Robaina's plantation

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales (Havana)

                  The building, located on the eastern side of the Plaza de Armas, is the former residence of the Governor's of Havana. It now houses the 'Museum of the City of Havana'. It was designed by architect & engineer Antonio Fernandez de Trebejos and Zaldivar, along with the Havana architect Pedro Medina. The construction of the building began in 1776 on the site where a heavily damaged Parroquial Mayor church was to be demolished, it was complete in 1792. Most of the construction material such as; brick, marble and wrought-iron was imported from; Malaga, Genoa & Bilboa, to ensure good quality. The building originally housed the governor's residence, a prison (closed in 1834), as well as being used as the meeting place for the city council. The last of the Colonial governors left the palace in 1898, after Cuban Independence. US military governors used the building between 1899 to 1902 and was the presidential palace of the Cuban Republic from 1902 until 1920. In 1968, after once again becoming the offices of the city council for some time, the palace became the City Museum.
              This thick walled, square building that has been built in the Cuban Baroque style has not been changed much since it's construction. The front of the building has an arcade with arches and local limestone has been used for the facade which you can see from all the fossils embedded into the stone. The small windows are all fronted by balconies on the facade as well as on the floor above with the much larger windows. But the most beautiful feature in my opinion is the huge open courtyard, commonplace for houses of this period. The rooms are filled with many interesting artifacts, there's even a 19th-century fire engine manufactured in London on display on the ground floor right next to several carriages of the period. The top floor contains the rooms of the governor's residence which have been preserved with much of the original furniture and decoration. Also upstairs, the Hall of Heroic Cuba which contains many objects and paintings from the different wars of independence as well as many of the flags important at that time. The building is also home to the 'Office of the City Historian' which is headed by Eusebio Leal and is responsible for the renovation work in Old Havana. The statue in the middle of the courtyard is that of Cristóbal Colón and was added in 1862, it was brought from Italy.
            There is much more to this building than meets the eye. I read that there are 40 different rooms containing memories of an extinct era and I have to say if there weren't 40, it was pretty close, it's certainly a long list. In my opinion the largest and most complete of all the city's museums. This spot is definitely worth a visit but go when you have some time to spare because there's way too much to see....the Photos don't do the place justice. Admission is just a couple of dollars.

Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales
Calle Tacon No. 1 e / Obispo and O 'Reilly
Habana Vieja

Tuesday - Sunday 9:00am - 5:30pm

Hall of mirrors

Polychrome wood sculpture 'Senor de la Humanida' 18th century

Cuban Hero's Room

1st Hall of Statues

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