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Cuba: Renewed Heritage in Havana

Havana, the Cuban capital, with 500 years of history, has a wide range of architectural styles and numerous cultural and historic elements.

Together with this, it has the touch of distinction provided by the Havana Capitol, the second highest point in the city, which was subjected to an extensive restoration process.

Architects and historians consider 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 important palaces in the world.

History recalls the vicissitudes during its construction, carried out during three and a half years from April 1, 1926 to 1929, with the aim of installing the legislature in the building.

Statistics recall that nearly 17 million pesos were disbursed in its construction, an enormous amount for the time, together with the work of more than 8,000 specialized workers.

In terms of materials, five million bricks, 38,000 cubic meters of sand and 40,000 cubic meters of stones, 150,000 bags of cement, 3,500 tons of structural steel and 2,000 tons of rods were used in its construction, truly impressive amounts.

Detail of the ceiling.
Capitolio. Golden dome.
Chamber floor.

Among the Capitol's treasures is the statue that symbolizes the Republic, which was sculpted by Italian artist Angelo Zanelli and which is the world's third largest indoor sculpture.

History also has its place in the Capitol, as the Constituent Assembly met in 1940 and the Constitution was promulgated there.

After 1959, with the Revolution in power, it joined its destiny to knowledge, by serving as the headquarters of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA).

Already in our days, the extensive works led to the strengthening of the great vault, where the large copper plates, damaged by the elements and meteorological phenomena, were replaced.

Later the gold sheets were applied, in a similar way to what was done in the gigantic statue of La República (The Republic).

The dome measures 91.73 meters, by its height and diameter, it is the sixth in the world and at the time of its construction it was only surpassed in style by those of the cathedrals of St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London.

Under the vault, there is a replica of the Capitol Diamond, which belonged to the last Russian czar and marks the kilometer zero of Cuban roads.

Its spaces, in addition to the historical wealth they treasure, welcome the current Cuban legislature, as part of an option that contributes its political meaning to the impressive patrimonial structure.

The Capitol has a total area of 49,000 square meters, 25,000 square meters in gardens, 11 elevators, 28 patios, six skylights, innumerable offices and lounges, among other characteristics, together with the use of 60 types of marbles in its construction.

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