Los historiadores tienen dudas sobre el origen exacto del nombre de esta importante vía de La Habana intramuros. Según Manuel Pérez Beato, tomó esa denominación porque hacia 1641 habitaba en una residencia de esa calle, esquina a la que luego se llamaría Compostela, el prelado fray Jerónimo de Lara. Sin embargo, ya en el siglo xix, José María de la Torre había escrito que, en realidad, aludía al obispo Pedro Agustín Morell de Santa Cruz, quien residía en una casa de la calle de los Oficios, esquina a esta. El inmueble todavía existe en la actualidad y está ocupado en parte por el restaurante La Mina y otras instalaciones gastronómicas.
Por cierto, esta calle presenció el momento dramático, en noviembre de 1762, en que los ocupantes ingleses de la ciudad sacaron por la fuerza al anciano Morell en un sillón y así mismo lo depositaron en un barco surto en la bahía, para deportarlo a la Florida, de donde solo pudo regresar al año siguiente, cuando la ciudad fue devuelta al reino español.
Hacia esa calle daba el costado de la Parroquial Mayor, primer templo de la Ciudad, que miraba hacia la Plaza de Armas y ocupaba el sitio donde luego se levantó el Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. Y precisamente, empotrado en un muro frente a ese lateral está una reproducción del más antiguo monumento de la Isla: la lápida que recuerda a doña María de Cepero y Nieto, miembro de una de las familias principales de la villa, quien, mientras oraba en el templo, murió a causa de un disparo accidental de arcabuz en 1557 y fue sepultada en él. Cuando en 1777 se derribó la ya ruinosa edificación y se trasladaron sus funciones a la iglesia que habían dejado inconclusa los jesuitas en Empedrado y San Ignacio, el monumento se trasladó a la fachada de la casa solariega de los Cepero en Obispo, próxima a Oficios, donde hoy la reemplaza una copia, pues la lápida original se atesora en el Museo de la Ciudad. Ω
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