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2007 Tour


24 FEBRUARY - 3 MARCH 2007

The one week Tour February 24 – March 3 will include an introduction to the history of urbanism and architecture in Havana, and the regeneration of Old Havana. One day tours by bus to two smaller historic towns, Trinidad and Cienfuegos. Our expert guide will be Prof. Julio Cesar Perez, Faculty  of Architecture, Havana. Prof. Perez has been a speaker at several INTBAU and C.E.U. conferences. He is a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana, has lectured widely in the US and Europe about Cuban architecture.

Who is it for: Architects, planners, art historians, antiquarians, writers and others with an interest in the history of Cuban architecture, urbanism and culture.

Above: Typical street in Trinidad. Photo: Claus Zapffe



Subject to changes

Day 0– Saturday 24 Feb. 

Arrival in Havana. Accomodation.

Day 1– Sunday25 Feb.

Morning. 9.30 am- 1.00 pm
WALKING Tour of Old Havana by Dr. Professor Architect Orestes del Castillo (Office of the Historian) and 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 26 Feb.   

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.

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 27 Feb.  

Morning 10.00 - 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 4Wednesday 28 Feb.

Morning 9.00- 11.30 am.
Trip 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 Historiador Architect Irán Millán and Julio César Pérez.  
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 1 March

Morning 9.00- 10.30 am
Trip to
Trinidad. Accomodation.

Lunch suggestion:
to be determined

Afternoon 2.30-  5.00 pm.
Walking tour of the center of the city led by Historiador Nancy Gonzalez and
Julio César Pérez.
Plaza Mayor, Catholic Church, Palacio Cantero, Palacio Brunet, Regidor Ortiz, Casa del Cocodrilo, etc.

Eveningsuggestion 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, 2 March

Morning9.00- 10.30 am
Trip to the Sugar Mills Valley in Trinidad outskirts.

Lunch suggestion
“El Jigue” Restaurant in Trinidad.

Afternoon 2.00- 6.00 pm
Return Trip to Havana
Visit Hacienda Iznaga and Tower Iznaga on the way back 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 3 March

"Day on your own" in Havana. Optional departure in the afternoon.

Some of the Cuban practitioners we will meet:

Orestes del Castillo:
He is the right hand of the Historiador of Havana, the expert in restoration, an old specialist in structures. Also a professor at the school and National Award of Architecture. Has lectured widely in both USA and Europe.

Raúl González Romero
is an old architect, expert in hotels and one of the advisors of the Minister of Construction of Cuba. Also a professor at the school and National Award of Architecture. Has lectured widely in Europe.

Mario Coyula.
Also a professor at the school and National Award of Architecture. Former Director of Havana´s Planning Agency known as Grupo para el Desarrollo de la Capital. Former Director of the School of Architecture and former editor of Arquitectura Cuba magazine. Has taught in MIT, Harvard and has lectured widely in USA and Europe.

It is possible but not sure to have a meeting with the Historiador of Havana. If he is in Cuba, if he isn´t busy, if he accepts. All this we don´t know yet but can be worked out of course.
Cienfuegos and Trinidad
You could meet several people involved with restoration / preservation / heritage / and urban development in the other cities visited. We can mention Irán Millán in Cienfuegos who is the Historiador and Head Architect and you can also meet with the one in Trinidad,  Nancy González,  as well.


The cost of the tour programme is 800 CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos). The CUC is pegged in a relationship of 1 to 1,08 to the American Dollar, so 800 CUC equal 864 $. For two persons sharing a room the individual tour price is 700 CUC. In Euros, 800 CUC equal approximately 660 €. We can arrange accomodation for additional nights in Havanna if you arrive early or stay on for 50 CUC per night (price per room, single or double occupancy).

The fee includes seven nights accomodation in Casa Particular (rooms for rent in private appartments), bus tour in Havana, bus tour to Cienfuegos and Trinidad, and expert guiding by Prof. Julio Cesar Perez. The fee does not include international travel to and from Havana, and does not include any meals.

The participants are asked to arrange for their own travel to and from Havana. We are not a tour operator, but can mention the following airlines servicing Cuba: Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Virgin Atlantic. To find the best rates we recommend a search on Kelkoo. If participants wish to stay longer on Cuba they are welcome to do so.

Meals will be both collective and on an individual basis, but all meals will have to be payed locally. ATMs can be found in Havana, although no cards issued by an American bank or it's subsidaries will be accepted.


This is a big Casa Particular, a landmark appartment building from the 1950s. The address is 21 O Street, just across the street from  Hotel Nacional where we can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, pool, gym, or simply  drinks at any time as it is just across the street. The rooms have air condition, bathrooms, refrigerators, views to the ocean - the building is 3 minutes away from the Malecón - and common areas- terraces and living and dining rooms - with TV, stereos, videos- VHS- etc.

We will stay in private homes (Casa Particular). This gives a unique insight into Cuban life and the opportunity to make some new friends.

Again we will stay in private homes (Casa Particular). Not all the group will be accomodated in the same homes for obvious reasons but they can be within the same neighborhood within walking distance which can be convenient depending on the group.

In all, cases the rooms will have air condition, bathrooms, etc.



You will need a visa for visiting Cuba, please contact your local Cuban embassy. A tourist visa should be the simplest one to obtain. Your address on Cuba will be 21 # 4 between N and O Street, Appartment 61, 6th floor, in El Vedado at the corner of Hotel Nacional, Ciudad de Habana.


For registration for the tour, or if you have any more questions, please e-mail Claus Zapffe.

Following the tour, we arrange a Charette in Havana March 4- 10. You are welcome to join either the tour or the charrette, or both. For a detailed programme and more information on the charette please click here: Charrette programme

UPDATE 15th Feb 2007: We still have a few places available!

The Organizers

Prof. Julio César Pérez Hernández   CV
Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana, has lectured widely in the US 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 by Taschen. Link to the publisher`s web site:

Audun Engh  
Oslo, Norway. Education in law, project manager for the Norwegian Foundation for Urban Renewal, an INTBAU (Internationl Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism) partner organization. Member of the INTBAU Management Committee. Board member of CEU - Council for European Urbanism. Management Group Member of ESUA - European School for Urbanism and Architecture.

M.Arch Claus Zapffe   CV
Oslo, Norway. Consulting architect with own practice, Moderno AS. Management Group Member of ESUA - European School for Urbanism and Architecture. Board member of INTBAU Scandinavia.


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


Above: Typical street in Cienfuegos. Photo: Claus Zapffe


International supporting organisations:

C.E.U. Norwegian Chapter - Council for European Urbanism

Moderno AS - architecture and design

INTBAU - International Network for Building, Architecture and Urbanism

Folkeuniversitetet Fjellregionen - Norwegian Association for Adult Learning

Stiftelsen Byens Fornyelse - Foundation for Urban Renewal

The tour and charrette are private initiatives offering friends and collegues an academic programme on Cuba. We are not a tour operator. Each participant has to arrange for his / her own travel to Cuba, travels on his / her own risk, and is advised to arrange his / her own insurances.

U.S. participants:
The C.E.U. Tour and C.E.U. Charrette in Cuba are professional meetings / conferences, and are intended only for full-time professionals whose travel transactions are directly related to attendance at the Tour and Charrette. The Tour and Charrette are organized by C.E.U. Norway, an international professional organization that regularly sponsors such meetings or conferences in other countries. Neither C.E.U. Norway nor the international C.E.U. network is headquartered in the United States, nor are any of the institutions, associations or organisations associated with the Tour and the Charrette. The purpose of the Tour and the Charrette is not the promotion of tourism in Cuba nor other commercial activities involving Cuba, nor to foster production of any bio-technological products.

Last updated 15th Feb 2007, 20:22