La Periquera, icon of the City of Holguín

La Periquera, icon of the City of Holguín

Heritage & Traditions

By Julia Muñoz

The monumental neoclassical building that houses the Parakeet Cage (La Periquera) Provincial Museum is one of the most famous in the city of Holguín.

Its long history is part of the charm of the beautiful Museum, nestled in a colonial building with large arcades and spacious rooms built in 1860 by the richest man in town, the Spaniard Francisco Rondán. 

Located in front of the former Arms Square (Plaza de Armas), today Park Calixto García, the building has been the witness and protagonist of outstanding historical and cultural events.

Attacked on successive occasions during the wars of independence, La Periquera has resisted until today, functioning as Government House for more than a century. For the most curious, the name is not as old as the mansion and there are hypotheses about its origin.

It is said that during the siege of the city of Holguín by the Liberation Army, one of the soldiers shouted: "Get out of the cage, parakeets!" alluding to the colorful uniform of the Spanish army (red, yellow and green), hence the nickname they gave it.

Declared a National Monument due to its link to the history of the city and the architectural value of its structure, today the mansion houses the fascinating Provincial Museum, where you can enjoy several exhibitions with samples of aboriginal archeology, documents and historical testimonies related to the wars of independence.

The identity element of the municipality of Holguín is the replica of one of the old knockers of the colonial house, which represents a female face with neoclassical lines.

It has great artistic value and has become the award given to both Cuban and foreign personalities who have contributed to the cultural, economic or scientific development of the territory.