The Montañés Mansion

Montanes Mansion

It is documented that this historic Tenerife mansion was built in 1747 by a former Sergeant Major of Cavalry, D. Francisco Gabriel Montañés del Castillo and Machado, for the very respectable amount of 8,000 ounces of Castilian silver, the mythical pieces of eight, equal to 64.000 reales or about 198 kg of pure silver.

Its location in the formerly called Real (Royal) Street in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, now 16 St. Augustine Street, was in an aristocratic neighborhood.

This historic Tenerife mansion is one of the finest examples of the architecture of the XVIII century on the island of Tenerife.

At present the Canary Advisory Council uses it for their headquarters since a full and very successful restoration took place once the autonomous community of the Canary Islands acquired the property in 1985, rescuing it from its former state of neglect.

One is struck by the simplicity and beauty of the façade, with the elegant symmetry of sash windows, their socket and lists of basalt, and of the baroque stone frame door, also of basalt, containing the family coat of arms in white marble. Under this arch is a sober porch of the so called Chasna slab and from there to a rich and heavy interior door giving access to one of the most sublime of all urban courtyards in civil architecture in Tenerife.

The courtyard is preserved as in former times, as a semi-public place in the house. It was intended not only to air the mansion and provide access to the various rooms, but filled with various plants and especially ferns, also served as a place to first receive one’s guests whilst demonstrating family power.

This first and main courtyard gives access through a beautiful staircase, decorated with wall paintings of the nineteenth century, to the main offices of the second floor, which currently retain much of the original furniture of the mansion.

Within the bizarre elements of this Tenerife mansion, however, we should point out the existence at the right hand side of the courtyard of a second wooden service staircase, to enter a room which otherwise would remain disconnected to the rest of the building.

Yet this historic mansion of Tenerife, full of history and caches, has many other items of interest, among which we include the existence of a second courtyard, not accessible to the public, but that from studying the observable photos in the website of the institution that houses this mansion, seems to stand out for its strong woodwork.