Notable Building in Habana Vieja

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

Built on the site of Havana's original church, this extravagant 18th-century building is a textbook example of Cuban baroque architecture, hewn out of rock from the nearby San Lázaro quarries. It has served many pur…
Notable Building in Vedado

Hotel Habana Libre

This classic modernist hotel – the former Havana Hilton – was commandeered by Castro's revolutionaries in 1959 just nine months after it had opened, and was promptly renamed the Habana Libre. During the first few mo…
Architecture in Habana Vieja

Lonja del Comercio

This large box-shaped building on Plaza de San Francisco de Asís is a former commodities market erected in 1909. The building was completely renovated in 1996 by Habaguanex and today it provides office space for for…
Notable Building in Centro Habana

Palacio de los Matrimonios

In largely secular Cuba, this is where many habaneros come to get married and – appropriately – the building is no less lavish than an average church. Built as a Spanish social club in 1914, the neo-Renaissance pala…
Notable Building in Centro Habana

Escuela Nacional de Ballet

The neoclassical Escuela Nacional de Ballet, Alicia Alonso’s famous ballet school, overlooks the tree-lined Prado. The tinkling of ivories and the tapping of dainty feet can often be heard amid the growling of the v…
Notable Building in Playa & Marianao

Instituto Superior de Arte

The leading art academy in Cuba was established in the former Havana Country Club in 1961 and elevated to the status of institute in 1976. The cluster of buildings – some unfinished, some half-restored, but all glor…
Notable Building in Playa & Marianao

Palacio de las Convenciones

Also known as the Havana Convention Center, this is one of Cuba's most dramatic modern buildings. Built for the Nonaligned Conference in 1979, the four interconnecting halls contain a state-of-the-art auditorium wit…
Notable Building in Centro Habana

La Manzana de Gómez

This once-elegant European-style covered shopping mall was completed in 1910 and used to be the pride of polite Havana society. By the 1990s it had degenerated into a rather creepy and dangerous ruin full of empty-s…
Notable Building in Vedado

Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba

A long, uninspiring concrete structure that glowers from behind the Martí memorial, the modern HQ of the Cuban government doesn’t match the architectural splendor of the Capitolio or the Presidential Palace. This is…
Notable Building in Centro Habana

Palacio Velasco

This beautiful wedding-cake-like building constructed in the art nouveau style in 1912 is used by the lucky Spanish government as their embassy. It's the only foreign embassy in this part of town.