Hacienda Cusín 1990 / 2019
Hacienda Cusín 1990 / 2019
Much like the tapestries hanging in the Salón Simón Bolívar, the history of the hacienda is finely woven with threads of diverse epochs, cultures and personalities. Purchased at an auction from Philip III, King of Spain by the prominent Luna family in 1602 (around the same time that Cervantes wrote Don Quixote), the original sheep farm comprised of two valleys and all the land between them and the lake – some 100,000 acres/50,000 hectares.
In the early 19th century, when Alexander Von Humboldt made his Ecuador explorations and Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands, Hacienda Cusin, named after the mountain at the head of the valley, was the country home of a successful farming family. The often more than two-day horse-ride from Quito encouraged visiting family and friends to extend their visits. Cusin became an informal hotel, a home, just as it is today.
In 1990, the hacienda was bought by its present owner who set about the labour of love of restoring the buildings, landscaping the gardens, and filling it with the wonderful art and antique furnishings that today seem as though they were part of the grand Cusin master plan all along.
Hacienda Cusin was named after the mountain at the head of the valley. The mountain’s name is uncertain, although three possibilities are likely. First, that Cusin was the name of an indigenous chief who fought against the Incas in the early 16th century, just before the Spaniards’ arrival. Secondly, a type of white beetle, a cuzo, cut-zo in Quichua, a delicacy, that appears briefly in November. Thirdly, a family named Cusin, established in 1524, from Brazil and Alsace Lorraine, recently joined Hacienda Cusin’s Facebook page, suggesting that a Cusin married into the Hacienda Cusin family…
*Frederic Church, preeminent 19 th -century U.S. artist and member of Hudson River School, is inspired to visit Ecuador after reading Von Humboldt’s Voyage of the Cosmos. His paintings reflect the divinity of nature; prints can be seen in the Sala de Lectura.
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