Museo Historico Municipal

Close to Trinidad's iconic Plaza Mayor in the town's historic old town area is the equally iconic Museo Historico Municipal. Set within a lavish 19th century mansion known as Casa Cantero, the museum is undoubtedly Trinidad's finest and showcases the precious possessions of the wealthy families who once resided here.

The mansion within which Museo Histórico Municipal is now set was built in 1830 by a wealthy sugar baron by the name of Don Jose Mariano Borrell y Padron. The property was passed down through the family until it came into the possession of a local German doctor named Justo Germán Cantero. Legend has it that the good doctor made his fortune by poisoning a wealthy slave trader owner, then married his unfortunate victim’s widowed wife.
The ultimate truth of the story may never be proven, but it certainly adds plenty of intrigue to the treasures on display. The neoclassical-styled rooms of Museo Histórico Municipal showcase much of Cantero’s lavish possessions including beautiful frescoes, antique furniture, marble statues, elegant murals, mirrors and period artwork.
As you wander around each of the rooms, you begin to discover just how well the other half in Cuba lived. The opulence of the marbled floors, grand columns and spacious sunlit interior reflects the kind of wealth few other locals could have dreamt of. After entering the elegantly adorned reception rooms, you’ll be able to explore the rest of the property – from spacious living rooms and bedrooms to grand kitchens and Cantero’s own study. You’ll quickly be left in no doubt as to the kind of grand lifestyle Cantero was able to enjoy.
As well as showcasing one man’s extraordinary wealth, Museo Histórico Municipal also acts as an important link to the past. Visitors can learn more about the intriguing history of Trinidad thanks to the important period artefacts on display, from historical documents and antique weapons to beautifully handcrafted furniture.
Once you’ve wandered around the property it’s worth heading outdoors to catch a glimpse of the mansion’s secluded courtyard where potted plants, flowers and a picturesque water fountain make for a relaxing place to stroll. The museum also has a three-storey tower and those who climb to the top will get to enjoy splendid views across the historical old town area.
As one of Trinidad’s most popular tourist destinations Museo Histórico Municipal can get pretty crowded, especially when the official tour buses start to arrive. So if you wish to experience the museum at its most sedate it’s generally best to arrive before 11am.

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