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El Capitolio, Havana

Visit El Capitolio Nacional during your passage through Havana, Cuba.

El Capitolio, Havana
El Capitolio, Havana ©XimoPons

The El Capitolio Nacional (National Capitol of Cuba) is one of the most emblematic buildings in Havana. This majestic construction, located in the Centro Habana, is similar to that in Washington D.C, but a meter higher, a meter wider, and a meter longer, as well as much more rich in detail. It was started to be built by Gerardo Machado in 1926 supported by North America.

To finish its construction they needed more than 5000 workers, 3 years, 3 months and 20 days; as well as approximately 17 millions of American dollars.

 

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Capitolio de La Habana
Capitolio de La Habana. ©Tai Pan
statues in the Capitol of Cuba
Statues in the Capitol of Cuba
©E.Arostegui
Sala de los Pasos Perdidos
Sala de los Pasos Perdidos.
©E.Arostegui

Formerly, it was used as headquarters of the Cuban Congress, but since 1959 it has hosted the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Science and Technology National Library.

The National Capitol was made in Capellanía white limestone and granite. Its elegant 62 meters dome in stone is crowned by a copy in bronze of the statue by Giambologna in the 16th century, standing out in the horizon of the city. In the upper floor, right above the center of the floor, there is a 25 kilates diamond. It is interesting to know that the distance by road between Havana and any other part of the island is calculated from this point.

The entrance is sheltered by 6 huge Doric columns (de 1,55 meters diameter and 14,10 meters high), on top of a 55 steps granite staircase. In both sides on top of the stairs there are two amazing sculptures in bronze, a masculine and a feminine one, both 6,70 meters high, by the Italian Angelo Zanelli.

When you cross them you’ll arrive to the Hall of Lost Steps, named in this way due to its wonderful acoustics, and in which center is the Republic statue, a huge woman in bronze 14,60 meters high and more than 30 tons weight, representing the virtue of the nation and work.

The building also houses other interesting halls, like Baire Hall, that was the conferences and protocol room for the House of Representatives; Bolívar Hall, preserving its original furniture with mirrors from Venice and surrounded by the refined atmosphere of Napoleon’s France; Baraguá Hall, of Neoclassical style and used as a working area by the secretaries of the House of Representatives; and Martí Hall,with a nice color scheme and Italian Renaissance style, being the entrance hall of the library.

The Capitol of Cuba was declared National Monument in November 2010 and nowadays is being restored by the Historian of Old Havana Office.

More information:

Location:

Centro Habana, La Habana - Cuba.

Ticket price:

3 CUC without guide, 4 CUC with guide.

Opening hours:

From 9:00am to 8:00pm.

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