Antonio Nariño Museum - Villa de Leyva

garden - looking to the house

Happy Sunday!!

I'm back with another post from beautiful Villa de Leyva, Colombia. This time, I'm taking you on a tour of Antonio Nariño's home, which was turned into a museum bearing his name. 

If you like Spanish colonial architecture, or if you want to read up on Colombian history, this is the post for you. If none of those subjects appeal to you, no worries, I'll be back with more DIY's and home décor in my next posts.

A couple of weeks ago I took you up and down the little cobblestone streets of Villa de Leyva. I couldn't help but take one-hundred-twenty-seven pictures of beautiful white houses with the most gorgeous balconies. Yes, most houses in Villa de Leyva look exactly like the house you see in the picture below. This one is, precisely, Antonio Nariño's home, now turned museum.
Spanish colonial façade

The entrance was free of charge, and I was very excited to see the interior of at least one of these beautiful houses.

However, let's start by knowing who Antonio Nariño was. Antonio Amador Jose de Nariño y Alvarez del Casal (Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia 1765-1824 Villa de Leyva, Colombia) was a Colombian ideological precursor of the independence movement in New Granada (Colombia). He was also one of the first political and military leaders. 
Nariño admired political ideologies of the leaders of the French and American Revolutions. He held meetings to discuss the need for independence and the means of achieving it.
After getting a copy of the "Declaration of the Rights of a Man", which was distributed by the French Assembly, he translated it from French to Spanish. The translated pamphlets were distributed to all corners of the continent which cause him to be arrested.
Later on in life and after many trials and tribulations, he was appointed as one of the candidates for election of the presidency of Gran Colombia.
Front door and balcony

Nariño was always interested in journalism, which is why he started publishing articles in the newspaper of the city of Santa Fe. In 1972, to avoid that the newspaper was stopped from being published, Nariño bought the printing press, which he would use to print the translation of the Declaration of the Rights of a Man.
lobby

Translated from one of the museum's posters:

"Everyday life in the 19th century

Our house is located on the south side, two blocks from the town's main square. It is made of adobe and clay roof tiles. Life passes slowly, spaced out. Outside there are almost no sounds, except for the chill of the morning and its subtle hiss. Women are dedicated to weaving. Pets lie in the corners."

chairs

I love the painting on the back of the seat.
chair detail

This basket is something I would like to have right now in my own home.
basket

The rooms in the front part of the house are the ones holding Nariño's memorabilia, pictures, letters, guns and other objects.

handwritten script letters

Nariño also fought a few battles against the Spanish and Royalist forces in the south of the country. The emblematic uniform is here.
uniform

Continuing with the tour around the house and moving from those front rooms, we first had to pass this door.
Green door

The open courtyard was there in all its splendor!
courtyard

The fountain in the middle of the yard, although empty, is a classic feature of Spanish colonial homes.
The Rights of a Man, displayed all around.
Courtyard with fountain

My daughter posing here on another classic element of Spanish colonial architecture, the arches.
courtyard - Samantha Garay

The Declaration of the Rights of a Man are also imprinted here on this wall in the courtyard.
Declaracion de los Derechos del Hombre

Continuing to the back of the house we passed by this room/gallery.
gallery

We then proceeded towards the backyard or garden.
backyard

It was a gorgeous day, we sat there to take a little break. I was there chatting with my niece Isa.
Backyard - Cristina Garay

flowers in terracotta pots

Back inside the house we went upstairs.
Staircase

There, we got to this long corridor.
second floor hallway

It had a view of the courtyard below and of the adjacent houses.
hallway with a view

The first room we entered here, was the living room.
Living room
Another translated excerpt :

"God, how many things! My in-laws have arrived from Europe and they seem to have gone crazy. They have brought many trunks full of the finest clothes for all members of the family. For the women of the family they brought beautiful and tight dresses, corsets, petticoats, with ruffles and lace at the bottom. They have brought them jewelry in pearls and other precious stones, ribbons, tortoiseshell combs to support their curls, and caps and scarfs."

living room

detail green chair

That ceiling and door! 😍
living room

The bedroom, very simple as well. I adore the coverlet.
Bedroom

Back on the other side of this big room they arranged these furnishings in something that resembles a dining room, or office? 
office

Last but not least, one my favorite parts of the house, the balcony!
Balcony

So very pretty!!
Balcony

I hope you've enjoyed touring this Spanish colonial home! Stay tuned for more from Villa de Leyva. ;)

XOXO,
Cristina









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