Old Havana Interesting Places, Havana . Cuba
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- Old Havana. Havana City. Cuba
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
Old Havana, which for centuries was inside the walled part of the city, was founded in late 1519 at the port Carenas. Its primary nucleus consists of buildings that were erected around a series of public squares and tiny areas adjoining monasteries and old churches.
A constant victim of attacks by pirates, corsairs and enemies of the Spanish Crown, the village of San Cristóbal de La Habana had to be fortified with a powerful defense system, some of whose major fortresses, such as the Castle of the Royal Force, the Tres Reyes del Morro Castle and the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña still preserve their original elegance. UNESCO declared Old Havana and its System of Colonial Fortifications Humankind's Cultural Heritage in 1982.
The magnitude of the restoration works that have been done there since the 1970s makes it advisable for travelers to follow routes so as not to miss any of its attractions. Above all, do not miss the 9 o'clock cannon shot, with its colonial-style ceremony.
Havana's historic center covers approximately 142 hectares and contains around 3,500 buildings, one seventh of which are of great value. The restoration of this valuable historic and cultural heritage began in 1976. Two years later, Old Havana was declared a national monument.
Mapa de Old Havana
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Old Havana is located in Havana
Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.
The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.
The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.
Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.
Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.
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Centro Historico Habana
Centro Histórico de La Habana Vieja y su Sistema de Fortificaciones Coloniales. Le cupo el mérito de ser la primera en Cuba declarada Patrimonio de la Humanidad, su inclusión en la lista se aprobó en la Sexta Reunión del Comité Intergubernamental de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial, Cultural y Natural, celebrada entre los días 13 y 17 de diciembre de 1982, en la sede de la UNESCO, París, Francia.
Old Havana has so much charm that only by visiting it can one capture fully the contrasts, sounds and colors that coexist there. It has the typical appearance of a Spanish colonial city, highly appreciated for its location as the perfect center for communications and trade with the New World. Much of the defensive system created in those years to protect the city from attacks by corsairs and pirates remains in place. That is why it is impossible to walk through the area without encountering impressive fortresses like the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, La Cabaña, and the most unique of them all, El Morro (Morro Castle), located at the entrance to the Bay.
I was interested in Old Havana the most compared to other parts of the Cuban capital and I hope it never changes. The guide I had said that things have stayed the same as they were in the late 1950s with old buildings, cars, and other items from that era. Time has stopped here and anyone with an interest in Cuban history should head here. Also a great scenic walking area.
I mean this literally, take a Horse carriage tour around Old Havana.A lot of the drivers(directors) have a good knowledge of English with a good knowledge of Havana.We hired a director (they're numbered by the government ) that showed us around for 2 1/2 hours thru Old Havana . Giving us a knowledge of the insights of Cuba.It cost us with tip 33 CCP for the tour. It's a better way to see Havana especially if you're with somebody that has difficulties getting around as the Havana streets are ridden with potholes. The sidewalks are broken up to pieces in which one could easily trip or fall flat on their face if not careful.The carriages can't go down the Malecon. We had a Mojito along with a Pina Colada during the tour .You can drink on the carriage as they take the number of the carriage before you take off with their glasses
Old Havana has been around for close to 500 years. Many of the buildings date back to the 1700's. It is a mixture of narrow cobblestone streets, elegant beautifully restored buildings and ancient crumbling ruins. Hurricane Wilma hit hard here in 2005 and the country is still struggling to rebuild. There are 5 main areas to Old Havana: Plaza Vieja, Plaza de Armas, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco and Parque Central. All of the plazas have been beautifully restored and maintained. We had the most delicious coffee I have ever tasted at the coffee shop in Plaza Vieja - coffee, ice cream, and booze - yummo! Make a point of stopping there if you need a break. There are many markets and shopping areas in Old Havana. You can easily lose yourself for hours wandering through the narrow crowded streets. Keep a close eye on your wallet in crowded areas.
“It was cool... but, ”
Beggars were horrible and started touching your pockets and pretty much wanted you to strip down so they could have everything you owned
It was rainingThe weather was like torrential rains which was unfortunate.This lasted for 3 days.Regardless the trip was wonderful.Cuba is my favorite vacation place
“Old Havana is more aggressive than it used to be. ”
Since I have visited old Havana several times over the past six years I have noticed a change. The people and not the sights have become more aggressive, with restaurant staffs trying to pull you in off the street, to the shady characters trying to sell bogus cigars to the casual tourists. I also found so many people hanging out... More
if you like old buildings and churches along with an interesting warm culture you will enjoy havana, bars,resteraunts , cigar shops,long narrow streets and dont forget the flea market lots of hand craft items and local art .we flew in from cayo santa maria islands (50 minute flight )did a one day bus tour 9 am to 9 pm aprox.... More
“Habana Vieja ”
Really enjoyed the old town full of old cars and salsa. La Habana has this unique atmosphere...that Im going back very soon.
“Full of History and Charm ”
More like an old European city feel Old Havana is a seamless work of brilliant architecture and old world charm. Surprisingly nice restaurants and Inns that are just worth walking into to have a look at. Many musicians and street merchants but no one annoyingly persistent. There is a square that UNESCO funded to have restored with before and after... More
“Mind blowing ”
Truly worth the time to visit - My wife and I were stunned by the beauty of Old Havana - just an incredible place to visit . Can't wait to go back again .
“Never a dull moment ”
Some people might see Havana as run down but if they open their eyes they will see a city working to rejuvenate what is a fabulous and friendly city. Everyone seems so much happier than most places nowadays. They are obviously hopeful of getting a few pesos tip but will treat you just the same if you just say thanks-no... More
“A good place to get lost! ”
Experiment a good mix between the past and the modern days. Old colonial buildings with nice people, salsa, good food. Lose yourself in the narrow roads plenty of people buying souvenirs, drink some pina coladas, mojitos or cuba libre. Smoke some cigars and getting in touch with the past... It was amazing!!
“Beautiful and fascinating. ”
Old Havana is endlessly beautiful and fascinating. Despite the impression left by the guide books most of the city has not been restored those areas that have are impressive. The restored areas are mainly in the north around Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas also Mercaderes & Obispo streets. Where you will also find plenty of cafes and... More
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