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Cuba's facades and doorways | Photos by Amber C. Snider, collage by Amanda Suarez © Culture Trip
Cuba's facades and doorways | Photos by Amber C. Snider, collage by Amanda Suarez © Culture Trip
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Cuba's Most Decorative Doorways and Colorful Facades

Picture of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 15 September 2017
Cuba has some of the most eclectic doors and window gates in the world, ranging from ornate metalwork to mixed-material entryways. Not enough can be said of these narrow visions, these tunnels that lead to entire “interior” worlds. Each facade is a unique expression, each window hides a story, and each door stands as an entryway into the unknown.
Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Havana streets are one large experiment in color blocking and eclecticism. Where else can you see pink pastels juxtaposed with forest green and sea blue with mahogany?

Intricate metal work on window gates in Cuba
Intricate metal work on window gates in Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Most of the doorways and windows in Cuba are covered with intricate metal window guards. But they’re not just beautiful additions to the home; they also serve as secure breezeways during the heat of the day. Plus residents can still socialize with passersby from the comfort of their living rooms.

Doorway in Cuba
Doorway in Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Many doors in Havana open to long narrow entryways that lead to private homes.

This little perro was also intrigued by what was beyond the street view
This little perro was also intrigued by what was beyond the street view | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

This mix of ornate woodwork, metalwork, sculpture, and tile made for a particularly enchanting facade in Trinidad, Cuba.

Trindad, Cuba
Trindad, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Callejon de Hamel is one of Centro Habana’s most spectacular streets. Created, designed, and maintained by artist Salvador González Escalona, this eclectic street is entirely dedicated to Afro-Cuban culture and Santeria.

Callejon de Hamel in Centro Habana
Callejon de Hamel in Centro Habana | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

The renovation of historical structures is an ongoing process in Cuba. This spectacular early 20th century mansion, originally called La Mansión Camagüey, now houses one of Havana’s most famous “hidden” restaurants: La Guarida. A spiral staircase in the entryway leads to the restaurant on the third floor and the rooftop area offers stunning views of the cityscape.

Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

There’s no doubt about it: Cuba’s architecture is an eclectic display of time periods and styles, including Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Deco. Most of the color designs and structures have Spanish, Roman, and Moorish influence.

Trinidad, Cuba
Trinidad, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Neoclassical balconies can be seen all around Old Havana, complete with “color pop” doors and modern breezeways.

Havana, Cuba | Amber C. Snider / © Culture Trip
Havana, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Historic Spanish archways can be found all over Old Havana. The archways below act as a continuous stream of doorways that give the illusion of infinity.

Havana, Cuba
Havana, Cuba | Photo by Amber C. Snider © Culture Trip

Special thanks to Fisheye Journeys for providing an immersive travel experience and insight into the art and culture in Cuba.

For more design inspiration, check out Cuba’s vivid expressions in color blocking and street scenes here.