The humble design and construction of the Casa de la Independencia do not do justice to the historical significance this house commands in Paraguay.
Antonio Martínez Sáenz purchased the home in 1772, and used bamboo and palm wood to fortify the mud walls and thatched roof, a common building technique that’s still used in many rural parts of the region. At the time, the house had no other purpose than to provide a place for Sáenz and his wife, Petrona Caballero de Bazán, to bring up their children.
It was their children, Pedro Pablo and Sebastián Antonio, that placed this house at the center of a political process that would revolutionize the history of Paraguay. Having inherited the house, the two brothers began hosting secret meetings with various figures that contributed to the political upheaval in the country.
Many notable fighters and conspirators participated in the clandestine meetings at the Casa de la Independencia, including Captain Pedro Juan Caballero, Captain Juan Bautista Rivarola, Lieutenant Mariano Recalte, and Fulgencio Yegros, all renowned Paraguayan patriots. Their efforts would lead to the proclamation of the Paraguayan Republic in 1813 and the declaration of independence in 1842.
Nowadays, the building houses the Casa de la Independencia Museum. The furniture, artwork, weapons, and everyday tools on display are from the 1800s. Original documents related to the revolution and signed by patriots are kept in the office, one of the rooms in the museum. The building itself is one of the few remaining examples of colonial architecture in the city of Asunción.
Know Before You Go
The Casa de la Independencia is located at the intersection between streets 14 de Mayo and Presidente Franco. The museum is open Monday to Friday, and Saturday morning.