House of Count de la Torre de Cossio

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House of Count de la Torre de Cossio

The House of Count de la Torre de Cossio belonged to a rich Spanish merchant named Juan Manuel González de Cossio, which was built over the former residence of Juan Manuel Sotomayor. González de Cossio received his title from the Spanish crown in 1773. The mansion itself was built in 1781.

The façade has a symmetrical design with three floors, covered in tezontle (a reddish porous stone) and white stone and is considered a prototype of the palatial constructions to very soon follow. The entrance is flanked by columns and the lintel decorated with small stone heads. The second floor of the house has an ironwork balcony and four central doorways. At the end of the building, there is a frieze decorated with linked chains which frame small fleur-de-lis. Above this geometric figures top the cresting with pinnacles. The building still has it original gargoyles in the shape of cannons, which were put there as a reminder that the owner was a captain-general in the military. The square corner tower is patterned after conquistador-age buildings. Topping all of this is a tile-covered turret.

Only small remnants of the original interior remain as it has been greatly modified over the years. The house was the scene of a legend that has been refuted by descendant Luis González Obregón. According to this legend, Juan Manuel, one of the original owners of the mansion, suspected that his wife was cheating on him in spite of the fact that others insisted that this was not true. He consulted a wizard who advised him to kill the first person to pass by his house at 11 pm that night. Juan Manuel decided to heed this advice and before killing the unfortunate passer-by told him "You are indeed fortunate, for you know the hour of your death." Unsatisfied, Juan Manuel killed other passers-by in a similar manner until he suddenly repented and died mysteriously while performing the penitence ordered by his confessor.

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