Dating back to the 18th century, Museo Romántico is housed in a grand colonial mansion located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plaza Mayor (Trinidad’s historic centre). Also known as Palacio Brunet, it has been the residence of various wealthy Cuban families through the centuries. Originally built in 1740 as a one-storey property, a second floor was added in 1808. Then in 1973, the house was finally transformed into the popular museum that you see today.
At the time, Museo Romántico was the first museum in Trinidad and it still stands today as one of the town’s most loved. With its deep yellow painted façade, this aging colonial building is an eye-catching architectural gem and a suitably atmospheric location to showcase some of Cuba’s most fascinating historical pieces.
The mid-19th century was a time of prosperity in Cuba and Museo Romántico offers a fascinating glimpse into this affluent colonial period.
As you step inside the house, you’ll be met by a grand interior of marble floors, elegant chandeliers and intricately painted pillars. In total there are 14 rooms spread out across two floors including grand hallways, dining rooms, living spaces and elegant bedrooms. You’ll see a wide display of fine antiques that once furnished the homes of Trinidad’s wealthy elite. Among its many treasures, there’s an elegant selection of antique furniture, artwork, porcelain, glassware, silverware, a wonderful collection of fine china and numerous other period pieces.
Specific items worthy of mention include the Spanish brass bed and French cabinet which can be found in one of the property’s bedrooms and an elegant desktop in immaculate condition that dates back to the time of Maria Theresa of Austria.
There’s a 2 CUC entry fee into the museum and another 1 CUC if you wish to take photos. For an extra 1 CUC, you can hire an English speaking tour guide who will escort you around the museum. The tour lasts around 30 minutes and provides plenty of fascinating background information on the history of the property and the valuable artefacts found throughout.
Museo Romántico offers a wonderful insight into how Cuba’s rich and wealthy once lived, while the house itself is a beautiful place to explore. The upper balconies also offer wonderful views of the Plaza mayor – a great photo opportunity.
There’s plenty to see here for the casual tourist while art and history lovers will relish the opportunity to learn more about Cuba’s fascinating past.
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Christopher Columbus Cemetery (or Cementerio de Colon in Spanish) is generally recognised as the most historically and architecturally important cemetery in Latin America. Home to over a million interred bodies including politicians, musicians, writers, artists, military heroes, and religious figures from both Cuba and around the world, this landmark of the Vedado neighbourhood is worth a visit for any culturally- or historically-inclined traveller.
Two young members of the Sarra family emigrated from Spain to seek their fortune in the Cuban colony. The museum at the Drogueria Sarra charts their huge success as they and their descendent created a pharma business, which by the turn of the 20th century was the second biggest worldwide.
For visitors interested in Cuba's history, Chorro de Maita is a popular day excursion from nearby Holguin and the resorts of Guardalavaca. The archaeological site, reconstructed Taino village and museum offer a vivid insight into the lives of indigenous Cubans around the early years of the Spanish colonisation.
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