San Fransisco Square, Havana . Cuba
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- Oficios y Amargura, Old Havana
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
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Called San Francisco because of the convent next to it, this square was conceived in 1628, with the objective of supplying water to the ships trading with the metropolis. For many years it also served to stockpile the goods arriving from the harbor. Chronicles of the time say that the square had a busy commercial life. The people, in humble carts or afoot, sold and bought a variety of goods. It’s important to know that through this place the Spanish immigrants arrived to Cuba. Among the houses built around the plaza, as was already usual, the house of the Arostegui family, residence of the Captain Generals until the completion of the City Hall at the end of the 18th century, was erected.
During a long period of the Spanish dominion, the San Francisco Fairs took place at the square, beginning on October 3. It is said that around the year 1600 the first fountain of the city could be seen at the plaza. In 1836 it was replaced by a beautiful fountain made of white Carrara marble by Giuseppe Gaggini, under the good auspices of the Villanueva Count. This fountain is called Fuente de los Leones (Lions Fountain). At that time it was protected by an iron fence, as seen in some pictures of 1835. Later on, because it was feared that it could be damaged, it was relocated to the Paseo de Isabel II, nowadays Paseo de José Martí (or Paseo del Prado, as it was also called). Finally, the fountain was returned to its original location where it still remains
Mapa de San Fransisco Square
Hotels next to San Fransisco Square
San Fransisco Square 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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Plaza de San Fransisco
In the centre of this picturesque square giving it an Andalusian feel is the Fuente de los Leones. The fountain is modelled on the one in the Alhambra in Granada. The main building in the square is the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis. It was built in the 16th century as the home of the Franciscan community. Attached to it is a 42 m high bell tower. This square gives plenty of photo opportunities, but beware if you stand still for long, you may get accosted by the women in traditional clothes & asked if you want a photo taken with them, for a price of course.
“Never Open! ”
The square is pretty with the usual bars and restaurants. The Cathedral although I'm sure well worth a visit was never open the four days we tried to visit it!
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