The Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba overlooks the Parque Cespedes, the main plaza of the city. From 1522, year of the first building, it underwent continuous changes, enlargements, reconstructions. The construction technique is a hard wood frame (acana), drowned in stone masonry walls, ended with a colonial roof covering. This system allows you to defend against earthquakes, which, together with hurricanes, occur almost every year. The dome was built according to the technique named cuje or embarrado, clay interwoven with thin branches of reed. The main cedar wood skeleton consists of 40 meridian arches, linked with a series of parallels, finished with a lead shell. In the long run, hurricane after hurricane and earthquake after earthquake, the dome needed to be “repaired” many times, always in emergency conditions and with limited financial resources. To preserve it, plumb plates and a mixture of concrete and a brittle wire mesh have been putted on it. At the present, the restoration of the cathedral and of the dome is at work, taking part in a CDT Regione Toscana plan, in collaboration with ONG Medina, aimed at the social and architectural rehabilitation of the cathedral itself and of its neighbourhood. This is a low-cost plan, and, at this stage, an attempt at verifying the actual condition of preservation of the ancient building technique is carried out, in order to develop if it is possible to find a correct way for the preservation of the timbered and clay structure, considering the short Cuban resources.
Degradation and consolidation of the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba / Michele, Paradiso; Giacomo, Tempesta; Stefano, Galassi; Giuseppe, Berti; Elena, Perria;. - In: WIADOMOSCI KONSERWATORSKIE. - ISSN 0860-2395. - STAMPA. - 1:(2012), pp. 508-516. (Intervento presentato al convegno 8th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions - SAHC 2012 tenutosi a Breslavia, Polonia nel 15-17 ottobre 2012).