Havana: the old town


‘Unesco recently included the Old Town in Havana among the places belonging to the universal heritage of humanity, that is among the historical witnesses worth being preserved and saved due to their high intrinsic content of civilisation. Old Havana represents one of the best preserved urban centres of the colonial and baroque age. This recognition gave rise to one of the largest restoration campaigns in the whole world, which involves the Cuban Government and hundreds of people, including many volunteers. Under the supervision of Eusebio Leal, director of the Museo Provincial de La Habana e Hi-storiador oficial, the old walls of the town have been brought to light again and houses get restored one by one, both externally (in their typical soft colours) and internally. They now host craft workshops, the “Can-tinas”, shops and families: social life is re-starting and its drawing its impulse from a city environment made to measure for man. This is actually the most interesting aspect of the rescue of old Havana: it is not a mere restoration of buildings, but it is the regeneration of an urban environment where man can really live. This broad exhibition is divided into different sections dedicated to various historical epochs of Havana, starting from the first Spanish fortresses to modern times and the present huge restoration work. As far as architecture is concerned, a section is dedicated to sacred buildings, another to public buildings, and another to one of the most typical expressions of the architecture of the city: the “patios”, that is the internal courtyards of the buildings. Not only does the exhibition show many huge drawings and models, but it also displays many important objects coming from the city museum: ancient maps of the Caribbean and of Cuba, engravings with views of the city, silver objects of the 18th and 19th centuries, a few complete furnished rooms, from both humble and aristocratic settings (there is even the bedroom of the Infanta), and a 19th century carriage called a “quitrin”.’


24 Agosto 1985 - 31 Agosto 1985


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions