mandag 16. november 2009

TOUR OF CUBA: 14 - 20 MARCH 2010

14 - 20 MARCH 2010


The Cuban and Scandinavian chapters of INTBAU in partnership with the Academy of Urbanism (UK) and C.E.U. - Council for European Urbanism invite you to join a one week tour of three Cuban cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.


The one week Tour March 14-20 will give you an introduction to the history of Urbanism and Architecture of Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, all listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. We will study the restoration and regeneration of Old Havana and go on one day tours by bus to two smaller historic towns, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.
Our expert guide will be Prof. Julio Cesar Perez, who has been a speaker at several INTBAU and C.E.U. conferences. A Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and Adjunct Professor at the School of Architecture in Havana, he has lectured widely in the US and Europe about Cuban architecture. He is also the author of the major book “INSIDE CUBA”, published by Taschen in 2006. Julio Cesar Perez was also our tour guide in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Who is it for: Architects, planners, art historians, antiquarians, writers, students and others with an interest in the history of Cuban architecture, urbanism and culture.



Day 0 – Saturday 13 March

Arrival in Havana. Accommodation.

Day 1 – Sunday 14 March

Morning. 9.30 am- 1.00 pm
WALKING Tour of Old Havana by Prof. Julio César Pérez Visit the 4 oldest squares of Old Havana and the most representative colonial buildings:
• Plaza de Armas, XVI century with Royal Force Castle by Sánchez and Calona (1558- 1577), the Palacio del Segundo Cabo or Royal Post Office (1770- 1791), the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (1776- 1791) by Antonio Fernández Trevejos and Pedro de Medina; the beautiful Santa Isabel hotel- where US President James Carter was lodged when he visited Cuba in 2002- the former residence of Count of Santovenia from 1784 and El Templete from 1828 by Antonio M. de la Torre.
• Plaza de San Francisco de Asís from 1628 with the baroque Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi from 1735 and the 1908 Stock Exchange of Havana by Tomás Mur built by the famous US company Purdy and Henderson in a record time of only 16 months; the Custom House of Havana by Barclay, Parsons and Klapp from 1914.
• Plaza Vieja where the restoration process is best explained with a stop at a special corner restaurant which is the museum of beer in Havana. Visit to the 1735 Casa de Condes de Jaruco with the most beautiful stained glass windows in Havana and walls with the original fiezes and a wonderful courtyard.
• Plaza de la Catedral. Visit the Casa de Condes de Bayona from 1725- currently the Museum of Colonial Art of Cuba- and the Casa del Marqués de Arcos, Casa del Conde de Lombillo and Casa del Marqués de Aguas Claras, all from XVIII Century and the Cathedral, the greatest example of Cuban Baroque from 1777.
Lunch suggestion: 1.00- 2.30 pm
Café del Oriente at Plaza San Francisco.
Afternoon. 2.30 pm- 4.00 pm.
FREE, Siesta, EastHavanaBeaches, etc.
Evening suggestions:
Live Jazz Music at “La Zorra y El Cuervo” Nightclub in La Rampa, El Vedado. Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor on the hottest place in town where youngsters hang out. Watching the old traditional ceremony of the 9.00 o’ clock canyon shooting at the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña across the bay. El Gato Tuerto bar.
Dinner suggestion:
La Torre restaurant on top of FOCSA Building in El Vedado, overlooking the city and the sea.

Day 2 – Monday 15 March

Morning 9.30 am- 1.00 pm.
WALKING Tour of The Walls District (XIX century/ early XX century) by Prof. Julio César Pérez.
• Visit The Parque Central of Havana where the 1879 England hotel is, the Neo- Moorish 1908 Seville Hotel, the 1914 Casino Español, the 1915 Great Theater of Havana by Belgian architect Paul Belau who also designed the former Presidential Palace in 1920- currently the Museum of the Revolution; the 1925 Centro Asturiano designed by Spanish Architect Manuel del Busto- currently the Fine Arts Museum.
• Walk along the world wide famous1929 promenade El Paseo del Prado, inspired in the elevated plaza concept and considered one of the best open spaces in the world by French Landscape designer J.C. N. Forestier who also designed the nearby Park of Fraternity and Avenida del Puerto (Harbor Avenue) and also the 1929 Capitolio gardens.
• Visit the former home of President José Miguel Gómez from 1915 designed by Cuban architect Hilario del Castillo.
• Visit the former Bacardi Headquarters Building from 1930 (the Jewel of Art Déco).
Lunch suggestion: 12.30- 2.00 pm
Prado y Neptuno Italian Restaurant across Parque Central, designed in 1999 by Italian architect Roberto Gottardi, author of the Drama School at the Schools of Art Campus.
Afternoon 2.30- 4.00 pm.
WALKING Tour of El Vedado district led by Prof. Julio César Pérez:
• Visit the City Garden of El Vedado- planned in 1859-60 but not developed until early in the XX century- according to modern planning principles that introduced the green in the city for the first time.
• Visit the 1906- 40 Universtity of Havana Campus, the 1926 Dolce Dimora mansion designed by Cuban architects Govantes and Cabarrocas, currently the Napoleon’s Museum, La Rampa district, the very heart of modern Havana where the famous 1966 Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor is and the1950s hotels, apartments, cinemas, restaurants and shops are.
• Visit the 1930 National Hotel designed by US architects McKim, Mead & White designated best hotel all over the world in 2006.
Evening suggestion:
Optional drinks at the Hotel Nacional gardens and terraces.
Dinner suggestion:
Paladar de Adela in El Vedado or at the National Hotel.
Late evening suggestions:
Discotech at the Havana Café of the Melia Cohiba Hotel or Nightclub at the Riviera Hotel or Jazz café at Galerias Paseo.

Day 3 – Tuesday 16 March

Morning 9:30 - 1:00 pm.
BUS Tour of West Havana. The suburbs, the new hotels.
• Visit the Miramar District (planned in the early XX century) and the big city model at the Group for Integral Development of the Capital.
• Learn from the bus about important landmarks as the 1980 Soviet Embassy- tallest building in Miramar- and the Miramar Trade Center office park and the new hotels area.
• Lectures and meetings with key people who will talk about current development, opportunities and challenges for the near future of the city of Havana and will answer questions from the participants.
Lunch suggestion: 1.30- 2.30 pm
Paladar VistaMAr, a 1950s architect’s home by the sea, in Miramar.
Afternoon 2.30- 5.00 pm.
From the bus see the westernmost suburbs inspired by the City beautiful movement from Frederick Law Olmstead with isolated villas in ample lots with huge gardens and eclectic and modern houses.
On the way back, drive along the tree- lined avenues of Paseo and G Street (Avenue of the Presidents) and visit the 1927 Florentine style Baró- Lasa mansion designed by Cuban architects Govantes and Cabarrocas with Art Déco interiors by French designer René Lalique and the 1957 Riviera Hotel originally designed by Philip Johnson and formerly owned by mobster Meyer Lansky.
Evening suggestion:
Dinner at Paladar La Cocina de Lilian in Playa district.

Day 4 – Wednesday 17 March

Morning 8:30- 11:30 am.
Travel by bus from Havana to Cienfuegos. Accomodation.
Lunch suggestion: 1.00- 2.30 pm
Palacio del Valle Restaurant by the sea.
Afternoon 2.30- 5.00 pm.
WALKING Tour of the Historic Center of Cienfuegos by Julio César Pérez and possibly Historiador Architect Irán Millán.
Main square and XIX century Townhall, Terry Theater, Catholic Church, Row houses with cafes and shops.
Dinner suggestion:
Cienfuegos Yatch Club by the sea.
Overnight in Cienfuegos.

Day 5 – Thursday 18 March

Morning 9.00- 10.30 am
Travel by bus from Cienfuegos to Trinidad. Accomodation.
Lunch suggestion:
Local restaurant
Afternoon 2.30- 5.00 pm.
Walking tour of the center of the city led by Julio César Pérez and possibly Historiador Nancy Gonzalez.
Plaza Mayor, Catholic Church, Palacio Cantero, Palacio Brunet, Regidor Ortiz, Casa del Cocodrilo, etc.
Evening suggestion: 5.00 pm.
At the beach. Dinner at a restaurant by the sea.
Late evening suggestion:
Casa de la trova. Cuban music and dancing.
Overnight in Trinidad.

Day 6 – Friday 19 March

Morning 9.00- 10.30 am
Travel by bus to the Sugar Mills Valley in Trinidad outskirts. Visit Hacienda Iznaga and Tower Iznaga on the way back to Havana.
Lunch suggestion
Cienfuegos Yacht Club by the sea.
Afternoon 2.00- 6.00 pm
Return Trip to Havana
Evening suggestions:
Salsa Music at Casa de la Música in Miramar, Music at Hotel Riviera or at Hotel Nacional with Buena Vista Social Club members.
Day 7 – Saturday 20 March
"Day on your own" in Havana. Optional departure in the afternoon.


Some of the Cuban practitioners we will meet
Orestes del Castillo:
Mr. del Castillo is an expert in the restoration and structural repairs of old buildings. He has recently retired from his position at the Office of the Historador of Havana, where he for many years has been working closely with the Historador Eusebio Leal Spengler himself, who is in charge of the restoration of Old Havana. Mr. del Castillo is a professor at the Havana School of Architrecture and he has been awarded the National Award of Architecture. He has lectured widely in both the U.S. and in Europe.

Raúl González Romero
Mr. Romero is an architect, expert in hotels and one of the advisors of the Minister of Construction of Cuba. Mr. Romero is a professor at the Havana School of Architrecture and he has been awarded the National Award of Architecture. He has lectured widely in Europe.

Mario Coyula.
Mr. Coyula is the former Director of Havana´s Planning Agency known as Grupo para el Desarrollo de la Capital. He is the former Director of the School of Architecture and the former editor of Arquitectura Cuba magazine. Mr. Coyula is a professor at the Havana School of Architrecture and he has been awarded the National Award of Architecture He has taught in MIT, Harvard and has lectured widely in USA and Europe.

We will also try our best to arrange a meeting with the Historiador of Havana: Eusebio Leal Spengler. But we cannot promise that we will manage to set up such a meeting, alternatively we will meet other key staff at the Historador office such as Mr. del Castillo.

Cienfuegos and Trinidad

We will also meet several people involved with restoration / preservation / heritage / and urban development in the other cities we visit. In Cienfuegos we will meet the Historiador and Head Architect of the town Mr. Irán Millán, and in Trinidad we will meet the Historiador and Head Architect of the town Mr. Nancy González.


Registration fee

The cost of the tour program is 670 £ / GBP (approx. 740 Euro, 1100 US $) with single room accommodation.
For two persons sharing a room the individual tour cost is 600 £ / GBP.
We can also arrange accommodation for additional nights in Havana if you arrive early or would like to stay longer. Please contact Audun Engh –
The registration fee includes:
- Seven nights accommodation in Casa Particular (rooms for rent in private apartments),
- Bus and walking tours of Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Travel by bus from Havana to Trinidad and Cienfuegos.
- Expert guiding by Prof. Julio Cesar Perez all week, and by local experts at some of the locations we visit.
The fee does not include international travel to Havana, and does not include any meals.
The participants are asked to arrange their own travel to Havana. Airlines with connections from Europe include Air France, British Airways, Iberia, and Virgin Atlantic (from London).
Meals will be organised either collective and on an individual basis, but all meals will have to be paid by the individual participant.
Some ATMs can be found, but they are rare compared to other countries. No cards issued by US bank will work in Cuba. It is recommended to bring cash for the trip. Euros, UK Pounds and Dollars are accepted in any currency exchange shop. US $ will be subject to a 10% tax when exchanged.

Registration and contact

For registration and payment, please go to the Registration page on the INTBAU web site, (from approx.1 December, 2009).

For information and a preliminary registration, please e-mail Audun Engh, Oslo, Norway; Tel. +47.92622626




Casa Particular (rooms for rent in private houses and apartments) is a uniquely Cuban form of accommodation. Most of the rooms are in apartment buildings from the 1950s, and all are located in the El Vedado area of Havana, just a few blocks from the famous Hotel Nacional. The living and dining rooms are shared with the Cuba family. If you wish, the family will provide you with breakfast and other meals (against a surcharge). All guests will have single rooms unless otherwise agreed. Some bathrooms might be shared with other guests. The buildings are just five minutes away from the Malecón waterfront. We have stayed in the same area as during our last two trips, and the location has proven as a superb starting point for exploring Havana.


We will stay in private homes (Casa Particular). Not all the group will be accommodated in the same are due to the character of the city. We will split the group in two neighbourhoods, most of our guests will stay in old colonial houses close to the city centre while others will stay outside of the city centre in early modernist bungalows close to the sea. In most cases the rooms will have air condition, private bathrooms, etc., but standards may vary as we will stay in private homes.


We will stay in private homes (Casa Particular).Some of the houses have truly spectacular interiors from the height of the colonial time in Cuba.
You will need a tourist visa for visiting Cuba, please contact your local Cuban embassy. New regulations require you to submit the address and registration number of our Casa Particular when applying for a visa. We will provide you with this information in due time.


US Participants

We have had US participants on both our tour and workshop in 2007 and 2008. Due to the US trade embargo, US citizens will need to travel to Cuba under either a general or a specific license. Please go to the website of the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Travel agents that have been recommended by some of our previous American participants:
• Common Ground Education & Travel Services -
• Marazul -
If you are uncertain whether or not you fall under the General License category, you may contact the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York (Phone: 212-614-6464; Fax: 212-614-6499; Email: ), for free legal advice on travel regulations.


Havana Urban Design Charrette

Following the tour, we will arrange an urban design charrette in Havana 22 -27 March 2010. You are welcome to join one of the events, or both. For more information on the charrette, please go to the 2010 Havana charrette web site


The Organisers

The tour is organised by the Cuban and Scandinavian chapters of INTBAU, in partnership with the Academy of Urbanism, UK, and Cuban and Norwegian chapters of C.E.U. - Council of European Urbanism. We have organised similar events in Norway, Germany, the UK, Romania and Italy.

Prof. Julio César Pérez Hernández, Havana, will be the expert guide.
Prof. Perez was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana (1998-2006), has lectured widely in the US, Canada and Europe about Cuban architecture. He is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and the recipient of several international and national awards. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Arquitectura Cuba and Arquitectura y Urbanismo.

Julio Cesar Perez is the author of a major new book on Cuban architecture and culture, "Inside Cuba", published byTaschen. He is the president of the Cuban chapters of INTBAU and C.E.U. and the author of "A Master plan for 21st century Havana".

INTBAU Scandinavia is represented by Audun Engh, who is also a member of the INTBAU College of Chapters.

Web sites:


More info on Havana

Havana described by Wikipedia

More info on Trinidad

Trinidad described by Wikipedia
Trinidad described by a travel agency

More info on Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos described by Wikipedia
Cienfuegos described by a travel agency
Cienfuegos described by Cuba-Junky

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