Casa del Conde de Bayona
Casa del Conde de Bayona is a simple two-story structure faces the Catedral San Cristóbal de la Habana on the south side of the Plaza de la Catedral. It’s a perfect example of the traditional Havana merchant’s house of the period, with side stairs and an entresuelo (mezzanine of half-story proportions).
It was built in the 1720s for Governor General Don Luis Chacón and later passed to Pancho Marty, a former smuggler-turned-entrepreneur. In the 1930s, it housed the Havana Club Bar, which was used by Graham Greene as the setting for Wormold’s meeting with Captain Segura (based on Batista’s real-life police chief, Ventura) in Our Man in Havana.
Today it houses the Museo de Arte Colonial (Colonial Art Museum, San Ignacio #61, tel. 07/862-6440, daily 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., entrance CUC2, cameras CUC2, guides CUC1), which re-creates the lavish interior of an aristocratic colonial home. One room is devoted to colorful stained-glass vitrales.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition