Junco Palace Museum

The history of museums in Matanzas covers longer attempts to create at least one, that properly his years of existence. Provincial Museum Palacio de Junco. Built in 1838.Belonged to one of the richest owners in Matanzas: Don Vicente del Junco and Sardinas, who owns large tracts of land, sugar plantations and black slaves.


Exterior view of the Junco Palace current Historical Museum of Matanzas


In 1970, the dilapidated state it was in the property passes to the revolutionary government. The Heritage Office undertook its reconstruction and in 1980 opened its doors as a museum for the entire population. Is part of the nineteenth century buildings found around the Plaza de la Vigia, Local Monument on December 31, 1981.



During the twentieth century were many campaigns to ask the government and local funds to build a museum, primarily from the 40's, which increased applications. Finally, the fight seemed to end in 1952, Uriah the mayor accepted the budget allocation necessary to build a museum, but a coup in the country and a change in government Matanzas, managed to defeat the purpose. Then, the director of the Institute of Secondary Education in 1954, Ricardo Luis Guerrero Valdés a local headquarters in the center, which named Matanzas Historical Museum "Francisco Ximeno." 

After the triumph of the Revolution, the Government decided to create the museum as dreamed by the Matanzas. On September 6, 1959 was founded the Historical Museum, located in the basement of Theatre Sauto with Ayllón Street entrance, which was then taken to a local street corner No. 21 Middle Matanzas. Since 1973, changes to the underside of the Government Palace, and finally, the December 13, 1980 is located in the Palacio de Junco, where it has remained until today. 
Although the first quarter of this year would be marked by ever more pressing matters, popular frenzy before the victory, administrative changes, the application of justice to the criminals of Batista, emergency legislative analysis, it is amazing to see how the new authorities found time for at least nine months, fulfilling a dream by which the people had struggled unsuccessfully Matanzas, especially during the past six decades, the establishment of a historical museum in the city. 
Israel Moliner Rendón, who since 1939 had cried continuously for Matanzas had a museum institution to pick up his story, soon managed to spread their enthusiasm to brand leadership. In late May moved to Havana to meet with Dr. Vicentina Antunes, then Director of Culture, Ministry of Education, to claim parts of capital which for obvious reasons are kept at the National Museum. 

On September 6, 1959, at 10:00 am, the institution opened the museum occupying part of Sauto Theatre. Would lie in the same building also the library "Henry Hart Dávalos (specializing in Matanzas history) and the Office of the Historian of the City. 

The museum, located on the right wing of the ground floor, occupied two rooms. One exhibited works of art and the other room called Miguel A. Blessed Forn, gathered historical artifacts related to multiple issues, such as Freemasons, religion, martyrs of the pre-revolutionary period, notable personalities such as Carlos de la Torre, among others. An important part exposed was the first volume of the records chapter of Matanzas. 

The public had access to the exhibition during the three main days of the day: morning, from 9:00 to 11:00 am, in the afternoon, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, at night, from 7: 30 to 10:00 pm 
In exactly one month of its opening, had marched in those rooms about 9 thousand people. About 30 percent of visitors were children. Museum pieces funds continued to grow with the support of the population. In the last quarter of 1959 were 150 objects, provided by 33 donors. 

In May 1960, exactly a year after starting the collection process, the total to 1245. On the same date the first issue of the journal Museum, directed by Miller. 
In its five years, the publication would make a remarkable work of cultural dissemination, with special emphasis on historical and heritage issues, without unlinking the transforming reality of affairs that featured the Revolution. 
First publications: Between 1959 and 1964, the institution also sponsor the publication of several brochures, members of a collection entitled "Issues of History Matancera, which included various aspects of local work. For this effort editorial saw the light of the following titles: 

"Matanzas, the Cuban city of nicknames," by Francisco J. Ponte Domínguez. 
"A humble worker of science of Jimeno and Francisco Fuentes, Ricardo Pérez Vázquez. 
"Historical notes of Matanzas" by José Mauricio Quintero. 
"The White Aura" Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda (2 editions). 
"The press in Matanzas, Israel Moliner 
"Historia del Palmar de Junco, Israel Moliner 
Sauter, history of the theater "(2 editions), Israel Moliner 
"History of the Chapel of Israel Molinerserrate Monde" by Israel Moliner 
Legend of Yumurí "of Israel Moliner. 

New possibility 
The steady increase in funding was a serious problem of conservation in a space so small as were the two rooms occupied by the museum exhibition in the Theatre Sauto. 
The case concerned the authorities early on and took certain steps. One possibility was opened in 1963 to move the Library "Gener and Del Monte" to the site of the former Casino Spanish, because then he was free the Middle Street building, corner of Matanzas, solid frame construction site, large cultural and historic.

There he was taken to the museum in September. This change allowed space to increase the number of its divisions to five, including a de Armas, a Colonial and a Epigraphy. The wealth of parts have enabled a large group of exponents who had relationship with prominent cultural and regional political, as Jose Jacinto Milanes, Carlos de la Torre y Huerta, Miguel A. Blessed Forn, José Antonio Cortina, José Martí, Eliseo Giberga, Guiteras family. 
Exhibited other fans, coins, sticks and objects belonging to the martyrs who fell during the Batista dictatorship or in combat at Playa Giron. 

Since 1968 the museum closed its doors and did not open until January 1, 1973 when he was reinstated again, now at the corner of Contreras and Town Hall in the left wing of the historic building of the Palace of Government. 
On this occasion, their collections were distributed in 8 rooms and exhibition offered visitors a strong historical background that initiated in 1693 with the facts relating to the founding of the city and concluded in April 1961 with the defeat inflicted on the invading mercenaries Zapata Peninsula. 

Five years later the institution was closed again. This time the administrative action was due to practical reasons. From a while back had been working on the restoration of the Junco family mansion, built in the first half of the nineteenth century, the Plaza de la Vigia. The government's idea was to install the museum in that building. 
The construction work was completed in 1979 and then moved the pieces to their next venue. Then began the process leading museum, designed by the National Cultural Heritage. Parts that are concentrated in the Palacio de Junco not go much beyond a hundred. 
It was then necessary to start a campaign in town to cover a projected exhibition in a building of three floors and in order to cover the whole historical process of the province from the primitive stage, culminating in 1974 with the founding of the bodies People's Power. 
On December 14, 1980 were opened to the public the first two floors, on 28 January 1981, the third. The small museum founded in 1959 was transformed into a great institution of provincial and Methodological Centre functions. Had 15 permanent showrooms and temporary. 

His expertise was made up of 4 Conservative, 4 museum curators and a director. Was divided into three departments: Conservation, Entertainment, Cultural and Research. 
In the early eighties, the school became in fact the core of the cultural life of the city, ahead of other contemporary institutions in creative initiatives and total mobilization. 
It was the stage that supported the project of "cultural Saturdays, unifying phenomenon of artisans and artists, led and organized the celebration of" Day of Matanzas absent "and created" The lyrical corner "Saturday's musical space which has trained local interpreters national and international of great merit. 

It established itself, the newspaper tributes to institutions and individuals in the community and children's clubs dedicated to public-aged child, who is also scheduled for the annual festival "I know how to read, write and calculate." 
In 1987 he established the "Gathering of Carilda" directed by the author to the south of my throat. This is a quarterly meeting with poets, writers, Loynaz, Miguel Barnet, Roberto Fernández Retamar, Rosita Fornes, Esther Borja, Jesús Orta Ruíz and numerous Latin American writers members of Casa de las Americas award, as the poet Idea Vilariño, among others. 

A recent successful initiatives is the rock "Invitation between Bridges", led by journalist and cultural promoter Fernando Rodriguez Sosa. The Department of Research, founded in 1981 by Professor and Historian Raul Ruiz Rodríguez (1941-2004), has done work that could be among the most serious contributions have made this Center is the country's culture. 
In his 28 years of existence has played in the history of the most significant collections and its members have published books contentivo thirty case studies of historical processes, personalities or institutions Matanzas, for which its authors have received major awards: "First January "," Uneac "," July "," Pinos Nuevos "," Critics Award "and others. 

Between 1990 and 1992 participated in a valuable project: the development of the municipality's history and Matanzas.Además province, by the research results, the Provincial Museum deserved awards at the National Meeting of Researchers of Cultural Heritage for a1981, 1983 and 1986. 
Also, on several occasions obtained Annual Research Award of the Ministry of Culture and the 1999 National Prize of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. 

Attached to this department on October 16, 1986 created the Information Center, specializing in History of Matanzas. In 1990, the inventory section was separated from research, becoming an autonomous department. 
It was the first of its kind set up in a museum in the country. For a decade, its basic objectives have been to seek, receive and research museum pieces, the development of scientific records, the study and management of collections, as well as the development of the whole system of general documentation, including foreign loans. In recent years has given priority to the computerization of the inventory of all museum institutions in the province. 

The Museum "Palacio de Junco" has sponsored numerous scientific events, among them: First National Meeting on Cuban History Museum in 1990, "150 Anniversary of the Conspiracy of the Ladder" in 1994, Conference on the centennial of "My flag "of Bonifacio Byrne, in 1999. 

Between 1996 and 2000 biennial frequently organized the International Workshop "Museology and society." Convened since 1984, a contest in its early history which was named "Pedro Antonio Alfonso" and from 2005 became known as "Raul Ruiz Rodriguez." This event aims to encourage research on regional issues. 
In 1988 he made an effort to revive the journal Museum in its second season, but for the affectations of the "special period" only managed to bring out the first number. 

Methodological Features 
As Methodological Centre has played countless and fruitful functions. Between 1981 and 1982 ran the installation of municipal museums Limonar, Perico and Calimete. 
From then until 2008, he collaborated on the reinstallation of the museum pieces of the province institutions that have requested, and to offer them, periodically, advice and help in other aspects of museology, including special trainings. 
Receives and transmits the guidelines of the National Center and inspects the subsequent compliance with them. Has systematized the process of implementation of monthly samples and temporary exhibitions through annual plans and workshops for critical analysis. 

Which is a valuable experience that will serve as models for other provinces. Offered their specialists as teachers for the School of Museology that Matanzas was founded in 1984 and 1986. Maintains a system of postgraduate courses and to overcome the technical staff. 
The Provincial Museum Palacio de Junco reaches its fiftieth anniversary, having maintained the trust of the population as a custodian and safeguarding regional heritage. 
This solid reputation earned over five decades by a deep work in the collection, preservation and research of cultural property, it has become apparent also in the recognition of the Communist Party of Cuba, the Government, the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba and other organizations the territory. What is coming is another story that will unfold with the same professionalism and passion shown in this half century. 

Despite the growing economic difficulties in recent decades, the professional prestige of the institution did not decline. To a large extent this is due to community work efficiently deployed since 1959, intensified since 1980, and has reversed in the rescue work of local heritage in the research results of outstanding significance and the sustained commitment of the activities cultural activities through multi-professional, preferably with students and workers. 
The task has been arduous and intense for half a century but has had his moral reward.In the end, the company recognized Matanzas Provincial Museum Palace Junco role of historical memory, the duty of safeguarding assets and the ability to meet the spiritual demands of a diverse human cluster ages, tastes, interests and concerns. 

Walking through the exhibition rooms will hold a meeting with more than 10 thousand years of development in Cuba, the birthplace of literary and artists, patriots and scientists, educators and athletes, men and women who have stamped their mark on Cuban events and international, has 17 exhibition halls in an intimate setting will allow you to appreciate. This museum is truly outstanding pieces in Cuba as the only body embalmed, the only outstanding seal teeth made by the aborigines found in the country and the only white aura the island also found in other parts of the infinite number of historical value conform to the Provincial Museum "Palacio de Junco", the first created by the Cuban Revolution 

A set of Cuban archaeological pieces: burials, pottery, work tools and ritual objects.

The historical development of the city of Matanzas, known as the Athens of Cuba.

The nineteenth-century economic development with special emphasis on the sugar industry and slavery.

Testimonies of the political and social struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Furniture and works of art that reveal the lifestyle and taste of an era and social class. 

Exclusive features of the museum:

Aboriginal collar seal teeth. 

Jimmy was discovered that Bellamar Caves. 


The oldest piece of Matanzas lapidary. 

Two sculptures typical of North American stores sell snuff 

A trap instrument for the torture of slaves. 

The remains of a runaway black 

The machete Major General Pedro Betancourt and Juan Gualberto Gómez gun. 


An eighteenth-century chest. 


A collection of clocks nineteenth and twentieth century. 


The only specimen of white aura that gave rise to the legend of the poet Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda. 


The notebooks of the great Cuban malacologist Don Carlos de la Torre. 


Chair, cane and other belongings of the National Poet Bonifacio Byrne. 


The best sculpture of the Spanish king Fernando VII. 


The table on which was signed on transfer of sovereignty to the American Spanish in Matanzas. 


Belongings of the assailants at the barracks located in the room Goicuría extension. 


The only Cuban mummy on display in a museum. 

Besides the permanent exhibition, visitors can appreciate other transitional and a monthly sample of their collections. Participate in conferences, postgraduate courses, coordination homages, attending youth clubs, folk shows and the monthly program "Between bridges." And the rare opportunity: The gathering of Carilda Oliver Labra, one of the great poetic voices of Latin America.

Museo-Palacio-de-JuncoJunco Palace Museum today