• Linda

Dos Museos y Cinco Cabezas de Cerdo (Two Museums & Five Pig Heads)

Cuenca is a UNESCO world heritage site. Some call it the Athens of Ecuador because there are museums dedicated to almost every era from pre-history to modern day. Two we visited on the same day. In the morning we toured Casa Museo Remigio Crespo Toral, which was once the home of poet, diplomat and Cuenca native, Remigio Crespo Toral. It houses his collection of ancient artifacts and Colonial religious art, as well as furniture and decorative pieces. Like many of the museums here, no photography by visitors is allowed. But I grabbed some from the internet.

Cafe del Museo, one of our favortite restarants, is attached to this museum. This was our first visit to the museo but our third to the Cafe because it's on a lovely terrace overlooking the Rio Tomembamba. After a light lunch we walked along the river to one of the many sets of steps that go up up and up from the river to El Centro. Usually around 85 steps with several landings. These staircases are often decorated with tiles or paintings. These two paintings were on facing walls at the top of the set we took.

After this climb we found ourselves near the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art). We'd read that sometimes it wasn't open when it was supposed to be, but this day it was so we took advantage. It has served as a school, a jail and rehabilitation center for alcoholics. Today, it is home to an eclectic collection of paintings, drawings, videos, and sculpture. Some beautiful and some too far out for our brains. Some just funny, like these beautifully carved heads of pigs.

Whole roasted pigs are on offer at many local restaurants and the mercados, so it's not that surprising that someone would carve these heads.

There's a passage that led to a grassy area behind the museo. The outside walls of the building are covered in art by differnt artists.

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