El Capitolio: a taste for ostentation

El Capitolio: a taste for ostentation

The numbers associated with this marble juggernaut are dizzying and rank it among the most ambitious architectural projects of Havana.

Three and a half years of work, more than 5,000 workers, and a total cost of nearly $17 billion: this is what was mobilized for the construction of this giant building decorated with a 62-metre golden dome built entirely of granite and white Capellanía limestone. Nothing was too good for the Cuban Congress, which met in the Capitolio from its inauguration in 1929 until 1959. Ceded to the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the library of science and technology, the monument houses the statue of the Republic, a majestic 17-metre-high bronze covered with gold leaf. Under the dome, the kilometre-zero of all the country's roads is symbolised by a copy of a 24-carat diamond set in the ground.

You can't always visit the interior because of on-going renovations, but you can still admire the magnificence of the outside: roughly 207 meters long, the Capitol is entirely covered with marble.

Capitolio Nacional
Calle Industria n° 422
Parque Histórico Militar Morro-Cabaña
10200 La Habana