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Cristo Square, Havana . Cuba

  • Cristo y Teniente Rey, Havana City. Cuba
  • Destination: Havana
  • Open: Daily
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By agreement of the town council, in March, 1640 the Plaza del Cristo was created. The project also included a hermitage and a calvary at the same place where a boundary cross, marking the end of the fourteen crosses or Stations of the Cross during Lent, was located. In that way the dimensions of the plaza were planned according to the character of the processions that were to take place in it.

Very soon, as was already customary for these plazas, the area was filled by worthy neighbors whose houses were built according to their hierarchy, proud lineage and illustrious ancestry. In the last third of the 18th century the Palacio Episcopal de La Habana was established in the crossing of Bernaza and Teniente Rey streets. This one stands out for its high ceilings, the great variety of its arches and a 27 meters high gallery, that among other features make it a monumental architectural ensemble.

In 1814 a market with wooden stalls and mobile stands opened at the Plaza del Cristo. It was upgraded in 1836 by the Captain General Miguel de Tacón y Rosique, who ordered to rebuild them with masonry, under the name of Mercado del Cristo. Nowadays a bust of the unfortunate romantic poet Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés (a.k.a. Plácido), made by the Cuban artist Teodoro Ramos Blanco, is placed at this plaza

Mapa de Cristo Square

Cristo 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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