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House of the San Juan de Jaruco Count, Havana . Cuba

  • Muralla, 107-111, Esq. San Ignacio, Plaza Vieja, Old Havana
  • Destination: Havana
  • Open: Daily
  • Telephone:
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This family, originally from Castilla La Nueva, went to Canary Islands and took part in its conquest. One of its members was also conqueror of Santa Marta, governor of Cartagena de Indias and founded in 1540 the city of Santa Cruz de Mopox (Mompós) in today’s Colombia.

Through marriage they became related to the oldest families of Havana.

The third Count was the Field Marshall of the Royal Armies, don Joaquín de Santa Cruz y Cárdenas (1769-1807), to whom the title of Count of Santa Cruz was granted in 1795, among other dignities. We owe him the founding of the town of Nueva Paz in Havana.

His daughter, doña María de las Mercedes de Santa Cruz y Montalvo (1789-1852) was one of the most famous characters of the family. Settled in Paris, her social gatherings were very well noted because they brought together outstanding literary and artistic figures. Married to the French general Cristóbal Merlín, dubbed count by José Bonaparte, this illustrious native of Havana was known as Countess of Merlín.

This house, early example of the 18th century mansion, was completed in 1737 by the father of the future Count of Jaruco. The small palace resulted from the refurbishing of the family house, dating back to the 18th century, which was made by the doctor Gabriel Beltrán de Santa Cruz, illustrious solicitor and mayor of the city to whom the title of Count was granted in 1770. His coat of arms still embellishes the façade over the main gate. In the house, the porch, the hallway and the façade stand out, as well as the arches, the courtyard, the galleries, the scrollwork ceilings, the stained-glasses and the mezzanines. It belonged to this family until the 19th century. It then came to be used as lodgings and clothing workshop. It was restored in 1979 and is now the seat of the Cultural Assets Fund.

Mapa de House of the San Juan de Jaruco Count

House of the San Juan de Jaruco Count is located in Havana

Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.

The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.

The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.

Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.

Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.

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