fbpx History and Museum – La Casa de Los Balcones

History and Museum

Dating from the seventeenth century, construction was completed in 1670; it was the marriage union between Juana Nieto and Juan de Castro Bazo & Merino in 1657 that gave rise to the building, employing the best carpenters of that time.

Amongst its most distinguished owners, are the Colonel Pedro Méndez de Castro, the Governor and Captain Francisco de Fonseca (1715-1719) and Alonso de Fonseca & Mesa who as a Captain, defended the port of Santa Cruz of Tenerife, against Nelson’s attack in 1797.

The present owners’ ancestors, the family Schönfeldt Machado, acquired the property from the heirs of the industrialist Antonio Diaz Flores & Cartaya.

A visit to the museum, located on the top floor and accessed by a curious spiral stairway, is obligatory to relive the former times of a family from that period.

Furnished as it was originally, the lounges receive direct sunlight through the great balcony and exterior windows. Furniture and objects from that time are a reflection of the comfortable but not ostentatious position the owners once enjoyed.

The façade has three storeys with a continuous balcony on the upper floor. The five balconies have iron railings, fixed on wooden bases/beams.

The spaces between the door frames and the railings are decorated with “esgrafiados – stone carvings” of geometric and leaf forms, and featured over the central balcony is the Fonseca Coat of Arms.

Its large balcony, situated on the top two floors, dominates the patio. The voluminous and sculpted wooden structure slowly descends, until it rests over some robust and polished trunks that act as authentic pillars or columns.

Each one crowned with a carved “Capital Corinthian”. This house is a fine example of authentic wood carving at its best. Canarian pine, difficult to carve, but used throughout for beams, supports, crosspieces, rafters, ceilings, frontages, crossbeams, etc.

Its strength and beauty have been maintained through the passage of time. It has never been painted or treated and it continues to ooze resin. The ornamentation of the galleries is similar to the façade’s top balcony, made of parallel banisters and padded with floral decoration.

At the end of the patio there is an imposing wooden winepress, which was once used to produce the excellent wines of region.

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