The restoration of Havana's Capitol concentrates on its iconic dome

The restoration of Havana's Capitol concentrates on its iconic dome

The restoration works of the National Capitol of Havana are currently focused on restoring its original splendor to the iconic dome of the monumental and emblematic building that dominates the panorama of a central area of ​​the Cuban capital, state media reported on the island today.

A group of specialists from the Office of the City Historian (OHC), institution responsible for the project, together with Russian experts participate in the complex and deep rehabilitation of the Cuban Capitol dome, where the seat of the National Assembly, the Parliament unicameral of the Caribbean country.

The intervention in that space of the building is dedicated to strengthening its concrete and steel structures and also to rescue decorative elements, according to a report by the Cuban News Agency (ACN).

But it also plans to restore its old golden color, and in this work, the Russian technicians are in charge of placing plates bathed in gold on top of the imposing building, like the ones it had in origin.

They will also be the ones to carry out a similar process to restore the impressive statue "La República", located in the Hall of the Lost Steps, which with almost 15 meters high and weighing 30 tons is among the largest existing indoor sculptures in the world.

The head of the investment group Prado, of the investment unit of the OHC, Mariela Mulet, explained that previously a study was carried out to verify the strength of the plates that make up the dome, which showed that it was not necessary to reinforce them, although it was necessary replace in certain cases the stones that make up some sections.

He specified that, as in the rest of the building, this level is followed by the installation of modern safety, electricity and hydraulic systems, among others.

He also indicated that due to the symmetry and detail in its decorative and architectural elements, the dome has great relevance in the Capitol, whose integral conservation works are around 80 percent of development and must conclude in 2019 in the face of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Havana.

The dome rises to 91.72 meters from the street level. Due to its height and diameter it is the sixth in the world and at the time of its construction, it was only surpassed in its style by San Pedro in Rome and San Pablo in London.

The scaffolding erected for its restoration is a complex metallic structure prepared to withstand winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour and lightning and storm-proof, according to technicians related to these tasks.

The process for the complete restoration of the National Capitol of Cuba began in 2010 with an investment of close to 150 million Cuban pesos (about six million dollars), according to data from the Office of the Historian of Havana.

At present, around 350 Cuban workers are working on the rehabilitation of the Capitol, which also deals with maintenance actions.

The construction of this building of eclectic classicism, considered an almost exact replica of the US Capitol located in Washington, cost about 16 million dollars and its structure gathered generous amounts of marble, bronzes and precious woods for its stairs, columns, porticos, furniture and lamps.

Designed by the Cuban architects Raúl Otero and Eugenio Rayneri Piedra and inaugurated in 1929 during the mandate of Gerardo Machado after three years of construction, the Capitol hosted the two chambers of Congress until the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, when it was assigned to others Finnish.

In recent decades it hosted the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, and is currently visited by the public and tourists to make guided tours in groups for the spaces already restored.


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