Places - Cuba's Eastern Region

Casa de Don Diego Velazquez-Santiago

The oldest house still standing in Cuba, this arresting early colonial abode dating from 1522 was the official residence of the island's first governor. Restored in the late 1960s, the Andalusian-style facade with fine, wooden lattice windows was inaugurated in 1970 as the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano. The ground floor was originally a trading house and gold foundry, while the upstairs was where Velázquez lived. Today, rooms display period furnishings and decor from the 16th to 19th centuries. Check out the two-way screens, where you could look out without being observed: a Turkish influence. The house presents architectural and ornamental elements of notable Moorish influences, as the artisans and the lattices Windows of its balconies, with a roof of carved cedar.