The beginning of the construction of this house goes back to the first years in which the city of San Juan de la Frontera of the Chachapoyas was established in its current location in the mid-sixteenth century. Over the years this house will receive modifications and reforms according to the influences of different times. Since the 18th century it belonged to the Monteza family, being Don Julián Monteza, a Chachapoyan character from the Plaza Mayor, who stood out participating in the Independence of the City during the glorious Battle of Higos Urco and in initiating the devotion to the Assunta Virgin, Patroness from this city.
The name of Don Julián Monteza comes up in the Official Part of the Battle of Higos Urco, written by Colonel Juan Valdivieso and addressed to the Marquis of Torre Tagle, dated in independent Chachapoyas, on June 13, 1821, then transcribed the Paragraph that mentions you:
"Neither are the important services of the gentlemen who during our absence guarded the city unattended, such as: the Captain of the Militias Don Manuel Matos, the same class Don Julián Monteza and the retired Lieutenant Don Tomás Cacho, who also provided several tools of war".
The permanence of the Assunta Virgin in this house
The children of the Fidelísima city of San Juan de la Frontera of the Chachapoyas, after having overcome the ravages suffered in favor of Independence, resumed trade with other cities in northern Peru and with neighboring countries such as Ecuador. For which they had to travel extensive roads, taking long periods of time; it is so that Don Julián Monteza, after staying in the city of Quito (Ecuador), decides to return to his beloved city, where the faithful wife and his beloved children awaited him. The return was made in the year 1842, and before doing so, moved by his faith and devotion decides to acquire two beautiful images of a workshop of the renowned Quito School, these images were those of Jesus Nazareno, who is still presiding over the busy procession of Palm Sunday and of the Virgin Mary, under the invocation of Our Lady of the Assumption.
As soon as Mrs. Mariquita Méndez Becerril de Monteza, knew of the return of her husband, bringing these two images. After the permission and consent of Monsignor José María Arriaga, first Bishop of the Diocese of Chachapoyas, he organized with his family, friends and neighbors the well-deserved reception. The arrival and entry of the sacred images to the City, was made by the then barracks (then neighborhood) of Santo Domingo. In the middle of typical dances, dances of pallas and religious songs, full of joy and color. The images were taken to this house, which is currently located in the Jirón Ayacucho No. 952, Plaza Mayor of Chachapoyas. Being affectionately placed for veneration in the family oratory.
The days, weeks, months and years passed and the devotion to the image of Mary under the invocation of her Assumption, which was venerated in the oratory of this house, was earning the love and devotion of the Chachapoyanos. In 1849 Monsignor José María Arriaga died, and the Chachapoyan priest, Monsignor Pedro Ruiz Zumaeta, assumed office as first Apostolic Administrator and later as Bishop, and was recommended in 1853 by S.S. Pope Pius IX, fruitfully bearing this part of the flock of Christ until his death on November 20, 1862.
I presume that between 1850 and 1860, Monseñor Ruiz visits Mr. Monteza, to arrange the transfer of the two images to one of the temples of the city, since the devotion among the citizens had already grown. Such an order from the highest ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese deeply distressed him and he hesitated to accept it.
The same night of the day of this visit, the Virgin in a revealing dream appeared to Don Julian, in his room in this house, asking him to build a chapel in the neighborhood of Luya Urco, to be worshiped there. Immediately as soon as it was morning, Don Julián went to the Bishop and after narrating what happened, he requested authorization to look for the land and build the chapel, which he agreed to. Due to the investigation carried out by Mr. Manuel Saavedra Luján, we know that the land where the original temple was built, today the Shrine to which we went every year, was acquired and donated by Mrs. Josefa Llanos who bought the property from Mrs. Juana Candamo in 30 pesos dated August 4, 1864, as recorded in the documents that belonged to the Public Notary Public of Mr. Roberto Trigoso Santillán.
It tells the oral history that at the beginning of the works of the primitive chapel by the faithful people, a miraculous bell left to hear happy peals in the foothills of the hill of Luya Urco, said little bell was never found and this fact was attributed to the grace of God for half of his Mother. 1781/5000 Already in the topographic map of the city of Chachapoyas, erected by Don Antonio Raimondi in 1865, the Marian shrine appears in the barracks (neighborhood) of Luya Urco with the name of "Capilla de la Asunta". "La Asunta" was the name of closeness and trust with which the Chachapoyanos called the Virgin, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as evidenced in several documents of said times.
Casa Monteza is now an integral part of the Monumental Urban Environment of the city of Chachapoyas, it is a National Cultural Heritage for its history, closely linked to local history, and for preserving the architectural pattern of the city.
The house was built with stone foundations, adobe walls, presents pillars both on the first and second floor, wooden doors and windows, and gabled roof covered with tiles, with structure in pair, row and knuckle. Although the beginnings of the house is from the mid-sixteenth century, its characteristics are of republican influence of the nineteenth century. On the façade, which can be seen from the Plaza Mayor, there is a gate and a balcony with a wooden sill, a work respected by Enrique Chávez Puerta and Victoriano Chávez Cruz. The House is two floors or floors whose main patio is accessed by a hallway, in the courtyard you can see a gallery with two floors, the second floor is accessed by a wooden stand, all railings on the second floor are balustrade of sill. On the first floor there is what was the main room and on the second floor rooms and what was the family oratory.
The house was restored and intervened at the beginning of the 21st century by its current owner under the direction of architect Arturo Díaz Jáuregui.