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Obra Pia House, Havana . Cuba

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  • Obrapia No. 158 e/ Mercaderes y San Ignacio, Havana City. Cuba
  • Destination: Havana
  • Open: Daily
  • Telephone: (537) 8613097
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After a meticulous work, by November of 1983 one of the most beautiful colonial mansions in the Historic Center of Old Havana, the House of Charity, was completely restored.

Built in 1648, it is one of the most remarkable examples of domestic architecture in Havana. The portico, crowned with the family coat of arms, is the only one in the city.

Its name comes from a charity work that consisted in offering a dowry every year to five orphans for them to have a family.

Now as a house-museum, its objective is to exhibit and preserve important museum collections that are part of the history of Cuba.

This institution also intends to rescue and promote traditions such as the ones related to textile handicraft. For that purpose, the Sisterhood of Embroiderers and Weavers has its seat in this mansion since 1994.

At the moment, the museum has nine permanent exhibition rooms and one for transitory exhibitions. In the rooms people can see the way of life of aristocracy in Havana in the 19th century through different collections of decorative arts objects such as pieces of china; oil paintings; biscuit pieces; glassware; tapestries; marble, alabaster, calamine or bronze sculptures. There are also utility objects, furniture, personal objects and archeological pieces in exhibition. Among these rooms the Chapel stands out. Its pieces of furniture are true pieces of art in marble and wood.

Obrapía (House of Charity)The museum also displays a collection of pieces of French china, which belonged to different Cuban families of the 19th century, and lingerie in tablecloths, glass holders, and napkins. One piece that catches the attention of all visitors is the family tree of José Ignacio de la Cámara de O’Reilly Morel de Santa Cruz.

The precious white and gray marble of the floor, the great colonial lamps made of rock and baccarat glass as well as a variety of oil paintings, stand out in the main room.

The Room of Mysteries, a room that has been associated to several legends and whose original use is still an enigma today, is located on the roof of the house.

Mapa de Obra Pia House

Obra Pia 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.

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Review about Museums: Obra Pia House
Very good Odalys

House of La Obra Pia
Former residence owned by the Spanish Captain Martin Calvo de la Puerta. There is no doubt it was one of the most beautiful houses during the colonization. It was the result of the mixture and reconstruction of two houses that were next door to each other; then later refurbished when some new elements and forms of the so-called “Cuban baroque style” were introduced. Its name –as the street where its façade faces to- is because it was established in 1669 by Martin Calvo de la Puerta de una Obra Pia, in order to provide economic support to five orphan ladies every year to have a family.

Very good SmileyMari

“Smelling sense satisfied ”
The museum is little but very interesting. Fragrances are hand produced on site. I loved how the fragrances are bottled in containers reminiscent of the style of the museum and, for that matter, historic Havana. I purchased 3 of them, four years ago, and I still have one of them smelling better than when I bought it and they are... More 

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