Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje Church Churches and Convents, Havana . Cuba
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- Teniente Rey y Villegas, Havana City. Cuba
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
Before the Iglesia del Cristo was erected in 1640, a hermitage devoted to Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje stood near this site in the 16th century. This hermitage was also known as The Calvary and was where the Stations of the Cross processions, which were taken on by the new church, ended. On Good Fridays the processions left from the Convento de San Francisco de Asís and ended at the Iglesia del Cristo. Crosses were put up along the way. One of the streets –today Amargura and formerly known as de las Cruces (of the Crosses) – still shows this religious layout at the so called Casa de la Cruz Verde (House of the Green Cross). The house can be found at the corner of Mercaderes Street and it used to mark the first station of the cross, in memory of the way followed by The Redeemer in his ascent to the Calvary.
In 1693 the church was declared accessory parish of the Parroquial Mayor by the Bishop Avelino de Compostela, who is famed as the most remarkable bishop of the Cuban diocese.
Inside the church, the image of Jesus on the Cross among travelers and sailors became very popular because it was thought to keep people from harm.
Stations of the Cross on Good Friday processionThe structure of the church is intriguing because of the simplicity of its towers –its sides are just simple frames– and of its lateral façades, in complete harmony with the character of the works of the 17th century. However, the baroque motifs of its cornice and the great flared arches are 18th century features.
In 1932 the church was enlarged by the Augustinians, who added Saint Rita to the worship
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Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje Church 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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Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje Church
In this place was erected in 1640 the first Ermita del Humilladero (roadside chapel) from which the premise and the carved and ornate wood ceiling of the central nave remain. Towards the year 1755 the chapel was rebuilt with a ground plan in a shape of a Latin cross and the façade of the baroque manifestation formed by two octagonal towers marking a central motif of two levels delimited by a balcony. In this balcony an arch crowned by a pediment is located. The access to the interior is through a deep trumpet-shaped arch, maybe in correspondence with that of the San Francisco de Asís. From this church left the processions that ended at the Santo Cristo church every Lent Friday. In 1932, the central nave was extended with other two laterals and a lantern over the crossing was introduced in the space obtained when the octagonal carved and ornate wood ceiling was erected.
“Small but beutiful ”
At the beggining, in the early XVIII Century, it was considered to be the Cathedral of Cuba. Now is a small, but beautiful temple surrounded by stocks, shops and an animated park for rest and talk
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