Casa de los Muñecos and its baroque construction

This old house dates from the 18th century and was built by the alderman and mayor Agustín de Ovando y Villavicencio, although he never lived in this house.

Nota: Esta nota tiene una versión en español

The Casa de los Muñecos is a clear example of baroque architecture in the city of Puebla, in the facade you can appreciate the use of talavera, brick, tiles of different colors and mortar; the house is located at 2 Norte Street #2.

This house dates from the eighteenth century and was built by the alderman and Mayor Agustín de Ovando y Villavicencio, although he never lived in this house.

Since 1983 it is part of the heritage of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) but with the earthquake of 1999, the house suffered several damages so it was closed until 2006, when it was inaugurated as the University Museum of the BUAP.

The Dolls

It receives the name of the "Casa de los Muñecos" because of the 16 grotesque human figures made in talavera that appear on the facade.

"Los Muñecos" represent, according to one version, the councilmen who opposed the construction of this house, because the owner wanted it to be higher than the government's council houses.

In the book Las calles de Puebla, Hugo Leicht relates an anecdote on this subject:

"The owner built his house higher than the Municipal Palace without the permission and against the will of the Cabildo; the figures mock the aldermen in their Palace across the street, although it is worth noting that this was not the only case in the city of Puebla."

The provenance of the dolls is also in doubt, so there is a triple hypothesis:

  1. The dolls were made in the Orient.
  2. The dolls were made in Puebla from oriental models.
  3. The dolls were made in Puebla from oriental models.
  4. The dolls were made in Puebla from oriental models.
  5. The dolls were made in Puebla by oriental loceros.
  6. The dolls were made in Puebla by oriental loceros.

On the main door is the shield of the Ovando y Villavicencio family; the perimeter of the frame is decorated with vegetal elements, acanthus leaves, grapes and pomegranates; Greco-Latin elements can be seen on the chests of the atlantes.

An iron balustrade tops the building with eight pinnacles in the form of flower pots.

Translation by: Karla Giselle Bonales Ramírez

 

 

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POB/LFJ