Edificio Bacardí

Top Pick
General sightseeing
Architectural style: Art Deco
CA Ranking: 5
Open: 9am-9pm daily
Admission: Free
Monserrate esq. a San Juan de Dios, Habana Vieja
  • The first and main exponent of art deco in the city belonged to Emilio Bacardí and was the home to his famous rum company. After winning the contest held by Bacardí, architects E. Rodríguez, R. Fernández and J. Menéndez designed the edifice so that it would meet the requirements of the company. Construction works were undertaken by a German company and completed in only 300 days in 1930, despite the characteristics of the terrain, which called for the use of 500 hard-wood piles and high-quality reinforced concrete. At the time, it was Cuba’s tallest building.

    Influenced by Catalan modernism, its ziggurat-like design uses tiles as decoration, which gives the building a unique look. It has 12 floors, of which the bottom five were used as office space for rent. Each of these floors was divided into 34 units, in addition to a number of meeting halls and a bar. The lobby is decorated from floor to ceiling in modern style with marble of different colors, imported from several European countries, while the façade is covered with red Bavaria granite. According to suppliers, the decoration of the building includes granite and marble from all over Europe. On the top floor, the exceptional brick tower, topped by the company’s bat emblem, offers a magnificent view of Old Havana.

    This National Architecture Award-winning building was renovated in 2001 and currently houses offices from a number of Cuban and international companies. For the best view of this edifice, go to the rooftop terrace of Hotel Plaza, across the street.

  • Gran Parque Metropolitano (Parque Almendares)

    Gran Parque Metropolitano (Parque Almendares)  LH 5+

    Along the banks of the Almendares River is Parque Almendares, also known as Bpsque de La Haband (Havana’s Forest). This is the only urban forest in the city and is a recreational area for Habaneros th …

    Hotel Nacional de Cuba

    Hotel Nacional de Cuba  LH 5+

    In response to the increasing influx of American tourists in the late 20s (mainly those who were escaping Prohibition, in force in the United States at the time), the construction of a luxury hotel wa …

    Callejón de Hamel

    Callejón de Hamel  LH 5+

    The narrow two-block long alley between Aramburu and Hospital streets in Centro Habana has over the years become a shrine to Afro-Cuban religions through the art created by Salvador González. The buil …

    Plaza de Armas

    Plaza de Armas  LH 5+

    The early city was formally founded in 1519 on the northeast side of what would soon be laid out as Plaza de la Iglesia—named for the simple church that stood here until 1741, when it was destroyed fo …

    Necrópolis de Cristóbal Colón

    Necrópolis de Cristóbal Colón  LH 5+

    History & architecture Declared National Monument in 1987, this is the most important cemetery in Cuba and its 57 hectares (10 acres) makes it the largest in America. According to Enrique Martínez …

    Plaza de San Francisco

    Plaza de San Francisco  LH 5+

    Right across Havana harbor, Plaza de San Francisco is one of the first three built in the 16th century. It takes its name from the Franciscan convent built there. The plaza became the site of a market …

    Plaza de la Catedral

    Plaza de la Catedral  LH 5+

    The last of the main squares to be created, this is one of Old Havana’s most beautiful spots. Originally, it was named Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square) because of its muddy terrain, but by the 18th …

    Sala Polivalente Kid Chocolate

    Sala Polivalente Kid Chocolate  LH 4

    This is one of the 67 facilities especially built for the Havana 1991 Pan-American Games. It was named after Eligio Sardiñas, also known as Kid Chocolate, Cuba’s finest amateur boxer ever. The sports …

    Casa de los Artistas

    Casa de los Artistas  LH 4

    Several of Cuba’s most famous artists have their studios here, including Pedro Pablo Oliva, Zaida del Río and Roberto Fabelo. Contemporary art exhibitions are held on the ground floor.

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza  LH 4

    History & architecture Considered an engineering marvel, this fortress on the plaza’s northeast corner is one of the oldest European defensive structures in the Americas, and the first built to gu …

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