The National Capitol
Built in 1929 by order of the then president of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Machado and under the direction of architect Eugenio Raynieri Piedra, the National Capitol is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Cuban capital.
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The imposing building was destined to function as the seat of the legislative structures of the republican government and its architectural design was inspired by the Pantheon of Paris and the Capitol of the United States. Its location between Prado, Dragones, Industria and San José streets defines the kilometric origin of the road network of Cuba and for decades it has been the main meeting point of most of the services related to the tourist sector in Havana; that is why among its main attractions are the rows of classic cars, the restaurants, the neoclassical and eclectic style Cuba villa rentals all inclusive, the art galleries and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana.
With its imposing 91.73-meter-high dome and neoclassical façade, the Havana Capitol has become one of the architectural icons of the city, next to the Castillo del Morro and the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. Some scholars of the architecture of the first half of the 20th century have come to consider the building as one of the six most important palaces worldwide.
It is impossible to assign exclusive authorship to the project of the Capitol of Havana. Towards the decade of the 20s, the then president of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Machado, worked together with a team of American, Cuban and French architects in the urban reordering of the country’s capital. In this context arises the idea of erecting a building that would become the most important urban structure of the city: the Capitol.
The project was carried out under the direction of Eugenio Raynieri Piedra, together with several of the most renowned architects of the time and the French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier. The construction of the building was in charge of the North American company Purdy & Henderson Company. We offer you the best Cuba villa rentals all inclusive to relax and discover Havana.
The capitol of Havana occupies an area of 43,418 m², including the gardens and parks. The building is constructed from a metallic structure and is projected from a central body that rests on a monumental staircase of 55 steps. The facade contains two sculptures and several bas-reliefs made by the Italian artist Angelo Zanelli.
In the center of the main body stands an ostentatious dome of 92 m in height, 32 meters in diameter and 16 ribs covered in 22 carat gold, which was the fifth highest in the world at that time. A 30-ton bronze sculpture, also made by Zanelli, was placed under the dome.
On both sides of the central body were built two structures organized as a rectangular floor in which the House of Representatives and the Senate were located. Both are finished with a semicircular body that corresponded to the hemicycles, intended for government meetings.
Under the dome of the Capitol lies the zero kilometer of the national road network and in the beginning it was symbolically marked by a 25 carat diamond that belonged to the Russian Tsar Nicolás II, whose whereabouts are unknown at present. Accommodate in one of our Cuba villa rentals all inclusive y go to the best places of Havana.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the location where the Capitol of Havana was built had acquired the character of an urban center, thanks to the architectural modernity that represented for the old city the demolition of the Walls and the placement of the iconic statue of Isabel II, which defined the new center of the Alameda de Extramuros, around which new parks, hotels, Cuba luxury villas, theaters and services began to be built. The space became a link between Old Havana and the Republican, now known as Centro Habana.