Havana - interesting places to visit.
Havana - interesting
places to visit
||Old Square / Plaza
The former Market Place from the seventeenth
century is surrounded by beautiful arcades, many of them with
colored glasses and windows with louvers. The variety of buildings
on this plaza responds to 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th
Among the most beautiful is the Jaruco Mansion. The ongoing
rehabilitation program has rescued several outstanding buidings
like the Santo Angel School or the Café Taberna where
very attractive restaurants has been installed. Palacio Cueto,
one of the most relevant Art Nouveau exponent in town is now
rehabilitated for a hotel.
||Arms Square / Plaza de
This plaza, located by the harbor
´s entrance channel is very close to the site where Havana
was founded. Its most impressing landmarks are the Palaces of
the Captain General and Second Corporal or Segundo Cabo, both
from the 18th century.
Also the royal Force Fortress, a 16th century unique
the 19th century small Neoclassical temple or Templete, dedicated
to commemorate the foundation of the town and the magnificent
Santa Isabel Hotel on a recently rehabilitated 18th century
|| San Francisco Square
/ Plaza de San Francisco.
Located by the harbor and presided
by the 18th century Franciscan Convent , it is one of the most
beautiful spots in the Old Town, with its gracious Fountain
of Lions and cobbled pavement. The Mercurio Restaurant has been
installed on the recently renovated Lonja de Comercio or Stock
Exchange Building, a Neo Renaissance 1906
achievement of the rehabilitation program are the quite refined
Café del Oriente and various shops around. Just in
front, between the waterfront and the Plaza, is the handsome
and huge former customs building from 1914.
||Cathedral Square / Plaza de
The last square built within the city walls, is surrounded by
astounding 18th century mansions, most of them with arcaded
galleries and balconies, among the best examples of Cuban Colonial
The 1777 Cathedral has a beautiful facade, of an
is the focal element and the most impressive building. It is
considered the most relevant Cuban Baroque building. Several
museums, art galleries and restaurants have been installed on
The Capitol / Capitolio
Inspired on the impressive Neoclassical
Revival of the Washington Capitol, the Capitolio, located
on Prado Avenue, was inaugurated in 1929 to house the Chamber
of Representatives and the Senate of the Republic. Its monumental
spaces, like the so called Hall of the Lost Paths, are now
occupied by the Academy of Science, Technology and Environment,
the Science Library and the Felipe Poey National Museum of
An impressive and
huge bronze sculpture named "The Republic" awaits
you at the main entrance.
Hotel Ambos Mundos
One block from the Arms Square is
Ernest Hemingway's favorite hotel and his first residence in
Cuba in the thirties. The Ambos Mundos Hotel was also a gathering
place for artists and intellectuals of the day. After years
of neglect, this Eclectic building was rehabilitated and has
become a main attraction, from its crowded lobby and old Otis
elevator to the agreeable rooftop terrace where you can enjoy
a fabulous view of the city and
|drink a Cuban "mojito".
||The Morro - Cabaña Historical
Until 1762 Havana had been an inexpugnable
enclave , mainly regarding attacks from corsairs and pirates.
But in 1762 the British invaded Havana strongly scaring the
Spanish crown. After the Spaniards regained the town, they decided
defenses and so build the most powerful fortresses in the Americas.
San Carlos de la Cabaña, that was finally completed at
the end of the 18th century, together with other major fortresses
as Atarés and El Príncipe out of the city walls.
Currently the Fortresses of San Carlos de
la Cabaña and the older Morro Castle compose the Morro
- Cabaña Historical Military Park, the largest museum
in the country. Two permanent exhibitions showcase the history
of navigation in Havana Harbor with exhibits of objects salvaged
from a ship that sank at the harbor´ s entrance in the
18th century. The Park also hosts temporary exhibits on a
variety of themes.
Every evening at 9:00 pm a cannon shot can
be heard at La Cabaña. This longstanding tradition
is related to the Colonial times when the closing of the citys
doors was thus announced. From Morro and La Cabaña
Castles it is possible to enjoy privileged views of the other
side of the town , the harbor and its impressive entrance
channel as well as romantic sunsets.
San Salvador de la Punta Fortress
In front of the Morro Castle on the
opposite side of the harbor ´s entrance channel is La
Punta Castle. Both fortresses and some other minor
ones on the coastlinewere
built between 1589 and 1630 by y Italian Engineer Juan Bautista
Antonelli as part of the Caribbean defensive system. A didactic
museum on Nautical Archaeology has been opened here, after the
full restoration of the Castle.
Cristóbal Colón Cemetery,
dates back to 1876. Many of its tombstones are true works of
art with sculptures and ornaments in marble, granite, stones
or bronze. Many of these valuable monuments, belong to the 19th
and early 20th centuries and show varied Neoclassical, Eclectic,
Art Deco and even Modern designs.
Founded in 1728 and initially located
in Old Havana as a religious entity, the University moved to
its current venue in 1902, in the very core of El Vedado Quarter.
Most of its monumental buildings built in Neoclassic Revival
are from the twenties and thirties.
A huge and imposing staircase allows to arrive to the
main entrance where a spectacular bronze
statue, the Alma Mater, seems to welcome you. Inside, is the
Plaza Cadenas, surrounded by colonnaded buildings, where many
historic events have taken place. The University has had to
expand beyond these walls.
See other places of Architectural interest in Cuba:
to Cuban Architecture main page