Palacio de Valle, a jewel of Cienfuegos’ architecture
By Coco Simpson
The Palacio de Valle, located in the Punta Gorda area of the central southern city of Cienfuegos, is a jewel of Cuban architecture, reminiscent of Hispanic-Moorish art with Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Mudejar influences.
It is the venue for cultural events, as well as a restaurant (specializing in seafood), a museum and a bar. Its construction began in 1913. The work was entrusted to the Italian architect Alfredo Colli and the master builder Juan Suárez, who finished their task in 1917, at a cost of one and a half million pesos.
It turned out to be an architectural quirk. It is assumed that craftsmen of different nationalities and experts for each specialty were involved in this work.
This made the building a mixture of the most varied styles, because particular forms predominate and not the architectural unity: cornices that crown the entrance of the halls and portals, dominating the arches of equilateral and sharp pointed heads. The stucco walls and very fine paintings. The pavement made up of multi-colored collections of mosaics, high ceilings and spacious rooms, with ventilation and light sliding into its innumerable rooms.
This building consists of two floors, a roof terrace with pergolas and minarets, which can be reached through a metal spiral staircase, and a basement, where the servants' rooms were located.
Due to its great historical significance, it was declared a National Monument of the Cultural Heritage of Cienfuegos. Today the Palacio de Valle is one of the symbols of that city for its historical-architectural and environmental values, in addition to its relationship with the Cienfuegos bay and the Jagua hotel.