Arrival into Havana
Upon arriving at Havana, one of the first things that caught our eye was the seemingly eclectic architecture of the city. This is a city where decorated colonial buildings coexist with simple government housing, where different periods of its history act as layers of the city. During the Spanish colonial rule, the houses built on the island resembled the existing architecture of Europe. As a tribute to island tropical identity, new vibrant colors were introduced as a unique aspect of these Moorish inspired houses. As the French arrived, neoclassical architecture was added to this mixture of tropical and colonial, resulting in a lot of columns around the city. After Castro’s revolution, the design choices underwent massive change. Function was given more significance than ever and buildings were solely designed to serve their purpose instead of decorating the city. With this pragmatic understanding, tall, unembellished constructions rose around Cuba as a final addition to this eclectic mix. One can observe the changes to Cuban society over the years simply by looking at the layers of architecture in Havana.