Early in 2010, before arriving in Alabama to document life in that state in the early 21st century, photographer Carol Highsmith added to her archive at the Library of Congress 416 photographs of contemporary Havana, Cuba. Her subjects include 16th century Morro Castle and Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and interiors and exterior views of well-preserved, palatial buildings, e.g. the nation’s capitol (“El Capitolio”), alongside examples of deteriorating buildings bearing remanants of their former architectural grandeur. In a second post I’ll show you examples of her photos of public art in Havana.
Credit line for each photograph should read:
The Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06188
Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana, Cuba. After Havana was destroyed in 1555 by the French pirate Jacques de Sores, the Spanish Crown built a more solid fortress to replace the original, ineffectual tower known as La Fuezza Vieja. In 1558 they began work on Castillo de la Real Fuerza. It was completed in 1577. There is a moat that surrounds the fortress and a drawbridge leading the to main building. It was restored in 1963 and is a museum. LC-DIG-highsm-06057
Morro Castle, Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06111
Salon de los Pasos Perdidos. Official reception hall of the El Capitolio Nacional, Havana, Cuba, now unused. The Havana Capitol was built from April 1, 1926-1929; the building cost 17 million Pesos and is bigger than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. LC-DIG-highsm-06011
Staircase in an old building in Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06043
The Paifang (archway) to Chinatown, Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06370
Necropolis de Colon (Havana's Cemetery) has 131 years of history. Also known as Christopher Columbus Cemetery. It was built by Galician architect Calixto Areliano de Lorira y Cordoso. The first work in the cemetery began in 1871. LC-DIG-highsm-06162
Beautiful architectural details can still be found in mostly decaying facades in Old Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06080
Russian Embassy in Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06407
Ernest Hemingway's home in Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06241