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The Capitol: A Meeting Point in Havana

The Cuban capital, famous for its five-century history, is also well known in the world for the variety of architectural styles and the existence of unique constructions like the Capitol.

Tourists visiting the old village of San Cristóbal de La Habana often ask for the location of this building, considered the second highest spot in the city.

It is precisely this condition that attracts the attention of both Cubans and foreigners, who are also interested in posing in front of old cameras, true photographic relics on their tripods, which allow them to perpetuate in an image the memory of a building of monumental architecture.

Artists of photography proliferate around the building, ready to meet the demands of passersby, and to manipulate, in a very professional way, their cameras, which bear the imprint left by the passage of several decades.

Architects and historians have described the Capitol as an almost perfect work of engineering from the beginning of the 20th century, in addition to classifying it among the six most relevant palaces in the world.

History tells the avatars of its construction, from April 1, 1926 to 1929. The building housed Cuba's Legislature for many years.

Havana`s Capitol.
Capitolio. Dome.
Detail of the ceiling.

Figures are also impressive, since the building cost nearly 17 million pesos, a very high amount of money at the time, and 8,000 specialized workers took part in its construction.

Regarding construction materials, five million bricks, 38,000 cubic meters of sand, 40,000 cubic meters of rocks, 150,000 sacs of cement, 3,500 tons of structural steel and 2,000 tons of iron bars were used in the works.

The Capitol houses treasures such as the statue that represents the Republic, which was made by Italian artist Angelo Zanelli and is considered the world's third largest sculpture indoors.

The building has played a major role in Cuba's history, since its halls hosted the Constituent Assembly and witnessed the enactment of the Constitution in 1940.

After the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, the Capitol became the headquarters of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, first, and of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA), later.

Among the activities held in the spacious halls of the Capitol are meetings, exhibitions, solemn acts and business events, and the personnel working there is embarked in spreading the historic and architectonic heritage of the building.

For that reason, Havana's Capitol opens its doors to thousands of foreign and Cuban visitors attracted by the beauty of its halls, furniture and ornaments from different periods and styles.

Sun and beaches, culture, history, health and nature form part of Cuba's unique offer to travelers, with the special contribution made by works of art like the Capitol, which is a reminder of a city with a colonial past.

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