Havana, the tourist destination par excellence in Cuba, holds a wide range of leisure attractions characterized by its diversity, with big hotels, small lodging facilities and emblematic constructions.
The National Capitol of Havana, one of the architectonic treasures of the city, is visited everyday by those who come to the former village of San Cristobal de La Habana to know about the second highest point in the city.
This is precisely one of the main attractions for domestic and foreign visitors who also wish to have their pictures taken by actual photographic relics on their tripods, thus perpetuating in an image the memory of a building with monumental architecture.
Architects and historians regard the Capitol as an almost perfect example of civil engineering from early 20th century, as well as one of the six most outstanding palaces worldwide.
History depicts the vicissitudes of its construction which lasted three and a half years, from April 1, 1926 to 1929, in order to hold in the building the legislative committee of the former government.
The amount of money spent in the construction was amazing since the cost was close to 17 million pesos, a huge figure for the time, together with the work of more than 8,000 specialized workers.
Historic records show that the construction required 5 million bricks, 38,000 cubic meters of sand; 40,000 cubic meters of stone; 150,000 cement bags; 3,500 tons of structural beams and 2,000 tons of steel bars.
The emblematic building is now subject to a large restoration process aimed at recuperating its original characteristics.
Provisions include a work schedule of at least five years in order for the facility to recuperate its former attractions, including the gold plates at the dome.
Cuba bets on restoring the magnificence of the building which was constructed in an eclectic-classicist style, and has at the main entrance a grand 55-step staircase flanked with two groups of sculptures by the Italian artist Angelo Zanelli.
The European artist also created the statue named “La República” (The Republic), which is located in the “Salón de los Pasos Perdidos” (Hall of the Lost Steps); the statue is almost 15 meters high, weighs 30 tons and it is regarded as the third biggest indoor statue in the world.
The Capitol also holds part of the Cuban history since in one of its halls the Constituent Assembly was in session in 1940 to enact the Constitution.
Currently, the restoration is aimed at recuperating the facility’s original functions as seat of the national parliament, together with the historic relevance it holds for the Cuban capital city.
This majestic building is included among hundreds of constructions which characterize Havana’s historic heart as a kind of guardian successfully enduring the passing of time.