Last week, I finally made it to Havana – a dream come true! It didn’t disappoint. What a vibrant city! If you ever get a chance, it’s a must see. Over the next few posts, we will visit Old Havana or in Spanish La Habana Vieja. We took one of those day trips from Varadero. This short little day trip left me wanting to explore it more.
Our first stop was the Capitol Building. Architecture look familiar? The inspiration for the building was the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. and the Pantheon in Paris. It was completed in 1929. Before the Cuban Revolution in 1959, it was the home of the Cuban government.
“The Capitolio Nacional Cuba contains the third largest indoor sculpture in the world (after the Buddha sculpture in the temple complex of Nara Japan and the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln in Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial). The Statue of the Republic (Estatua de la Republica) is an idealized representation of Cuban nationalism modeled after a beautiful Cuban female model, Lily Valty. Cast in bronze and covered in 22-carat gold leaf, the statue dominates the main hall of the Capitolio Nacional.” Click on the link above to read more about El Capitolio on the mycubavisit.com site. Found this photo of the Statue of the Republic.
Other sites around the Capitol Building is Central Park (aka Parque José Martí). That’s the statue of José Martí in the middle. José Martí was a poet and a Cuban National Hero. He died in 1895 fighting for Cuba’s independence.
Gran Teatro de la Habana
This beautiful building beside the Capitol is home to Cuba’s national ballet and opera – the Gran Teatro de la Habana. “A theater since 1838, the building contains the grandiose Teatro García Lorca, along with two smaller concert halls: the Sala Alejo Carpentier and the Sala Ernesto Lecuono – where art films are sometimes shown.” (via Lonely Planet)
Check out the details on the facade!
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana
Across the street on the other side of Parque Central is the National Museum of Fine Arts established in 1927.
Stay tuned for more on Havana, Cuba.