Ferrer Palace Architecture, Cienfuegos. Cuba
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- Ave.54 esq.Calle 25, Cienfuegos. Cuba
- Destination: Cienfuegos
- Open: Daily
- Telephone: 432-6584
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People say that he took refuge from the scorching heat of June 1920 in his airy chamber. The famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso would sing later that night at the nearby theater Tomás Terry, but first he wanted to rest his voice in the spacious room of this palace in Cienfuegos.
José Ferrer Sires, a wealthy Catalan living in Cienfuegos, had put every effort and part of his large fortune into the construction of the building. The work, which took only a year, was based on a design by the famous local architect Pablo Donato Carbonell, the author of works like Chalet de Valle –an elegant symbol of local eclecticism- and the majestic Tomás Acea Cemetery –a replica of the Parthenon.
The seasoned designer put the artistic flavor of Catalan modernism into the two-story mansion. The first floor was destined for the storage of goods, that is why it is bare of ornaments and more than six meters high. The second floor, on the other hand, displays a feast of marble, ironwork and glazed ceramic, which, together with the high quality and good taste of the ornamentation, have given a characteristic elegance to this corner of José Martí Park, the founding and administrative center of the city.
However, all this excess of elegance wasn’t the result of eccentricity on the part of the influential trader, but rather a commonplace style among rich Cuban people in those days, perhaps thinking they would sleep better under such a rich roof following the old saying that goes, “The master's eye makes the horse fat.”
The palace in question crowns its roof with an elegant vantage point on its southeastern corner, which allowed the trader to “view all operations” at the nearby harbor and also see the entry of “any possibility of increasing the contents of his plentiful coffers” into the bay. In truth, it must be said that combining beauty with usefulness has produced excellent results… since time immemorial.
The fact is that it is a real shame that after all the inspiration and effort the designer had put to meet the refined taste of the Ferrers, the family soon moved to the prosperous Havana City and the mansion remained deserted until the Cacicedos bought it. It was one of the wealthiest families in Cienfuegos and they lived in the palace until the 1970s.
The first floor housed a drugstore that after the process of nationalization of the Revolution gave way to a warehouse of medical supplies. The House of Culture took up the second floor until the marked deterioration of the famous palace forced its closure. The building is now going through a process of restoration to turn it once again into a palace, but this time it will be Cienfuegos’ cultural palace.
To go back to the Italian celebrity, he only stayed on the palace one day, returning promptly to Havana where he would sing for one last time before receiving the juicy sum of 90 000 pesos for his performance, a sum never paid before to an artist in Cuban theater.
It is a shame that the tenor didn’t have much time to enjoy his stay at the luxurious Palace that had just been added to the city’s architecture, because after his engagements in Cuba, he would only perform one last time at the Metropolitan in New York before retiring from the theater owing to a disease that would eventually cost him his life in 1921.
Since then, his fame transferred to our Palacio Ferrer, which had already gained a celebrity all of its own as an example of Catalan influence on Cuban architecture and, of course, thanks to the dome shaped vantage point with the best view of the city and the sea that surrounds it
Mapa de Ferrer Palace
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Ferrer Palace is located in Cienfuegos
French émigrés from Bordeaux and Louisiana founded the settlement of Fernandina de Jagua on a large, calm bay on the Caribbean Sea on April 22, 1819. In 1830, when it was upgraded to a town, its name was changed to Cienfuegos, in honor of José Cienfuegos, the Governor-General of Cuba. Fifty years later, it was proclaimed a city and, for its beauty, was called "the pearl of the south." By the end of the 19th century, it had become the fourth most important city in the country.,
Considered the crowning jewel of Cuban architectural in the 19th century, Cienfuegos stands out for the perfect design of its streets and for the refinement and good taste of the buildings in the historic center of the city, which has been declared a national monument. When visiting, stop by the Casa del Fundador (the Founder's House); Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) Cathedral; the Tomás Terry Theater; the Ferrer Palace; and the José Martí Park, which contains the only arch of triumph in Cuba.,
Other attractions include the Prado Promenade, the Valle Palace, the museums of Naval and Provincial History, and the Reina (Queen's) Cemetery.,
Farther out from the center of the city, tour the Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Jagua (Jagua for short) Fortress, the Tomás Acea Cemetery and the Botanical Gardens.,
In addition to these cultural and historic attractions, Cienfuegos has excellent facilities for scuba diving and other water sports, nature tourism and thermal baths.
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The Palacio de Ferrer is placed on the main plaza of the city. The building, built in the 1890, has a variety of architectural styles but the blue domed tower in one corner is the most beautiful
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