Firstly, I want to thank my lovely blog friends for their good wishes on our safe return home after our Cuba trip. Many of you also expressed an interest in seeing some photos of our travels in Cuba. I have started the tour of Cuba in Habana Vieja ( Old Town) , which was first settled in 1519 and today is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The old city really is a living museum with beautiful plazas and many beautifully restored buildings. This is the Plaza de Armas and is the city’s oldest , originally laid out in the early 1520’s .
Among the classic buildings on one of the plazas ( lost track of which one) is this striking building from the American period of the 1920’s and 1930’s , a former Mercantile Insurance office , now a Government office.
Havana was originally a walled city , with extensive fortifications. We could only peek at this one through the fences as it was undergoing restorations.
This striking building is the Museo de la Revolucion. It was formerly the Presidential Palace and was built between 1913 and 1920 and was used by many former presidents until the Cuban revolution. It now chronicles the events leading up to , during and after the Revolution.
This is the ballroom in the museum , it is known as the Hall of Mirrors and is a nod to Versailles. The ceiling frescoes are by Cuban artists Armando Menocal and Antonio Rodriguez Morey.
The classical and highly sophisticated interior design with decorations by Tiffany.
Havana is a city of museums , one day while wandering we came across this- the Pharmacy Museum. Part museum , part dispensing pharmacy. We came across many such old world pharmacies throughout Cuba- I loved all the old jars, to say nothing of the grand surroundings.
We stumbled across many art works throughout the city. I really loved this clever one and do wish I had made a note of the artists.
I snapped this cheeky shot of these colourful ladies from across the square with my telephoto lens. You come across many similarly clad ladies throughout the city , offering to pose for tourists at a price of course.
My favourite building in the city was this one on the right , The Gran Teatro de la Habano Alicia Alonso, neo-baroque in style built between 1907 and 1914. It is home to the Cuban National Ballet and carries the name of Cuba’s most known and loved ballerina, Alicia Alonso.
To the left is Capitol Nacional , modelled on the US Capital building.
A rather grand square near the Capital building , I have a thing for decorative light posts.
Another grand building , perfectly restored. Many of the buildings are a nod to earlier eras but many date from the 1920’s.
There are also many,many buildings in various states of disrepair , some sadly deteriorating beyond repair as it is beyond the means of many owners.
We had a city tour to visit Plaza Revolution in New Havana. This is the memorial to the Revolution and is hollow inside with a lift from its base to top.
This well known portrait of Che Guevara adorns the Ministry of the Interior building.
We stayed in a Casa Particulaire , Bao Bao,in a restored building on this street, a typical street for locals as opposed to the bigger hotels clustered around the central squares that are favoured by tour groups.
A selection of the many rather amazing American cars from the 1950’s – these are taxis just waiting for their tourists.
Of course we also had to have a ride in one- John requested a Cadillac and our lovely guide Milena came up trumps. It was a mid 1950,s model with its original engine. No John was not driving we just posed for the photo. A fun way to explore parts of the city.
I hope you have enjoyed a look at Havana through my eyes . I will continue the tour later in the week .
I hope everyone is well and coping well in these difficult times.