The House of a Hundred Doors

By Heidy González Cabrera Photos: CubaPLUS, on: Heritage & Traditions
The House of a Hundred Doors

In Sancti Spiritus we find the majestic Iznaga Palace that everyone in the city knows as the house of a hundred doors. This architectural jewel built in the mid-18th Century was the first two-story house in town and between doors and windows has around a hundred openings through which air and sun get in.

The House of a Hundred DoorsThere is no need to come from abroad to be ensnared by the legend of this colonial house. A story told through generations tells about a large piano occupying the music room. It was carried on the shoulders of slaves from the port of Casilda Trinidad to this city. It was an 80 km tiresome zigzagging trip.

The Valle Iznaga family, owners of lands, sugar mills and other properties were among the richest families in the country.

As time went by the Valle Iznaga Palace became the Colonial Museum of Sancti Spiritus and many valuable collections filled its rooms. More than ten exhibition halls show the decorations prevailing in the 19th Century. Glass stained windows and inner doors exhibit the magic of light and color.

Furniture plays a star role. There are many styles crafted with the most precious wood enabling the conservation of their first years of age.

The oldest piece of furniture of the house, the Church chest of drawers, has four drawers with silver handles and a fifth one, and secret, hidden to the human eye.

All that splendor was also spread to the Creole kitchen. It was a privileged place in the large houses of that time and shows the lifestyle of Cubans during that period.

The House of a Hundred DoorsThis Colonial Museum of Sancti Spiritus, is an architectural jewel visited by all tourist, but particularly, by collectors, artists and art connoisseurs, both Cubans and foreign.

We still have not said the purpose of the piano in the music room. According to the story, the precious musical instrument was a whim of the house owners' first born daughter. Her parents were willing to please her imagining a promising musical talent in the girl.

Unfortunately, not even the price, the inhuman effort of the slaves and the family's demands for the piano to be played made the girl touch the keyboard.

There should have been a hidden message in the girl's stubbornness because it created the legend of the piano that was never played and that also tells about the slaves' prowess to carry it.



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