Beauty and elegance in Havana architecture
By Collete Laforet
Havana's architecture, indebted to European, Latin American and Caribbean styles, expresses among its constructions the beauty and elegance of a metropolis of high historical and patrimonial values.
The Great Theater of Havana is a cultural complex made up of several halls, auditorium and rooms for artists. It is the headquarters of the National Ballet of Cuba, the National Lyric Theater and the Spanish Ballet of Cuba.
The current building, inaugurated in 1915, is the work of the Belgian architect Paul Beleu. It occupied the place where the old Tacón theater was located, one of the most luxurious in America. The theater, rebuilt within the beautiful building, was for many years the largest and most luxurious in the country and great figures from opera, ballet, musical shows and zarzuelas paraded on its stage.
The space was bought, along with the surrounding land, by the Galician Center to build its Social Palace in 1906. Built in neo-baroque style, it took the European Baroque constructions as a model, so stone carvings and sculptures abound.
In its main facade it has four sculptural groups in white marble that represent allegories of Charity, Education, Music and Theater, works by Giuseppe Moretti.
The elements were placed in a balanced way and the balconies, windows, cornices, its towers and the unity of the moldings achieve an elegant rhythm.
In September 2015, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba agreed, on an exceptional basis and in recognition of Alicia Alonso's contributions to Cuban and universal culture, her love for the homeland and fidelity to the Cuban Revolution, to name it Great Theater of Havana "Alicia Alonso".