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National Capitol Building Architecture, Havana . Cuba

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  • Prado y Neptuno, Havana City. Cuba
  • Destination: Havana
  • Open: Daily
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In 1929 the lot, where the first railroad station in Havana had been built was occupied by the National Capitol, seat of the House of Representatives and of the Senate of the Republic. The initial project, designed by Rayneri was altered by Cavarrocas, Romañach, Govantes and others. It was built by the American company Purdy & Henderson. The famous French city planner Forrestier was involved in the design of the gardens.
It opened up on May, 20 to commemorate an anniversary of the republic.

From the stairs on we see the imposing porch columns and behind them we find the main gates, fashioned in bronze with bas-relief depicting important scenes of national history.

National CapitolOn both sides of the uppermost part of the stairs there are two bronze statues, symbols of two guiding virtues: people and work. These statues are the work of the Italian sculptor Angelo Zanelli.
The facade is mainly of classic style while the interior of the building is characterized by eclectic opulence. Different kinds of marble were used on its floors.

An outstanding feature is its 90 meters high dome, visible from the farthest reaches of the city.

Under the dome there is a bronze statue portraying the Republic. The majestic sculpture made of 22 k. gold-plated bronze, by the same Italian sculptor, is about 17 meters high including the base fashioned in ancient Egyptian marble-onyx. Only the Golden Buda of Nava in Japan and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington surpass our colossal statue in height.

National CapitolThe Salon de los Pasos Perdidos is another attraction of this place. This space, conceived for official ceremonies, is 15 meters wide and 48 meters long.

On the exact center of the building, under the dome, a diamond marking the kilometer 0 of Cuban highways was set.

At present here have their seats, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the Institute for Scientific and Technological Information.

Mapa de National Capitol Building

National Capitol Building 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.

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Review about Architecture: National Capitol Building
Very good Monica

Impossible to miss it
El capitolio nacional located in the heart of the centre of Havana is the most important building of Paseo de Marti which is the road that leads from the Capitolio itself to the Castill de la Punta. It has been built in 1929 during the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado and at a first sight it may appear similar to the one in Washington. Its dome shaped roof is 30 meters high and you really can notice it from almost everywhere in the centre of the town. Inside you have museums and internet connection but it's closed on sunday.

Average Ro

El Capitolio
A smaller version of the Capitol building in Washington DC, it was built between 1926 & 1929. On entering the foyer you are greeted by a 17m statue covered in 22-carat gold leaf. Embedded in the floor infront is a copy of a 24-carat diamond, don't forget to look upwards at the dome. It's then possible to walk round parts of the building, gaze into the vast library, the Chamber of Deputies & walk through the Hall of Lost Steps. The admission fee was 3 CUC.

Excellent Yole

you are not in Washington
No, you're not in Washington, although you can be forgiven for being mistaken. The Capitolio was once the seat of Cuba's House of Reperesentatives, between its opening in 1929 and the ascension of Fidel Castro to power in 1959. It was opened by dictator Gerardo Machado and was quite obviously modeled after the US Capitol as well as the basilica of Saint Pierre de Rome and Les Invalides in Paris (the US and France being two great influences in the development of modern Cuban culture). The Capitolio was designed by Italian architect Zanelli and it includes, inside, the statute of the Republic, the third largest indoor statue in the world (17 m).

Very good MrPostie99

“The Capitolio ”
Beautiful building much like that of United States. They claim it is abit taller though. Unfortunately lots of renovations going on. Like last year when i visited. Would have been awesome to see in its original slendour.

Very good Wms3070

“Sure looks like a capital building ”
There's no mistaking this building as the seat of power. Impressive frontage with a large dome atop, currently scaffolded for restoration. Like a Minh congress building. Nice parks and other impressive building around it

Very good Brian T

“Touring Habana ”
This is one of those places where tourist seem to gather. Its a nice open area with a wide busy road. Busy roads attract taxis of all shapes and sizes and tourist can get pestered by the constant badgering, but easy to ignore. Its also a place for beggars and con men and women so caution is called for (yes... More 

Very good JasonandLynz

“Impressive architecture ”
We only saw this building from the outside as it's encircled by metal fences due to renovation. Unfortunately, the dome at the top of the building is covered in sheeting/netting and scaffolding so it spoils most of the pictures too. I'm not sure what the inside would of been like but we would of looked round had it of been... More 

Very good Maria F

“Big ”
Was unfortunately, being refurbished while we visited, and wasn't able to go inside and see, but it is an impressive building, surrounded by green avenues, old buildings and American cars, and the partagas cigar factory is just behind, what more can you ask!!!

Very good MonsDenis

“Impressive ”
Built after the model of the USA capitol in Washington DC, it shares many of its architectural features. Dome is currently eclosed in scaffolding for refurb, so no entry at the moment.

Very good Tweetcoz

“Amazing architecture but covered by scaffolds ”
All buildings here seemed crumbled, run down or covered in scaffolds. This is a grand building but so much construction work on and around it. A real shame. Everything takes more than a lifetime to fix.

Very good Sissy M

“Impressive ”
An impressive building, a replica to the American one. When we visited it was being restored. Now, it operates as a museum.

Very good Mary38677

“Impressive building ”
A must see building ,similar to capital building in America ,it has been restored so its good to see important buildings being looked after .Good example of 1900 s architecture

Excellent Colors68

“The symbol of a lost era. ”
The building is magnificent, the history about it can definitely define the times of corrupted era when the mafia was in charge ( different mafia from the one you find now in Havana) during the 1920´s and 1930´s.

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