Palace of the General Captains, symbol of the Baroque in Cuba

Palace of the General Captains, symbol of the Baroque in Cuba

Heritage & Traditions

By Coco Simpson

The Palace of the General Captains, located in Old Havana, is considered the work of greatest architectural importance of all the Baroque development in Cuba.

It was built near the old Havana Cathedral and its foundations began to be laid in 1776. It was the seat of 65 General Captains sent by Spain to govern Cuba, as well as the compound of the United States Administrator during the intervention from 1898 to 1902.

In its interior patio there is a statue of Christopher Columbus, placed in 1862. The construction also served as the seat of the city council and jail, as well as several government offices.

The Palace of the General Captains, current Museum of the City, has 40 permanent exhibition rooms, dedicated to preserving the memory of the Cuban independence efforts and the search for national identity.

Its residential environment recalls stately times and recreates interior spaces with the charm of notable collections that enhance the national heritage.

The essential objective of the museum is to represent, in a symbolic way, the history of Cuba. The room dedicated to Cuban art shows a set of important works, key within Cuban visual arts, spanning different periods.

In it it’s possible to admire creations by top figures of 19th century art, governed by the academy's own canons, such as Leopoldo Romañach and Armando Menocal.

It also features creations by representatives of the avant-garde of modernism in Cuban art, including its initiator, Víctor Manuel, and other prominent artists such as Amelia Peláez, Mariano Rodríguez, René Portocarrero, and Wifredo Lam.