With Bolivar as Host
WHOEVER LANDS IN CARACAS SHOULDN'T MISS OUT ON A VISIT TO EL LIBERTADOR'S BIRTH HOUSE. THOSE WHO DROP BY, ALWAYS RETURN
Just about 600 meters from the square and the equestrian statue that most tourists want to appreciate in the center of Caracas, lies the house where Simón Bolívar saw the light of day.
The gate of the property, located on the corner of San Jacinto and Traposos streets, gives way to the quiet environment in which Simoncito's wealthy family lived until 1792, when his mother, María de la Concepción, passed away. Juan Vicente, the father, had died six years earlier, so at the tender age of nine, the boy was completely orphaned and the Spanish-style house was acquired by Juan de la Madriz, a relative who later on sold it no less than President Antonio Guzmán Blanco.
Years passed by, and the house changed hands until the property was donated to the state by the Patriotic Society and a restoration program kicked off to eventually let the public in for visits in 1921.
More than original museum pieces, the main value of the house, built in 1680 and declared a National Monument in 2002, is that it shows the roots of a largerthan-life man. Apart from belonging to different families, classic furniture makes up the vivid scene in which a child used to play, in the peace of his home.
The History Hall is actually an art gallery depicting paintings by Arturo Michelena and Martín Tovar and Tovar, but above all, by Tito Salas, who recreated notable passages from El Libertador (The Liberator) and even included himself — who had been born 104 years after his homage as some kind of “time guest” on the canvas that immortalizes Bolivar's baptism.
The guides often stop by to show the family chapel, which includes the bank of the Cathedral in which the Bolivars listened to Mass, as well as an altarpiece of the church of San Francisco, where on October 14, 1813, the warrior, in the middle of his lauded station, received the title of Liberator.
Definitely, whoever arrives in Caracas should not miss out on such a visit. In fact, those who drop by once usually repeat the call. Bolivar himself said goodbye to the place in 1827 during his last stay in the city, but no one feels his absence.
Invited to dinner by the Madriz family, El Libertador was alone, dressed as a civilian. He was seated near his home bedroom, which excited him greatly. To honor the toast, he made a speech that ended in tears. Quietly, he walked around the house, said goodbye politely and traipsed fully excited down same cobblestone street we set foot on today. They say he never came back, but since 1921, thousands of tourists have returned asking about him.
Definitivamente, quien llegue a Caracas no debe perderse visita semejante. / Definitely, whoever arrives in Caracas should not miss out on such a visit.
La casa de Bolívar fue declarada Monumento Nacional en 2002. Bolivar’s birthplace was designated National Monument in 2002.