The majestic ex-hacienda El Lencero is located a 15 minute drive from the city of Xalapa. It is a building constructed in the XVI century, surrounded by lush gardens. It has been witness to Mexico’s history for over five centuries; its colonial architecture and decor stand out because of the excellent condition in which they are kept. The mansion’s first owner was a soldier serving under Hernan Cortez, who turned it into an inn where travelers coming from the Port of Veracruz could rest. During the XVII century it became a sugar mill and in 1842 it was purchased by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who, two years later, married in its chapel. During the course of 14 years, El Lencero was owned by Santa Ana, who was President of the Republic 11 times.
In 1856, the Mexican government seized all of Santa Anna’s assets and El Lencero was again put up for sale. For many years it suffered losses, looting and destruction, especially during the war of Independence in 1910. In 1935, when a man purchased part of the property and restored it, the old hacienda finally recovered its splendor. During the XX century, el Lencero became the home of the famous Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, who lived there during one of her exiles. In fact, the author dedicated a nostalgic farewell poem to it, which can be read on a plate kept in the garden. Today, the ex-hacienda has been turned into a museum and has become a compulsory destination for visitors who are interested in Mexican history.
The museum houses a large collection of furniture and utensils typical of the time. In the background, in the courtyard, a huge fig tree stands among trees, shrubs and flowers. In front, a driveway lined with lush laurel trees, welcomes the visitors; here the visitor will find a chapel, a parish church and a small lake.