Old Havana, also known in Spanish as La Habana Vieja is one of the 15 boroughs which form Havana, Cuba. It is the heartbeat of the city and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you wish to leave your Havana Holiday Rental and explore the old town here is a little about it to tempt you.
History of Old Havana
The area of Havana Vieja was founded by the Spanish in 1519, it was a originally a stop off point for traders crossing between the old and new worlds, then during the 17th century it became one of the main areas for shipbuilding in the area thanks to its maritime history.
The city centre itself has been built in both Baroque and Neo-classical styles, many have been restored to their former glory and are a delight to view for the colourful facades and interesting architecture.
Plaza de Armas
This is the main tourist square of Havana, its name is of military origin as many events of the same nature took place in this square from the end of the 16th century. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza is also close to this area which was built on the ruins of an ancient fortress.
The Grand Theatre of Havana
Famous for the National Ballet of Cuba and the National Opera, it is also known as the concert hall Garcia Lorca which is the largest on the island.
Catedral de San Cristóbal
Situated on the Plaza de la Catedral, this splendid building was raised on the chapel in around 1748 from the orders of the bishop of Salamanca, Spain. It is one of eleven Roman Catholic Cathedrals on the island. A fascinating fact about this Baroque style cathedral is that it is constructed from blocks of coral from the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico and many preserved marine fossils are present in the architecture of the façade. The Cathedral hosts many paintings and frescoes by Perovani an Italian neo-classical artist commissioned to paint three scenes inside the building.
Museum of the Revolution
This museum is located also in the old town of Havana, a former Presidential Palace, it remained this way until 1959. The building has many neo-classical elements and was actually decorated by the world famous Tiffany & Co of New York. The exhibits include: the yacht “Granma” which Fidel Castro took from Mexico to Cuba for the revolution, many missiles from the Cuban crisis and many historical artefacts relating to pre-revolutionary Cuba.
This island has an intriguing and fascinating history which is ready to be explored. When you book your Cuba accommodation bear in mind the places of interest you wish to see and you will have the opportunity to see them all.
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