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  • Architecture: The Franchi Alfaro House

    The Franchi Alfaro House, Havana . Cuba

    • Destination: Havana
    • Open: Daily
    • Address: Mercaderes, 315-317, Esq. Muralla, , Havana City. Cuba
    • Telephone:
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  • Description Architecture: The Franchi Alfaro House, Havana . Cuba

    The perimeter of Plaza Vieja, originally known as Nueva, was totally constituted in the 18th Century by a collection of houses of great homogeneity and excellence. All them were two-story houses, the first floor, with an arcades portal of later date to the original construction and the upper floor with a loggia with open arches, kind of family box to attend the activities developed at the square.

    The façade was complemented generally by a cover of Creole tiles and a small roof with wooden balustrade and to the interior, the central courtyard was located.

    This is one of the houses that match this concept with the peculiarity of presenting an elaborated frontage with Baroque garnish and a special double arch without central support in the way of the hallway to the courtyard galleries.

    The house was remodeled in the 19th Century. The carved and ornate wood ceilings were replaced by plain covers, the small roof was removed, the wooden rails were replaced by the iron ones and the terrace roof was extended.

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  • The Franchi Alfaro House is located in Havana
  • Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.

    The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.

    The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.

    Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.

    Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.