Palacio Lercaro - La Laguna

Source: Willem Vandenameele

The Lercaro family represented the highest social elite of the Canary Islands in the 16th century. The palace was built from 1593 onwards . The palace was built on the site where the house of notary Gaspar Justiniano originally stood.

The building was a family home, but in more contemporary times it was used for other purposes: as a military inn, a university classroom, a primary school, a shoe shop, a carpentry workshop and a blacksmith's shop.

Since 1993, after a restoration process, it has been converted into a museum ; today it is the Museum of Anthropology and History of Tenerife.

The facade has a small projecting cornice, supported by small corbels with a decoration of rings in between and the Lercaro family coat of arms in the middle. From the ends of the cornice begins a divided pediment ending in two elegant scrolls, very typical of the architectural treatises of Serlio and Vignola. The sgraffito (a line drawing scratched in fresh mortar and colored according to the fresco technique) , characteristic of Genoese palaces , was discovered during the restoration of the building.

The door of the entrance hall depicts frescoes, applied in tempera on a very fine plaster that covers the stone and serves as a base, with very simple decorative motifs consisting of mock architectures on the lintels and garlands on the lintels.

Crossing the hall, you will see on the left the main staircase , built with the same stone used to build the portico and pilasters in the courtyard. It is supported by a vault and a semi-circular arch, crowned at the top with a suggestive Italian solution of double wooden arches.

Once through the main entrance you enter the central courtyard . Of the seven columns surrounding it, some are made of stone and others are made of wood. On the parapets of the corridor on the upper floor, wooden panels with plant motifs stand out. Equally striking are the decorative elements in the upper galleries of the central courtyard.

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Source: Willem Vandenameele

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