“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”
Born in Spain, arrived to the New Spain when he was a teenager; when he was older he felt that his vocation was to go into mining so he went to Zacatecas, where he acquired his first fortune. He later became one of the richest miners in the country. Always aware of the expeditions of Gonzalo de Umbria —sailor of the caravels and by orders of Hernan Cortes in charge of the exploration of the region of the Western Sierra Madre and the state of Guerrero in search of valuable minerals; he benefited from the discovery of silver veins in the region of Taxco.
Don Jose de la Borda used his wealth in works which would exalt the region such as the Jardin Borda in Cuernavaca, frequently visited by Maximilian of Austria. He was also a protector of the extremely baroque church of Santa Prisca in Taxco. In fact it is said that it had an enormous balcony where Don Jose’s wife used to stroll when her husband was away for long lengths of time to visit the mines distant from the capital city.
It is also said that the fortune of this illustrious person reached the fabulous amount of fifty million “duros” (Spanish currency of that period) and that having squandered it without measure he had to almost give away his jewelry to pay his debts. Even so, Mexico remembers him as an honest and generous man.
What used to be the mansion with magnificent gardens of the son of the miner, Jose de la Borda, Manuel Borda, located in the city of Cuernavaca, currently is the Historic Museum Jardin Borda. Manuel Borda, who liked botany and horticulture, gathered here many species of plants in several gardens; he built two swimming pools, terraces at different levels, ramps, staircases, fountains and French style water games. When Jose Borda died, on the 30th of May, 1778, the place became a botanical garden at that time already with hundreds of varieties of fruit trees and ornamental plants. The works of Jardin Borda, including the interior lake, were finished in 1783. The neighboring church of Guadalupe was built in 1784.
The gardens made the place famous but the books and articles written by some of the visitors also contributed. In 1865 the emperors decided to make it their summer residence. They turned it into a kind of royal palace, where, surrounded by their court, they held reunions and concerts in which the gardens and the lake shone in their entire splendor. All along its history it has been visited by many distinguished important persons; such as Porfirio Diaz, Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, Francisco I. Madero, Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Leyva and Diego Rivera.
Nowadays the Jardin Borda is part of the Cultural Institute of Morelos; painting, sculpture, plastic arts and photography shows are held here, as well as dance, theatre and a great number of concerts.
Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.
Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com