A Golpelleira, which might have originally been a medieval fort, became a pazo in the 16th century, and in the 19th century underwent a significant change which transformed it into what it is today, a peculiar building made up of several construc-tion styles. It has always owned a vast territory, no wonder it was considered a “country house” in some old maps, and today A Golpelleira is a luxurious residence that hosts the most varied kind of events.
This estate has belonged to the López Ballesteros family – very close to the Court – for generations. One of its ancestors, Luis López Ballesteros, is a key figure not only in the history of Vilagarcía but of Spain as well. He was of great significance for Vilagarcía because he organized the first uprising against the French invasion of 1808 in Galicia. And he was of great importance for Spain too, because he became the Minister of Revenue between 1823 and 1832. The creation of the Stock Exchange of Madrid, the Commercial Law Code, the Tax and Customs Inspection and the Bank of Spain of San Fernando are the work of Luís López Ballesteros. Consequently, he is considered the founder of the modern Spanish Revenue.
For this reason, the pazo of A Golpelleira is not only of great artistic value but also of historic and documentary value. Luis’ legacy must be added to his son’s, Diego López Ballesteros, President of the Parliament and Minister of Overseas Territories and to his grandson’s, Salvador Quiroga y López Ballesteros, Minister of the Government with Alfonso XIII and royal delegate in the cession of Cortegada Island to the monarch.
In the pazo of A Golpelleira, the chapel dedicated to the Mexican Our Lady of Guadalupe stands out. From the Independence War on, the temple has displayed a figure of San Miguel which belongs to Trabanca, a district next to the pazo. Every 29th of September, on Saint Miguel’s Saint Day, people from Trabanca take the figure out in procession.
Similarly, A Golpelleira also stands out for its gardens which combine a French layout with significant specimens of native and tropical trees as well as extraordinary camellia trees. There are also charming corners such as the gazebo, the pond, the cross, or the English style green house.
Today, the new generations of the Remírez de Esparza y López Ballesteros family , descendants of that outstanding man called Luís, have changed the life of the pazo and now it is used to host a variety of events, which help both conserve it and know it.