly occupied by the hospice on the site of the collapsed Dominican convent. With its construction, the great avenue of large official buildings of the Gran Vía was completed. In addition to the high school, the buildings of the Pontevedra Provincial Council Palace and the old Normal School gave shape to this new official architecture of the last decades of the 19th century.

The project by the architects Joaquín Rojí López-Calvo and José de Lorite Kramer was selected in July 1904, as stated in the minutes of the school. The work was put out to tender at a cost of 575,109.20 pesetas. The work, promoted by the Minister Augusto González Besada, began in 1908[4] and was completed in early 1926, taking longer than expected due to the economic crisis. The architect Joaquín Rojí went to Pontevedra on 28 February 1926 to sign off on the building. He was then asked to budget for its interior, which took more than a year. The school was inaugurated on 27 September 1927 by King Alfonso XIII during a visit to Pontevedra.[1][5]

In the Post-war period, the students of the high school (boys and girls) were separated into two different floors with independent entrances. In 1963, a girls' high school, which would become the current Valle-Inclán High School, was created and the building was renovated. The girls' high school was temporarily moved in 1964 to the Normal School during the renovation works.[6] The last complete renovation of the building was undertaken in 1972.[7]

During the 20th century, renowned teachers such as Castelao, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Aquilino Iglesias Alvariño, Jesús Muruais, Emilio Álvarez Jiménez, Víctor Said Armesto, Antón Losada Diéguez, José Filgueira Valverde and Bibiano Fernández-Osorio Tafall made it sufficiently famous to be one of the most highly regarded in the field of education.[8]

It is one of the few former Spanish high schools that has retained its original use over the years, since the building was inaugurated.

Construction and styleEdit

It is a sober and elegant example of the eclectic and Art Nouveau styles. Its main façade and entrance are located on the Gran Vía de Montero Ríos, although it has a rear exit that leads to an irregularly shaped backyard enclosed by a fence for the use of the high school and another exit in the back corner where the tower in front of the Palm Trees Park is located.

It has a basement, a ground floor and two upper floors. The decoration of the Bossages on the façades and the doorways of the art nouveau windows is remarkable, as is the decoration of the window Lintels and the Dormer windows in the central part of the roof. The decoration on the façade consists mainly of geometric motifs above the windows and doors and floral motifs and small circles. It has a tower in which the school's directors resided during the early years of its existence.[9]

Inside, there is a large central marble staircase illuminated by a large Art Nouveau skylight bearing the Pontevedra coat of arms, which allows access to the first floor and ends in front of the establishment's large conference room (Paraninfo). The building has several lateral staircases that connect to the different floors, which were originally made of wood and spiral. The composition of the building is symmetrical and regular, with the classrooms in the main wing of the building organised around a central rectangular courtyard surrounded by large windows that bring in light.

On the ground floor is the school's library. This large room has a wooden staircase that leads to the upper floor where there is a walkway surrounding the shelves and a wooden railing.[10]


In 1966, a proposal by Gonzalo Torrente Ballester was approved[11] and the school adopted its current name "Valle-Inclán" because of the writer's relationship with the city, where he studied, lived, wrote and published his first book "Femeninas" in 1895. Valle-Inclán, at the age of 12, began his secondary studies in Pontevedra, which he also completed in Pontevedra in 1883.[12]

The school was the birthplace of the Aula Castelao of Philosophy and, at the same time, of the Galician Philosophy Week.[13]



  1. ^ a b "Cuando el Instituto se instaló en la Alameda". Faro (in Spanish). 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Ernesto Caballero, el director". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 27 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Cuando el Instituto se instaló en la Alameda". Faro (in Spanish). 27 September 2015.
  4. ^ "El centenario edificio del instituto Valle Inclán será reformado integralmente". Cadena SER (in Spanish). 18 January 2021.
  5. ^ "1927: Alfonso XIII y Victoria Eugenia en Pontevedra". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 27 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Ladrillo de lujo". Faro (in Spanish). 10 February 2011.
  7. ^ "La rehabilitación integral del IES Valle Inclán se iniciará este año y se invertirán 2,5 millones". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 19 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Una generación de profesores se despide". Faro (in Spanish). 20 June 2010.
  9. ^ ""Mi madre sufrió aquí en silencio tanto o más que mi padre en el exilio"". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 18 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Los IES se reorganizan con 51 nuevos docentes". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 17 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Medio siglo portando a Valle Inclán como símbolo del instituto". Pontevedra Viva (in Spanish). 28 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Pontevedra reivindica a su vecino Valle-Inclán". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). 29 October 2016.
  13. ^ "El Instituto Valle-Inclán celebra su medio siglo homenajeando al escritor". Diario de Pontevedra (in Spanish). 28 October 2016.


  • Aganzo, Carlos (2010). Pontevedra. Ciudades con encanto (in Spanish). Madrid: El País-Aguilar. p. 94. ISBN 978-8403509344.
  • Fontoira Surís, Rafael (2009). Pontevedra monumental (in Spanish). Pontevedra: Diputación Provincial de Pontevedra. p. 413. ISBN 978-84-8457-327-2.
  • Fortes, Xosé (1997). O Instituto de Pontevedra. Século e medio de historia. 1845-1995 (in Galician). Pontevedra: Deputación Provincial de Pontevedra. ISBN 978-8488363961.
  • Riveiro Tobío, Elvira (2008). Descubrir Pontevedra (in Spanish). Pontevedra: Edicións do Cumio. p. 47. ISBN 9788482890852.

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