Robaina's plantation

Saturday 29 August 2015

Casa de Don Luis Chacón (Museo de Arte Colonial) Havana

              Anyone traveling to Havana with the purpose of taking in a tour of the old city must visit one of it's most beautiful squares, Plaza de La Catedral. The obvious reason of course is the Catedral itself and the not so obvious is the Bodeguita del Medio (where the mojito was invented) just 50 meters outside the Plaza. But there's a lot more going on if one cares to explore. One of the places to check out is directly across from the church on the opposite side of the square. Here sits the Casa de Don Luis Chacon or what it's known as today, Museo de Arte Colonial. This majestic structure was built as a residence in 1720 by the 'then' three-time Military Governor of Cuba, Don Luis Chacon, who had married off his daughter to the first count of Casa Bayona. The house is typical of the architecture of the time with two floors and a central courtyard.
              Since then it has gone through some transformations, all of which I can't find on the internet. It's safe to say that in 1963 the National Commission for Museums and Monuments rescued it from further changes and by 1969 it was inaugurated the Museum of Colonial Art. Today it houses a permanent exhibition showing furniture, decorative arts, architectural elements, latches and blacksmith elements, windows, doors, stained glass windows and much more. It also has a room for temporary exhibits on the ground floor where on the time of my last visit they were showing some works for the Bienal of Havana. In some rooms they've even recreated a setting (a sitting room, a bedroom) so tourists can imagine what life would have been like centuries ago in Havana. The furniture is from the 17th-19th centuries and may not have necessarily been in this particular house but was from somewhere in the city at some time.
               There isn't a heck of a lot of information on this house but if you make your way to this Plaza it's worth a visit. There is no cost to enter and it shouldn't take too long to walk through and take a few pictures....about 15-30 minutes depending on the individual.

Calle San Ignacio No. 61
e/ Empedrado y O’Reilly
Plaza de la Catedral, Habana Vieja
Phone: 862 6440/862 6468

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