Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

CA5
Top Pick
Museum / Cultural center
Architectural style: Eclectic
CA Ranking: 5
Best for: One of the most attractive staircases to be found in Cuban residential architecture, has interior decoration by Jansen of Paris and French mahogany carpentry.
Open: 10:30am-5:30pm Tue-Sat; 10am-12:30pm Sun
Admission: Tour CUC 3 (English-speaking guides available); free under-12s
17 #502 esquina a E
  • This museum opened in 1964 and is housed in the house of José Gómez Mena, a mansion designed by the French architects P. Virad and M. Destugué in 1927. Gómez’s sister, María Luisa Gómez Mena, a wealthy patron of Cuban artists, was a vital figure in the Havana of her time. At the sumptuous residence she hosted parties and gatherings which were attended by celebrities from Cuba and other parts of the world, from aristocrats to movie stars, to intellectuals, to politicians.

    Since July 24, 1964, it has been home to the National Museum of Decorative Arts. Aristocratic wealth, taste and passion are revealed through the more than 33,000 works of artistic and historic value from the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI and Napoleon III, as well as Oriental pieces from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Also on display are important collections of Sèvres, Chantilly, Limoges, Faenza, Meissen Derby, Chelsea, Wedgwood, Worcester and Staffordshire porcelain.

    The furniture held in the museum is also part of the exhibit and includes the outstanding 19th-century polychrome Venetian guéridon or pedestal table, inlaid with Italian marble; a chest of drawers made for the Sceaux Chateau and other pieces of furniture in the Main Hall that show the evolution of Regency, Rococo and Transition styles; the Regency-style dining room, with walls covered in Italian marble and floors with beautifully designed French rugs; and a clock with bronzes by Cafieri (son) and machinery by Martinot, Louis XV’s clockmaker; and the Neoclassical Room with Louis XVI furniture, two mercurated bronze candlesticks, made by Clodion, which rest on two neoclassical consoles with Italian marble tops.

    The mansion is surrounded by gardens that complement the interiors. Four Italian marble sculptures made in the 19th century, representing spring, summer, autumn and winter enhance the El Jardín de Las Estaciones, or The Garden of the Seasons, to the east of the house. El Jardín de Noche, or The Night Garden, to the west, is decorated with rococo and neoclassical inspired sculptures.

    This beautiful museum, equipped with one of the most attractive staircases to be found in Cuban residential architecture, has interior decoration by Jansen of Paris and French mahogany carpentry. The first floor has rococo Louis XV period furniture, tapestries, paintings, a Regency-style dining room with walls covered in Italian marble, and paintings by Hubert Robert, among others. The second floor has collections of Chantilly, Meissen, Sevres, Wedgwood and Faenza ceramics, Oriental porcelains, and Chinese crystal and decorative folding panels.

    
  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Edificio de Arte Internacional

    Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Edificio de Arte Internacional  LH 5

    The International collection (Edificio de Arte Internacional) In 2001, after the new venues were chosen for the National Museum of Fine Arts, the international collection was installed in the former C …

    Tren de Hershey

    Tren de Hershey  LH 5+

    In 1926, Pennsylvania based Hershey Corporation built a 135-km-long electric railroad network in Cuba to transport product and personnel from Havana to Hershey’s sugar factory 45 km east of the capita …

    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 …

    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 …

    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 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 …

    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 …

    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 …

    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 …

    The Malecón

    The Malecón  LH 5+

    The Malecón, first named Avenida del Golfo, is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue. The project was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s greatest engineer at the time. Albear came up with a co …

    1 of 22 pages »