La Villa Roy
La Villa Roy, a mansion perched on a hillside just west of downtown Tegucigalpa, was donated to the public in 1974 by the wife of ex-president Julio Lozano Díaz. The gesture seems remarkably patriotic, considering her husband was deposed by a military coup in 1956. The La Villa Roy mansion now houses the Museo de Historia Republicana (tel. 504/222-1468, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$1 admission), which traces the development of the Honduran republic from its birth at the end of the Spanish colonial era in 1821 to the present.
Though the museum is not particularly gripping, the La Villa Roy mansion has been nicely restored, and people with at least a passing interest in Honduran history will find several displays to hold their attention, especially if they can read the Spanish labels.
The well-worn boots and trusty Eveready flashlight of great Honduran geographer and cultural historian Jesús Aguilar Paz, who created the first accurate map of Honduras in 1933 and compiled voluminous journals during his endless trips around the country on oral history, local legends, and observations on flora and fauna, are enshrined in a glass case.
The rooms upstairs dedicated to the early part of the 20th century, complete with many old photographs and paraphernalia, are quite informative, but the history of the Carías era and the second half of the 20th century are bland.
On your way out, take a look at the fleet of black presidential vehicles parked in the garage, including a couple of wicked-looking Cadillacs.
Just below the museum, on the way back into downtown and one block west, is the small, leafy Plaza La Concordia, featuring several impressive replicas of Mayan stelae (sculptures).
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition