When you’re in Puerto Rico, take time to visit the museums on the island. They are very educational, and will enable you to get a glimpse of the history of this amazing island.
One of the really interesting museums you can go to is Casa Cautiño which is located in Guayama. It showcases late 19th century architecture and sits on the corner of Palmer and Vicente Pales streets, with a nice view of the town plaza.
A Brief History
Casa Cautiño was commissioned by a wealthy landowner named Genaro Cautiño Vazquez who was also a high ranking officer of the Spanish Army’s Volunteer Battalion. He hired Manuel Texidor (who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris) to design and oversee the construction of the casa in 1887. The house had a neoclassical design; a U-shaped house with a patio at the center.
During the Spanish-American war, Casa Cautiño served as headquarters for the US army, occupied by Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant. It was only after the war ended that the Cautiño family was able to return to their beloved home. Casa Cautiño was home to several generations of the Cautiño family until it officially became a Puerto Rican historical site in the 1970s.
A Visit to Casa Cautiño
Individuals, friends and families will enjoy a tour of Casa Cautiño. Its beauty has lived on for many, many years and even though renovations are being done, it has still retained its classic appeal.
You will find many beautifully handcrafted décor, sculpture, and furniture in and around the home carved by talented Puerto Rican artists. There are also plenty of paintings and carvings that breathe life into the museum.
Of course, what you will see in the museum is not just limited to the works of local artists. It also houses historical documents and artifacts from many parts of the world. When you take time to look around, you will notice Roman arches, classical ornamentation, candelabras and many items depicting Neoclassical architecture. Artists can even have an exhibition in the museum.
The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, which is tasked to manage the museum, has also enhanced the museum’s collection by adding intricate wood carvings, sculptures and other works of art. Even the original furniture used by the Cautiño family can still be found inside the museum today.
Casa Cautiño has been painstakingly restored so that it looks just as spectacular as it was many years ago. When you’re here, you will be taken back in time as you walk through each room of the house which are still decorated with Victorian-era furnishings.
If you would like to see Casa Cautiño’s wonderful treasures, you can schedule a visit between Tuesday and Sunday, from 8am to 430pm (except Friday, because they close at 4pm). Admission is free. Go there early so you will have enough time to explore every part of the home and when you’re done, you can also visit another museum, the Centro de Bellas Artes, which is just nearby.