School Group María Josefa
This Greenfield construction project constitutes a clear exponent of the contribution that the “indianos”, Asturian emigrants to America, provided between 1870 and 1936 for the scholarship and progress of the Asturian rural environment.
It is a scholarly building with a rationalist style that accommodates two single schools, one for each sex. The construction was granted by the “Indiano” philanthropist and humanist Adolfo Prieto Álvarez —born in 1867 at the Palace of the Vallinas in Sama de Grado and resident of México—, who dedicated this to his daugher María Josefa, who died very young and donated it to the town. The construction project was overseen by Madrid architect José Fonseca and it is dated from the 16th of April of 1930. The construction was finished in 1932, although the school remained inactive until 1938.
The most interesting aspect of the school is that it is home to an important representation, somewhat unique in Asturias, of different episodes of El Quijote de la Mancha, sculpted from mosaic decorations on its walls.
Both the porches and the corridors were built with a skirting board of blue tiles measuring 1.72m in height and with a double lined frieze in which there represents several scenes of the Masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes (139 tiles). The tiles were sourced from Triana in Seville and alternate between sayings and proverbs (144 tiles)
This is of such importance that in 2005, a book was published called DON QUIXOTE IN ASTURIAS: THE INDIANO SCHOOL OF SAMA DE GRADO in which it explains the origin of the tiles and the techniques used for their elaboration.
An impressive bust of Adolfo Prieto, designed by Víctor Hevia Granda, stands just in front of the facade. Nowadays this building has other uses such as an ethnographic museum, a doctor´s consultancy, community meetings, etc.