El Capitolio, Havana

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Paseo de Marti (Prado)

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  • El Capitolio
    by Camping_Girl
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    Street view from the steps of the...
    by Camping_Girl
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    Capitolio
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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    El Capitolio

    by gwened Updated Apr 20, 2012
    approching the Capitol
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    Identical to the one in Washington,DC USA in smaller scale was built in 1929 to house the parlement of the Republic of Cuba . See the hall of pas perdus. A diamond last belonging to the Tzar of Russia now used to mark kilometer zero to all distances in the island. It is now the headquarters of the ministry of Sciences, technologies ,and the environment.

    inside too the Giraldilla said to be the third tallest indoor statue in the world.

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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    The Capitol

    by draguza Updated May 5, 2011

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    Built in 1929 to house the island's Senate and House of Representatives, National Capitol Building and with a dome that dominates the Havana skyline, this building looks rather similar to the Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Inside there is a statue of La Republica, the biggest indoor bronze effigy in the world. There is also an enormous and historic gallery called the Salón de los Pasos Perdidos (The Hall of Lost Steps); a 25-carat diamond that marks the exact centre of the city; and the headquarters of the Cuban Natural History housing the country's largest natural history collection.

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  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    "The Cuban White House"

    by Camping_Girl Updated Feb 3, 2011

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    I have had more than one Cuban describe the Capitol as being "like the White House, in the United States". They are very proud of it, as they should be. And it does remind me of the Congress Building. For a price of 3CUC (plus another 2CUC for your camera!) you can tour the inside of the building; we weren't interested enough to do this. We only had a day and wanted to see as many areas of the city as we could.

    The street in front of the Capitol is crazy busy, be very careful crossing it!

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    Impossible to miss it

    by xaver Written May 27, 2008

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    El capitolio nacional located in the heart of the centre of Havana is the most important building of Paseo de Marti which is the road that leads from the Capitolio itself to the Castill de la Punta.
    It has been built in 1929 during the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado and at a first sight it may appear similar to the one in Washington.
    Its dome shaped roof is 30 meters high and you really can notice it from almost everywhere in the centre of the town.
    Inside you have museums and internet connection but it's closed on sunday.

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  • tim07's Profile Photo

    El Capitolio

    by tim07 Written May 5, 2008

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    A smaller version of the Capitol building in Washington DC, it was built between 1926 & 1929. On entering the foyer you are greeted by a 17m statue covered in 22-carat gold leaf. Embedded in the floor infront is a copy of a 24-carat diamond, don't forget to look upwards at the dome. It's then possible to walk round parts of the building, gaze into the vast library, the Chamber of Deputies & walk through the Hall of Lost Steps.

    The admission fee was 3 CUC.

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  • Santini738's Profile Photo

    Capitolio

    by Santini738 Written Mar 17, 2008
    Capitolio
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    El Capitolio, or the National Capitol Building in Havana, Cuba, 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.

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  • diosbelb's Profile Photo

    Capitolio libation

    by diosbelb Written Feb 20, 2008

    If you want to go see Capitolio but are sick of entering old builings and paying money, go to the second floor restaurant terrace with view of Park and Cine Payret.
    They have a reasonable selection of Spanish, Chilean, and Cuban wines and you have to go into the Capitolio to use the bathroom. So take your time and try to duck out from the bathrrom babushkas to catch a glimpse of the interiors.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    EL CAPITOLIO

    by LoriPori Written Nov 25, 2007

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    El Capitolio
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    Resembling Washington D.C.'s Capital Building, EL CAPITOLIO is located on Paseo de Marti, across from Central Park. It was the last stop on our tour.
    Built in 1929, El Capitolio features a wide stone staircase which leads to the main entrance. Two bronze statues flank each side of the top of the staircase - one dedicated to labour and one to virtue.
    Entrance fee was 3 CUC

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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Once upon a dictator...

    by mikey_e Written Aug 16, 2007

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    El Capitolio

    No, you're not in Washington, although you can be forgiven for being mistaken. The Capitolio was once the seat of Cuba's House of Reperesentatives, between its opening in 1929 and the ascension of Fidel Castro to power in 1959. It was opened by dictator Gerardo Machado and was quite obviously modeled after the US Capitol as well as the basilica of Saint Pierre de Rome and Les Invalides in Paris (the US and France being two great influences in the development of modern Cuban culture). The Capitolio was designed by Italian architect Zanelli and it includes, inside, the statute of the Republic, the third largest indoor statue in the world (17 m).

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  • ainsleigh's Profile Photo

    El Capitolio: Go big!

    by ainsleigh Updated Jun 19, 2007

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    El Capitolio... So much bigger than it looks!!
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    El Capitolio, used as the Cuban parliament building from 1929 to 1960, is spectacular and breathtakingly huge both inside and out. Modeled after the White House, its huge entrance roughly 60 stairs up from the street is framed by massive columns and statues, and looking at the view back down to the street after the climb is an amazing experience.

    A tour of the cavernous interior took us about an hour, and was well worth the visit. The first hall contains the world's third largest indoor statue, La Estatua de la Republica, standing 15 metres tall. Embedded in the floor is a replica of the 25-carat diamond once placed there to mark kilometre zero. On either side of the main hall is the Salon de Pasos Perdidos, or Hall of Lost Steps, named for its vast open design and the resulting echo acoustics.

    The parliament room stands out as a highlight, and each room is unique and covered in ornate detail. There's a hall with photos detailing the construction and history of El Capitolio which was also really interesting. The sheer size of the rooms and the beautifully detailed and painted vaulted ceilings make the place truly incredible. Don't miss it! Open Mon-Sat 900-1900, Sun 900-1500, 3.00 CUC +2.00 CUC to take photos.

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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    any resemblance?

    by cochinjew Written Sep 1, 2006

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    the resemblance is obvious
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    Marked as Mile Zero from which all the distances in Cuba are measured, Capitolio modelled after its more famous cousin to the north, another gift of the dictator Machado, I think.
    There is a museum, an internet place and an ornate lobby. a very popular place with tourists.
    thus it has become a tourist trap.
    Grandmotherly types bring cutely dressed little ones along with them, who approach the tourists and offer them one peso bags of mani/peanuts and the tourists unsuspectingly takes them and they are begged for a dollar in returned, you feel sorry for the dolled up little girl and give the money. A fool who was dressed as a fool was pretending to take pictures with a wooden camera and then begging for a dollar.
    There are no beggars but there are different ingenious ways of begging.

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  • hojasdehierba's Profile Photo

    A bit worn out...

    by hojasdehierba Updated Feb 23, 2006

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    I have not been in Washingtown D.C., but Havana's Capitolio is said to be an almost perfect imitation of the original. I guess that the one in Washingtown must look a bit "newer" than this one: it needs a good maintenance work, for sure. It was opened at General Machado´s dictatorship, in 1929 and it was government house until 1959 (Cuban Revolution). Even now, there are some government offices there.

    No he estado en Washingtown D.C., pero dicen que el Capitolio de La Habana es una imitación casi perfecta del original. Supongo, sin embargo, que el Washingtown debe tener un aspecto mas "nuevo" que este: necesita una buena mano de pintura, eso seguro. Se inauguro durante la dictadura del General Machado, en 1929, y fue la sede del gobierno cubano hasta 1959 (Revolucion Cubana). Incluso hora, hay oficinas gubernamentales alli.

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    The Dome

    by hojasdehierba Updated Feb 23, 2006

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    The Dome is 92 meters height and, until the fifties, it was the highest building in La Habana. It is nicely decorated on the inside. The opening times for El Capitolio are from 8,30 to 17,00 everyday.
    La cupula tiene 92 metros de altura y, hasta los anhos cincuenta, fue el punto mas alto de La Habana. Tiene una hermosa decoracion en su interior. El horario de apertura para el Capitolio es de 8,30 a 17.00 todos los dias.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    El Capitolio

    by Jefie Written Feb 4, 2006

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    El Capitolio de La Habana
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    Modeled after the Washington Capitol, Havana's Capitolio was inaugurated in 1929 and was the home of the Cuban government's House of Commons and Senate until the 1959 Revolution. The top floors have since been converted into offices but the main floor is opened to visitors. There isn't much left to see in the rooms but their grandeur and richly decorated ceilings make it very easy to imagine what the Capitolio must have been like a few decades ago. Truly worth the 3 CUC we paid for checking it out.

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  • El Capitolio

    by elgarbo Written Oct 6, 2005

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    If you need a half hours worth of distraction, check out the Capitol building. There's a great deal of trivia attached to this grand old structure, although much of it is lost to me. However, I DO remember that it is of similar design to its American counterpart, albeit a few metres taller. Furthermore, it houses one of the largest (if not the largest) indoor statue in the world.

    We turned up just after it had closed, which was unfortunate, although the lady at the door was kind enough to let us poke our heads in and get an idea of the grand scale of it all. The statue truly is massive.

    Sitting on the front steps, you're bound to see a whole bunch of wonderful facets of Cuban life unfold before your eyes. People getting married, kids running around like crazy, teenagers playing baseball, people selling cigars or newspapers, others just going about their daily business.

    It's not much of a walk from Habana Vieja, if that's where you're located. Otherwise, a taxi will get you there. Also in the vicinity are some cigar factories, the museum of the Revolution and the Museum of Fine Arts, which can probably all be done in a single day while you're there.

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