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Capitanes Generales Palace

Marvel at the many arches of the majestic façade and enter this regal palace to visit its museum and learn about the city.

The Capitanes Generales Palace is an 18th-century mansion of Cuban Baroque design that served as residence to the governors of the Havana. Today, it holds the City Museum, with displays showcasing period furniture, military uniforms and old photographs piecing together events in Cuba’s turbulent history. Learn about the complex past of the city through the intriguing exhibitions in the museum.

Admire the many arches of the two-level colonnade spread across the palace’s façade. Inside, gaze up at the majestic chandeliers and large mirrors that line the hallways. This impressive mansion was built in the 1770s on the location of a former church. Note that it served briefly as the presidential palace, after housing U.S. military governors and Spanish captains.

In total, the museum has 40 rooms with permanent exhibits. Stroll around the elegant courtyard, which has tall palm trees, to see some of the most intriguing relics. See how the array of antique objects decorating the enclosure generate an impression of Cuba over the centuries. Inspect the white marble statue of Christopher Columbus, which was built in 1862.

The museum tells the fascinating story of the city through photos, including an exhibit centered on the sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in 1898. See the horse carriages from the 19th century. Find out about the history of Christianity in the parochial exhibition that sheds light on the first church in Cuba.

There is a fee to enter the museum, which opens daily from morning until early evening.

Capitanes Generales Palace is on the Plaza de Armas in the northeastern section of the Old Havana area by the harbor. Arrive by ferry to the port or take a train to the Central Station and walk north to get to the site. Explore the area for other gems such as the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Bacardi Building and the Plaza de la Catedral.


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