The Houses of Old Cuba

Llilian Llanes, Jean-Luc De Laguarigue

Description

From the indigenous simple huts known as bohios to elegant neoclassical villas, from the grand palaces of the Spanish occupation to luxurious quintas or country mansions, all the secrets and enchantments of Cuban life, past and present, remain intact today in the city of Havana, in the towns of Trinidad, Camaguey, and Santiago de Cuba, and in the countryside. This superbly illustrated book reveals a Cuban architectural heritage that is often ignored or hidden from the view of visitors to the island. Drawing upon local archives, museum records, memoirs, diaries, and other native sources, Llilian Llanes describes Cuba’s architectural history from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth. The evolution of Cuban architecture, influenced by climate and social conditions, parallels the cultural, political, and economic history of the island, and the houses and their decoration reflect periods of greater or lesser prosperity, as well as social inequalities. Courtyards, balconies, galleries, balustrades, grilles, and louvered doors: the evocative photographs, all in color, illustrate the subject magnificently with exterior and interior views plus close-ups of details. Extended captions explain the development of architectural features and the houses themselves over centuries and provide fascinating details of Cuban daily life, customs, and pastimes. 168 color photographs and a map.

Contributors

Llilian Llanes

Author

Llilian Llanes is a former History of Art professor at the University of Havana. She is also the founding director of Cuba’s principal art museum, the Center Wilfredo Lam, and has written two books on Cuban history.

Jean-Luc De Laguarigue

Photographer

Jean-Luc de Laguarigue, a Caribbean-based photographer. Has published an earlier book on the houses of Martinique.