The obliged stop at the “Villa de la Orotava“, located in one of the most fertile valley of the world, comercial and cultural axis of North Tenerife, it results unavoidable to visit “La Casa de los Balcones”, one of the most famous and visited place in the Island.
Strategic and appropiate place to find oneself with the handcraft hands of the Canarian people, where by luck culture, roots of its handcraft traditions, neither sleep nor died, given the strong modernity and growing competitiveness of the machines.
Thanks to the know how of the responsibles in charge of the ”Casa de los Balcones“ next to the everytime more scarcely craftsmen “Masters“, who follow faithfully manufacturing many original works of our ancestors: “unique pieces and objects“ that still form part of our environment and approaching us to the already so far and distinguished history of handcraft in the Canary Islands.
This specific date with the fabulous world of handicraft, will start with a pleasant walk through the narrow and cobbled streets of the “Villa de la Orotava“ (one of the oldest village of the Island), and will reveal the ancient nobility of many of his stately houses ,elegant facades within harmonious and different architecture styles: neo-gothic, neo-baroque, neo-medujar, neo-clasic as well as a careful but not atonishing modernism.
In the street “San Francisco“, within a group of ancient and adjoining constructions stands out “The House of the Balconies“ (La Casa de los Balcones), his impacting architectonic presence next to the nice wood carvings, shape an authentic sinfony of artistic forms. Like the majestic facade of three floors and in the last one his most representative architectural element: a superb Canarian Balcony.
Dating Seventeenth Century, his construction concluded in the year 1670, the presence of wood stands out from the materials used: the Canarian pine wood, difficult to carve but used in every parts: beams, props, braces, roofs, frontals, crossties,…
His resistence and beauty maintains itself within the years, and has never been treated or painted, we observe the marks of the centurys in some points of the exteriors of the house, but without preventing to show the spectacular sculture of his woods. This is an authentic monument to the Canarian “master“ carpenters of all periods.
Inside, in the patio, the Canarian pine wood shows its exuberant splendour and strengh. The fantastic and artistic carvings of the roofs of every rooms, perfectly atmosphered and furnished as the owners originaly decored it, are a delight for the visitant and a walk through the “tunel of time“. The hundreds of years have respected its original state and allows us to follow admiring one of the most beautiful “jewell“ of Canarian architecture.
The walls of stone and clay , more than one meter thick, make a distribution of no many rooms, but spacious and confortable living rooms that receive direct sun light through its hughe balcony and windows as well as through the authentic canarian patio inside of the house.
The patio stands out for its exuberant vegetation and specially his big balcony situated on the two last floors of the house, from where, slowly lets down till is supported on a group of high, strong and polished trunks that result to be authentic pillars or columns. Each of them crowned by a carved Corinthian capital, his abacus are splendidly solved; always a constant in the rest of the woods that form part of the building.
In this patio it is very easy to take refuge to find all the necesary peace and its pleasant shadow when the days are warm, as well as a “reparing” rest after a busy day of excursion. It is not doubt, one of the most admired and fotographed place in the island. At the end of the patio there is an authentic Canarian wine press, that not long ago was still pressing tipical wines, nowadays very requested by gastronomy experts.
In the “House of the Balconies”, the Canarian handcraft possesses the “Sanctuary“ of its roots, where one can see its more pure and faithful testimony. You will start your visit walking through rooms specialized in different styles of openworks (calados), admiring unique colections and pieces of extraordinary value.
You will know and included be able to buy unimitable pieces of the seven Canary Islands handcraftship, hand embroidered and openworked tableclothes are “House of the Balconies“ speciality, without forgeting pottery, ceramics, basketmaking, handfans, etc
In the workshops you will observe the skillful hands of the craftswomen, unspining, cutting and embroidering starting from standards and traditional styles that daughters inherited from their mothers generation through generation. Pieces from almost every corners of the islands are at your entire disposition, like laces from Vilaflor (village in Tenerife), embroideries of La Palma (island) and the well known and traditional openworks of La Orotava.
The arduous world of openworks results very interesting, knowing its techniques and styles as well as its many details in the preparation of tableclothes are imposible to learn in one day, but allows us to recognize that hand work is different from the industrialy produced. You will distinguish the characteristics and ways to differenciate them and also you will learn some of the names used in the creation of the pieces: “Roseta de esquina, soles del calado de randa, calado de galleta y cruz, calado fino, calado de madrigal, calado de caracol y rosetas, etc“ and many more.