The Arab Museum

The old colonial home that houses The Arab Museum, in the very heart of Old Havana, is itself a great example of the strong Moorish influence on Cuban architecture since the 18th century.

The red-brick arcade, the form of the ceilings and galleries, and the ample inner patio decked with plants and flowers epitomize the Mudejar construction style brought over to Cuba by Spanish master builders. The halls boast marquetry pieces with ivory and precious wood inlays; practical and sumptuous robes worn by Saharan nomads; remarkable camel saddles; exquisite rugs and tapestries, and an exact replica of an Arab market place.

Also on display is one of Nature’s wonders: a desert rose, a calcareous formation resembling a flower that occurs on sandy soils when evaporation causes salts to concentrate. Eighteenth and nineteenth century weapons, gold and silver plated and with intricate ornaments, form one of the most complete collections in the country.

Also of note, The Arab House is the only place in Havana which houses a Moslem prayer room (complete with the Koran and other religious objects), open to local and foreign believers.

Address:
Calle Oficios
e/ Obispo y Obrapia
Habana Vieja (Old Havana)
Open: Tuesday to Saturday: 14:30-18:30, 19:00-21:45. Sundays: 09:00 to 13:00. Closed Mondays

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