There are only a few dark Chamber in the world and Havana has one of them, in what is considered the only one in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Located in the dome of one of the buildings built around the Plaza Vieja, the Gómez Vila building is an ancient system that is very attractive.
Like the existing ones in Spain, England, Portugal and the United States, the Dark Chamber of the Historic Center, is based on the optical phenomenon that occurs when capturing what happens in the environment of the building thanks to the effect of reflected light in a periscope located at 38. 6 meters high. The device is equipped with a set of lenses and mirrors that reflect everything that happens in the surroundings on a white concave screen that measures 1.80 meters in diameter. The equipment reflects what happens in a radius of up to 5 km and in a pan of 360 degrees.
Unique of its kind in Cuba, the Dark Chamber of Havana was opened to the public in 2001 and was a donation from the Provincial Council of Cádiz to Cuba. It was built by an English company which was based on the original design of Leonardo Da Vinci, who laid the foundations of the first dark chamber that existed and which was in the fifteenth century.
It is another way of seeing, in a few minutes, facades, streets, roofs, emblematic buildings of the city, remote locations such as Casablanca, on the other side of the Havana bay, buildings of Vedado and Centro Habana, the remains of the old La Havana, the Train Terminal, the Lonja del Comercio, the National Capitol, the Great Theater of Habana Alicia Alonso, the Paseo del Prado, the Malecón, the Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church or the El Cristo sculpture.
Today in the building, in addition to the innovative system, lie from 2002, the real estate company of Fénix. Each day of the week, visitors can get to the Chamber, which provides guided tours in Spanish, English, French and Italian.
The visit is for the price of 1.00 CUC (less than one Euro) for foreign visitors over 12 years. Children enter for free. An old elevator takes us to the tower, where besides finding the Dark Chamber, there is a cafeteria and a large terrace that offers a view of the city, the Port of Havana and the people.