Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Bishop's House

One day we had the privilege of seeing the inside of an old building that used to be the residence of the First Archbishop of Cuenca.

We've walked past it many times and often wondered what was behind those doors...

The complex was built in 1934. Lots of 'benign neglect', but so interesting. So many original design features and materials.

Main entrance to the front courtyard.  Original stone floor and a gate with white ironwork.

In the middle of the courtyard is the Mother statue.  She is a new replacement for the original, which was stolen awhile ago.  The garden around the statue also has a water feature.
Original courtyards were open to the elements, like this one.  Now, you will see many of those courtyards in restored buildings with glass roofs.

There is a small chapel in the complex, open to the public, but it was locked that day. We're hoping to see it another time.  Here's Fabian trying to peek through the chapel door.  The chapel fronts the street on the 2nd level.  We can just imagine all the original design that our hosts told us about!  Sounds gorgeous!

We love all the old, protected architecture! Lots of interesting construction and history of the times. No wonder Cuenca is a UNESCO treasure!

The building is a diamond in the rough...definitely in major need of restoration and repair.

We can only imagine how magnificent the building was in its day.

Old, original eucalyptus floors.

Original stone flooring, too.

The folks who live in the Bishop's House now were gracious and friendly as they showed us around and told us the stories.

Wonderful old of them circular.  This one leads from the front courtyard up to the chapel.

A new kitty friend, sunning herself.

Laundry day in the back courtyard.

More neighborhood shots.

Across the street.

Some of you here will recognize that the building is close to the 10 Aug market and the Astria cafe.

What a treat to be able to see and enjoy the insides of another important historic building in Cuenca.  Who would have thought that all this history and beauty are behind the modest doors that we have walked by so many times.  Always seems to be those little surprises behind those doors.

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