Colonial Art Museum
One of most beautiful and well preserved in Old Havana is the Colonial Art Museum, place in the Cathedral Square.
The house belonged to Don Luis Chacon, three times Military Governor of Cuba. The building was finished around 1622, and is considered as the first one rebuilt at the square, in the 18th century majestic style, which prevails in the present environment of the place.
The ancient large house has a long history of landowners, among the richest personalities of the city. Since the second half of the 19th century it was the main office of the Actuaries Real College of Havana, the newspaper La Discusión and the well known enterprise of liquor Arechavala, until the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. It was opened as a museum in 1969, after several processes of restoration.
Its lobbies and chambers exhibit an important collection representing the furniture and decoration of the huge colonial houses in Havana, as well as some architectural elements as vitrales and arches (kind of colourful fan-shaped crystals which decorate the top of doors and windows).
The 18th and 19th centuries dinner-set collection is one of its most important treasures, with an ample and original variety of styles and designs.
The carriage’s house is also prominent, and shows as a museum jewel a luxurious two-wheeled top-wagon, which appearance meant an improvement of the colonial transportation.
The museum has an abundant set of different kinds of grates, with a variety in designs and functions —neighbour-keepers, lamp post holders and fences—, and also the 18th and 19th centuries manufacturing techniques.
The first floor has an outstanding room within the institution profile; in one hand it shows Cuban furniture and glassware collections, which are the museum speciality, and in the other hand shows rooms reproducing the ambience, the very image of the colonial way of life. The development of cabinetwork in Cuba is shown in three rooms, with examples that define the preferences and customs according the characteristics and peculiarities of country.
Address: 61 San Ignacio street between Empedrado and
O’Reilly, Cathedral Square, Old Havana. Telephone: 862 6440.
Open from Monday through Sunday, since 9:00 - 18:30
Entrance fee: 2.00 CUC
Tour (excepting Sundays): 3.00 CUC