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Cuba: Heritage and History in Havana

The Cuban capital, with a history close to five centuries, accumulates an unequaled legacy in matters of patrimonial values, culture and history that arouses the interest of visitors and nationals.

Dozens of buildings from earlier times are located in the historic center of the city, where the Capitol, the second highest point in the city, stands.

Originally designed as the seat of the Congress of the Republic, it was built in just over three years, with some 26,000 square meters of gardens designed by the French urbanist Jean Claude Forestier, with walks, sidewalks, benches and a hundred lamps.

Five million bricks, 150,000 bags of cement, 32,000 cubic meters of sand and other aggregates, 3,500 tons of structural steel, 2,000 tons of wood, 40,000 cubic meters of stone and 25,000 of chaplaincy stone, that was carried in blocks of up to nine tons by rail.

At the main entrance is a granite staircase with 16 meters wide and 55 steps, escorted by two bronze sculptures by the Italian artist Angelo Zanelli. On the left, that symbolizes the work and by the right, which represents the tutelary virtue of the people.

In addition, the Statue of the Republic, laminated in gold and located on a solid pedestal of marble onyx.

Capitolio. Dome.
Detail of the ceiling.
Capitolio. Front view.

With a height of around 20 meters and a weight of 49 tons is considered the third largest in the world under roof, after the Golden Buddha of Nava in Japan, and the Lincoln of Washington in the United States.

Its composition includes the so-called Hall of Lost Steps, in whose construction more than six varieties of fine marbles in a space of 1,740 square meters were used.

Others are the added charms of the building such as the Baire, Bolívar, Baraguá, Yara, Jimaguayú, Martí, Camilo Cienfuegos Hemicycle, or Stairs of Honor, references to celebrities, and points in the history of the Island and America.

In its interior also stand out the 42 doors that give access to the lodges and ends of the building, the 25 finely worked Italian banks and the 32 candelabra or torches fused and chiseled in France.

Around it are places of interest for tourists, such as the Royal Tobacco Factory of Partagás, Central Park, La Fuente de La India, and Paseo del Prado or José Martí (in honor of the Cuban National Hero)

Already after 1959, with the Revolution in power, joined its destinies to knowledge until today, by serving as headquarters for the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) and now regain its function of seat of the legislature.

Meetings, exhibitions, solemn acts and business activities fill the programs of activities of its large halls today, together with the promotion of the historic and architectural heritage of the building.

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