An unprecedented tour of stunning and architecturally significant Cuban palacios, mansions, and private homes that have been meticulously preserved, previously un-photographed, and inaccessible to visitors. At a time when more travelers are rediscovering Cuba, this lavishly illustrated volume offers a different view of the island’s cultural achievements. It presents not the Cuba of Castro’s era, with its derelict buildings and peeling paint, but the opulent world of the Spanish Creole aristocracy of the colonial period, with its Mudejar craftsmanship and baroque palacios, the sugarcane plantations (ingenios) and coffee plantations (cafetales), and classically inspired grand mansions. Exceptional preservation work has kept these villas in the magnificent state in which they were first envisioned. The photographs, shot exclusively for this book, show examples in each area of the island-from the interiors and exteriors in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Pinar del Rio to close-up details of courtyards, balconies, galleries, balustrades, grilles, and louvered doors in Trinidad, Matanzas, and Holguin. One featured home is Finca Vigia (“Lookout House”), the former residence of Ernest Hemingway.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Already have gifted The Splendor of Cuba to two friends one birthday and another on a special occasion. Both times book was an instant hit to the point that guests want to "borrow" it right away. Also received complimentary calls and emails with true expressions of joy. Almost never did I get this sort of sincere instant thank you with a gift. This booked was loved by all. Will certainly purchase again for future gifts for all my Cuban friends.
Lately there has been a growing interest in publishing books detailing the splendor of Cuba's architectural heritage. This new publication is nothing short from being a visual feast. The book is thick and full of large fully colored photos revealing the different eras of Cuban architectural heritage. The photos are accompanied by a thorough and engaging text that explains each era and its specific features. Thus, placing the beautiful buildings illustrated into their social and historical contexts. This book succeeds both as a beautifully illustrated reference as well as a stunning coffee-table book, highly recommended.
So well done from the photos taken in places that most visitors wont get to see, to the well written historical backgrounds and current state of conditions of the properties. Having recently returned from a short trip, there is the obvious decay and poverty that is so often shown. Unesco and Cuba are beautifully restoring many important buildings and areas. This book is must for anyone interested in the history and architecture of a unique place. This book exceeded my expectations.
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