National Capitol Building
1929 the lot, where the first railroad station in Havana had been built was occupied
by the National Capitol, seat of the House of Representatives and of the Senate
of the Republic. The initial project, designed by Rayneri was altered by Cavarrocas,
Romañach, Govantes and others. It was built by the American company Purdy
& Henderson. The famous French city planner Forrestier was involved in the
design of the gardens.
It opened up on May, 20 to commemorate an anniversary of the republic.
From the stairs on we see the imposing porch columns and behind them we find the main gates, fashioned in bronze with bas-relief depicting important scenes of national history.
both sides of the uppermost part of the stairs there are two bronze statues,
symbols of two guiding virtues: people and work. These statues are the work
of the Italian sculptor Angelo Zanelli.
The facade is mainly of classic style while the interior of the building is characterized by eclectic opulence. Different kinds of marble were used on its floors.
An outstanding feature is its 90 meters high dome, visible from the farthest reaches of the city.
Under the dome there is a bronze statue portraying the Republic. The majestic sculpture made of 22 k. gold-plated bronze, by the same Italian sculptor, is about 17 meters high including the base fashioned in ancient Egyptian marble-onyx. Only the Golden Buda of Nava in Japan and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington surpass our colossal statue in height.
The Salon de los Pasos Perdidos is another attraction of this place. This space, conceived for official ceremonies, is 15 meters wide and 48 meters long.
On the exact center of the building, under the dome, a diamond marking the kilometer 0 of Cuban highways was set.
At present here have their seats, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
and the Institute for Scientific and Technological Information.