Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

  • Built on the site of Havana's original church, this extravagant 18th-century building is a textbook example of Cuban baroque architecture, hewn out of rock from the nearby San Lázaro quarries
  • At the western end of the Plaza de Armas is the former residence of the men who governed Cuba. A succession of some five-dozen Spanish captain-generals (also called governors) lived here until 1898 and the U.S. government called it home prior to the Revolution.
  • The wooden "paving" on the plaza in front of it was installed on the orders of a 17th-century captain-general, who wanted to muffle the clatter of horses and carriages so he could enjoy his naps undisturbed.
  • Inside it to the right is a plaque dated 1557; it commemorates the death of Doña Maria de Cepeda y Nieto, who was felled by a stray shot while praying in what was then Parroquia Mayor, Havana's main parish church

 

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