Casa de la Obra Pía

Historic Building in Habana Vieja

One of the more muscular sights around Calle Mercaderes is this typical Havana aristocratic residence, constructed around 1648 and rebuilt in 1780. Baroque decoration, including an intricate portico made in Cádiz, Spain, covers the facade. The house today functions as a decorative-arts museum, containing a potpourri of period furniture from Chinese to French. It was one of the first structures to be rehabilitated by the City Historian in the early 1980s.

A local embroidery cooperative maintains an HQ here, and you'll spy some old Singer sewing machines not yet requisitioned by Havana's hipsters. Beware: opening hours can be temperamental.