Museo de la Ciudad
Palacio de los Capitanes Generales
Built on the site of Havana's original church, this extravagant building is a textbook example of Cuban baroque architecture hewn out of...
Edificio Santo Domingo
On Obispo is the site of Havana's original university, which stood here between 1728 and 1902. It was originally part of a convent; the...
Palacio del Segundo Cabo
Wedged into the square's northwest corner, this building was constructed in 1772 as the headquarters of the Spanish vice-governor. After...
Restaurante la Dominica
Despite a tendency to be a little overgenerous with the olive oil, La Dominica – with its wood-fired pizza oven and al dente pasta –...
Tacón No 1 · interesting places nearby
Museo de la Ciudad information
Filling the whole west side of Plaza de Armas, this museum is housed in the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales , dating from the 1770s. Built on the site of Havana's original church, it's a textbook example of Cuban baroque architecture hewn out of rock from the nearby San Lázaro quarries. Since 1968 the building has been home to the City Museum, one of Havana's most comprehensive and interesting, but has served many purposes over the years.
From 1791 until 1898 it was the residence of the Spanish captains general. From 1899 until 1902, the US military governors were based here, and during the first two decades of the 20th century the building briefly became the presidential palace. These days, the museum wraps its way regally around a splendid central courtyard adorned with a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus (1862). Artifacts include period furniture, military uniforms and old-fashioned 19th-century horse carriages, while old photos vividly recreate events from Havana's roller-coaster history, such as the 1898 sinking of US battleship Maine in the harbor. It's better to body-swerve the pushy attendants and wander around at your own pace.