A very special corner of the city of Santiago is the Casa de la Troya, a former student boarding house from the late 19th century, now converted into a romantic museum. The architecture and decoration of this historic guesthouse allow the visitor to relive the experience of university life in Santiago in former times. These were the times that Alejandro Pérez Lugín portrayed in his novel “La Casa de la Troya” seen through the eyes of Gerardo Roquer and his fellow students.
The pension-museum is housed in a historic building of the eighteenth century, which functioned as a student’s pension in the times immortalized by the novel by Pérez Lugín, between 1886 and 1906, when its owner was Generosa Carollo. Later it was run by several families until the sixties, by which time it had become so dilapidated that a collection was set up in order to raise funds to restore it. When this was achieved its function changed to being that of a museum, and one that is much loved by compostelanos and students, as well as by visitors from all over the world who, despite the chronological distance, relive in it their own student days.
Acquired by the Council of Santiago and converted into a museum thanks to the patronage of Benigno Amor Rodríguez, it is currently part of the network of museums in Galicia and is open to the public for several months a year (between May and September).
The interior of the house-museum is decorated with furniture and accessories dating from the late nineteenth century. Next to the rooms of the pension, the old basement plays a central role, currently dedicated to the university ‘tunas’ or singing groups and, in particular, to the Compostela Tuna. The visitor can travel through the history of these student musical groups – given great prominence in Lugín’s novel – through a collection of musical instruments, scholarship certificates, capes, trophies and photographs.
Next to the space dedicated to the tunas, we would draw your attention to the historical library in which copies of different editions of the novel «La Casa de la Troya» and publications by authors related to Pérez Lugín and his novel or the compostelana theme are preserved. , from Valle-Inclán to Camilo Bargiela, Manuel Casás or Enrique Labarta.
To grasp the importance and popularity of the novel “La Casa de la Troya”, it is sufficient to remember that there have been five screened versions. The first version dates from 1924, but the most popular one was filmed in 1959, which was directed by Rafael Gil with Arturo Fernández playing the leading role.