House of Lions

Many years ago in Cuba regulation stipulating that only diplomatic or consular residences in their areas could have statues of lions. Although the authenticity of this document may be suspect very few ventured to place sculptures of this kind in their homes. For decades only the English Consulate has applied this regulation and because of this there is still a House of Lions in Cienfuegos.

More than "a house with lions" is the House of Lions, because it is already recognized nationally as well.

House of Lions

For all it is striking that dwelling located in the Prado, between Avenues Santa Cruz and Santa Elena, with two cast iron lions guarding the entrance portal and more than 4 feet above the street. Many walkers are set in the facade and some other curious looks out the door to see inside. Others, more daring, go and fix everything.

But the House of Lions, the former residence of the British Consul, is the manor house of yesteryear. Today is the home of a family of cobblers.

The origin of this house is quite far away. In the book "Historical Memory" of Rousseau and Diaz de Villegas, refers to the construction must have started before 1862. In that document it is stated that between 1868 and 1870 was the site of the Philharmonic Society, after Spanish and Casino July 5, 1870 Artisans Casino was established in that house, who was also at one time the residence of the family Jose Antonio Capote.

In 1871, other units were added to the main house, which already had a high-ceilinged front of Tuscany and 7 columns, distinctive elements that bring elegance and majesty.

After called Casino (or Circle) for hosted Artisans Artistic and Literary Liceo and later House of Governors, serving as home to the rulers of the town.

For their classrooms became wealthy citizens, society ladies, members of the English Consulate Cienfuegos and other great figures of the Island Over time the fate of the House of Lions changed.

In that time the residence was gradually deteriorating. The story lost its normal brightness. The plaster moldings and gold paint cracked. Everything inside the house lost its splendor and elegance, less cast iron lions that distinguish the house.

House of Lions

The rooms that were used decades ago to receive the most powerful personalities, now used to store broken or mended shoes. The courtyard was used for more private conversations now has a sewing machine, a clump of guava and a purebred dog indefinitely.

During the time I lived there the Consuls of England's House of the Lions had great significance. The Consulate Office administered the submarine cable, linking the city of Cienfuegos to Batabano, Santiago de Cuba, the U.S. and from there crossed the Atlantic to Europe. That was the route safer and faster communication with the Old Continent and North America. Such was its importance that during the Spanish-Cuban-American troops attacked Cienfuegos North Gigante just to cut that wire in Cayo Hull and seize the port.

Despite this history treasure house, now the reality has turned his back. True, it is recognized as one of the relics of local heritage, but gradually deteriorated and many of the peculiarities which distinguished only seen in magazines or read time in local history books. The current tenants do not have home care as they should or have not had resources to do so, but the truth is that there is hardly anything in the mansion of old, who stayed in their rooms to governors and consuls, and today is home to a family of cobblers.