Schell 343 - Of. 607
Miraflores - Lima 18
Tel: +51 1 702-2000
TOLL FREE numbers:
PALACE of THE ADMIRAL
Address: 153 Cuesta del Almirante St. (at the corner with Ataud street)
Admission Time: Mon- Fri from 8:00 to 17:00; Sat and holidays from
9:00 to 17:00
The Palace of The Admiral is a an ancient large house that is currently
the base of the Inca Museum of the Universidad Nacional San Antonio
de Abad (Public University). It shows an important archaeological
collection that includes pieces of pottery, gold or silver work, textile
and mummies. It was built by Don Francisco Maldonado Anaya y Altamirano,
and then it belonged to Don Francisco Alderete y Maldonado until 1821.
According to the tradition, they established the "yachayhuasi" or
schools where they taught people in the Amarucata (in Quechua "slope
of the snake") inside the Inca town of Pumacurco. Thus there are so
many relieves in snake shape that explain the popular denomination
of this house and the lateral narrow pass of "Siete culebras".
One of the old houses that best kept the palace style of the aristocracy
emerged with the conquest was the "Casa del Almirante" (The House
of the Admiral). A real masterpiece of the civil architecture of Cusco.
Its name comes from one of the best-known owners: the Admiral Francisco
Alderete Maldonado who occupied this house until he died in 1643.
Later on, it was the Archiepiscopal Palace, ephemeral palace of the last viceroy of Peru and the Government House of the Marshall Santa Cruz at the time of the Confederation of Peru and Bolivia. In the XX century, it was bought by the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad (Public University) and finally used as the base of the Inca Museum.
Divisions of the facade
As well as other houses of the XVI century, it has the original Inca wall externally on a corner. The Renacentist facade, on a corner, is one of the best of the city. At both sides of the entrance there are big flowers in Plateresque style and Corinthian columns of fluted shaft. Above the door, there are two stone coats of arms with the nobiliary arms of Alderete y Maldonado. A protected round jacket hurtling a sword preserves the coat of arms and affirms the military condition of its former inhabitant.
The second floor of the Palace
On the second floor, an arched window also made of stone seems to be inspired on the Extremenian large houses of the conquest period. The bifront figure that is like the column on the corner is a decorative detail of mannerism origin probably taken from some European agreement. Another window, with the shape of three lobules, decorates the facade of the house and has the same details of large flowers and quadrifoliates appearing in the porticos.
Only passing the entrance hall, situated opposite the facade, we can discover the unique patio. It outstands for the classical purity of its design, similar to the cloister of San Francisco in some details. Different to other large houses of Cusco, the arches are on the four angles. The main decoration of the patio is some medallions in relief with characters of the classic ancient times over the spandrels of the arches.
The main stair
It is also made of stone and there are sculptural figures of a lion preserving its rest. This same figure is also seen on a mural painting found in that place recently. The box of the stair as well as some upstairs rooms keep important wood coffered ceilings. The most important in an artistic category are in the old main room and it is composed of octagonal multicolour coffers inspired in the designs of the Serlio agreement. Its owner, Diego del Barrio y Mendoza, restored many of them in the second half of the XVIII century.
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