Casona Deza the mansion of the Deza family sits kin to Garden of Eden amid the busy buzzy city center just a block from the Plaza de Armas. The house wears years of History, from Spanish colonization to the growth of the Franciscan Catholic Church. It is a great illustration of Trujillo as it demonstrates Trujillian culture as of almost five hundred years ago.
The house was constructed during the early 1600’s as the Spanish colonized and founded the city of Trujillo in 1534. During the time it was owned by the The Cobrador de Impuestos de la Colonia Espanola Tax collector of the Spanish Colony.
During colonization, the Spaniards brought with them precious lumber from Europe which was used in construction of houses of city officials. The massive front doors which gaurd the interior from the outside noise of the street are 5 meters high and made of either Caobra o Cedro Mahogony or Cedar says the mesero. The entrance and corridors are adorned with puertas gates with balusters offering a view into the patio. In the front Salon, the ceiling is also made entirely of Mahogany.
An interesting aspect of this house specifically is the ceiling in the side room of the first salon. It is believed the material used was brought from the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna. Meaning this house exhibits elements which date back to 100 AD. The paseo de caballos or passageway for the horses sits along the right side of the patio. This hallway is supported by a ceiling made of fastened Cane stalks.
The walls along the interior are made of cement and are painted with wall paper like designs including both geometric and organic figures. Red outlined blocks are filled with flowers using only primary colors, red yellow and blue. This paint, says the mesero, is original and once adorned the entire interior.
The floor which lays the foundation of the house is corrugated with knobby stones laid in cement. These cantos rodados, or chunguitos, as they are called in Trujillo are stones which were collected from the river. It is a very common characteristic of these Spanish Colonial houses.
The house is broken into salons and patios, as were most houses constructed during the time. The entrance and first salon to the left is where visitors would meet with the Tax Collector who first owned the house. The front patio leads to the second salon. The entrance to the second patio is adorned with Pine columns and banisters. This is where more important meetings took place. Women met in the back area of the salon while the men met to discuss politics in the front area of the salon. In the back patio sits a pozo or well. the corridor to the left leads to where the slave quarters and the stables.
The chronological history of the house is a bit hazy, explained the mesero. Built as the house for the tax collector during 1600’s, Casona Deza has been passed through many hands over the past 400 years. After the Tax collector, the house is believed to have been owned by Senor Ganoza Chupetea. The house was then converted into a convent, and later into a monastery. Across the street sits the Iglesia San Francisco where the Archbishop himself founded a school which is still in use today. After serving as a home and a place of worship, the house was then bought by the Gobierno Regional and rented to a Bank, Banco Nuevo Mundo. This bank failed, and the house was put on the market. Eight years ago, the Deza family bought the house and converted it into the restaurant which now thrives as a great place to go for a good plate of food.