La Candelaria Castle in Lobos, Buenos Aires
In 1840 Don Orestes Piñeiro (pharmacist) had bought his first farms in the area of Lobos, around 100km from Buenos Aires city.
The castle itself was designed by the French architect Alberto Favre hired by Manuel Fraga, who was impressed by a similar one he saw in France, on the banks of the Loire river
He hired the best workman available at that time, bringing all the necessary materials from Europe. Construction started in 1894 (it took approximately 5 years) and has a size of 1200 m2.
The family then had it landscaped by Charles Thays a French architect with a large studio in Buenos Aires who was renown for his designs of Buenos Aires major parks and important Estancias.
Then they would later form with the purchase of 1,000’s of hectares, by 1890, the basis for the Estancia La Candelaria, named after his wife, Candelaria del Mármol.
Aware of her physical inability to have children, Rebeca, founded the “Brotherhood of Beneficence” that, in addition to the donation of clothes for poor children, develops “La Colonia de Vacaciones Rebeca Piñeiro del Mármol Fraga” in a sector of the Estancia, which was attended by the local children.
Upon the death of Rebeca, in her will favored a brother of Manuel who had six children.
The remains of the Piñeiro - Fraga family rest in the chapel on the Estancia.
Manuel Fraga alternated his activities at La Candelaria with social work. He was a well-known figure in the prestigious Jockey Club and other social centers and was also the Municipal Mayor of Lobos.
Manuel Fraga died in
Rebeca Piñeiro del Mármol de Fraga died on January 20, 1940. She left almost all of her belongings to Roberto P. Fraga, with the exception of the Castle of the Estancia and the vacation colony that was to pass to the Fraternity of Beneficence.
Later, Roberto P. Fraga negotiated an agreement with the Brotherhood, changing the possession of La Candelaria’s Castle for an important fraction of the estancia whose income could solve the expenses of the Brotherhood instead of the high maintenance cost of maintaining the castle.
At the time of his death, which occurred in 1965, his wife Ema Frías and the six children we mentioned as heirs.
Except for Rebecca and Rosendo, the other four married and had offspring.
The property of La Candelaria was subdivided and passed to new owners and today, those who acquired the Castle, now use it for tourism and related activities.
However, there is still the memory of Orestes Piñeiro, Candelaria del Mármol, Rebeca Piñeiro del Mármol de Fraga, Manuel and Roberto P. Fraga in the adjacent Chapel where their remains rest.
La Candelaria with its castle, its park, and its 8,000 hectares, was also chosen as an environment for filming movies such as La Casa de los Cuervos, El Ingles de los Bues, etc. and hired by the national government to accommodate important visitors such as the then president of Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza and other notable personalities.