Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cuba - Havana - El Capitolio

Vista desde El Capitolio

Sent by Jos from Cuba.

This is from Wikipedia : El Capitolio, or National Capitol Building in HavanaCuba, was the seat of government in Cuba until after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and is now home to the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Its design and name recall the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., but it is only superficially similar. Completed in 1929, it was the tallest building in Havana until the 1950s and houses the world's third largest indoor statue.

The project began on April 1926, during the Gerardo Machado administration. Construction was overseen by the U.S. firm of Purdy and Henderson.te were based in the building. When the Communist Regime abolished and disbanded the Congress in 1959, the building lost its purpose as the House of the People. Later it ended up as the headquarters of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. The main floor (which is on the first storey) is open to visitors and many of the rooms are used to host conferences and meetings.

The neoclassical building has some resemblance to the U.S. Capitol, although according to Raynieri the inspiration for the cupolacame from the Panthéon in Paris.
The cupola, which is stone clad around a steel frame which was constructed in the United States and imported to Cuba, is set forward on the building to allow for some large rooms at the rear, including what is now the National Library of Science and Technology. In the original design the dome was to be decorated with stylised palm leaves but this addition was never executed. At almost 92 m (300 ft) high, the dome was the highest point in the city of Havana until the 1950s (this honour now belongs to the José Martí Memorial). It was the third highest cupola in the world at the time of its construction.
Around the building are gardens laid out by French landscape architect and designer Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier at the time of the original construction. Based on the designs of some of the beautiful simple European gardens they consist of areas of lawn bordered by paths and highlighted by palms. Four groups of Royal Palms accent the design.

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