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.