Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 2, 2018

Interesting Havana

Street with oldtimers and propaganda in Santiago de Cuba

In our armchair travels, it’s time to take a look at the capital of Cuba, Havana. There are many interesting things to see and it is fun to take a look at this city that many have never had the chance to visit previously. So sit back and enjoy the tour.

Cuba is a Caribbean island nation that has been under communist rule. It offers white-sand beaches and many tobacco fields that produce the country’s legendary cigars.

hav 2

The capital Havana has impressive Spanish colonial architecture in the 16th century Old Havana.

hav old

Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site with many elegant neo-Classical and Baroque buildings, bordering cobbled squares and narrow streets.

Among the highlights are:

hav catedral san cristobal 

The Catedral de San Cristobal built in the Cuban Baroque style.

hav fuerza

The impressive military fortress Castillo de la Real Fuerza.

 Old Square in old havana© Cuba Absolutely, 2014

There are two popular public squares Plaza Vieja

hav plaza de armas

and Plaza de Armas. 

The Plaza de Armas is home to the

hav capitanes

Palacio de Los Capitanes,

Captain Generals museum in old havana© Cuba Absolutely, 2014

the Museo de la Ciudad or City Museum and a wonderful leafy courtyard.

hav tower

While in Old Havana you’ll want to climb the 35-meter-tall tower to get breathtaking views of the city.

hav mal 2

A wonderful thing to do is to take a walk along Havana’s famous seafront boulevard the Malecon or El Malecon.

hav mal sunset

It is particularly lovely at sunset. It stretches from Old Havana to the Vedado and Plaza area. You can see well-preserved 20th-century buildings in various architectural styles from Art Deco to neo-Moorish. It is also a great place to see the residents of the city. Anglers come to cast their lines and families and couples to catch the ocean breezes.

hav mal hotel

Stop by the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba has become a World Heritage site and a National Monument and has accommodated such well-known celebrities as Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, and Marlon Brando.

hav el morro

Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro or El Morro has a prominent place at the entrance of the Bay of Havana in the Patque Historico Militar. It was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries to guard against the threat of pirate attacks. The one outstanding change to this fort is the lighthouse. The light still shines and the fort is open to tourists. From here you can enjoy great ocean views and of the city.

hav forteleza 3

A short walk from here you’ll come to the huge Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana sitting atop of La Cabana Hill. It was built in the 1770s and is the largest fort the Spanish ever built. Referred to as La Cabana it was once used as a military prison during the Batista regime and later became the headquarters for Che Guevara following the Revolution. Today you can find a few museums here.

Such as the Museo de Camandancia del Che with the office of Che Guevara preserved as it was in his time. Some personal items are on display as well.

At night tourists come to the fort for the Ceremonia del Canonazo when actors in 119th-century costumes perform a cannon-firing ceremony at 9 PM every evening.

hav capitolo

The El Capitolo or National Capitol Building was inaugurated in 1929. It slightly resembles the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C., however, its distinctive cupola was inspired by the Pantheon in Paris, France. It was built in the neo-Classical and Art Nouveau styles and was the seat of government until 1959. It is a striking landmark and the dome is visible from anywhere in the city.

The Museo Nacional de Belles Artes or National Museum of Fine Arts takes up two buildings.

hav belle artes asturiano

In the Palacio del Centro Asturiano that was designed in the 1920s, you can see artworks from European masters and a collection of over 600 of Ancient artwork from the Egyptian to Roman ages.

 

The Palacio de Belles Artes building is dedicated to Cuban art from the 17th century to the present day. You can see impressive paintings, prints, and sculptures. At the museum entrance is one of the highlights the unique marble sculpture “Form, Space, and Light”.

hav prado

Paseo del Prado is considered to be the most beautiful street in Havana. It is a tree-lined street bordering Old Havana.

hav prado lion lampposts

It is a great place for strolling as you go past the terrazzo, marble benches, bronze lions and iron lampposts. You can see elegant old cinemas, mansions, and hotels from the 19th and 20th centuries.

hav prado seville

Among the highlights is the Hotel Sevilla in the Moorish style.

Weddings at Marriage palace in Old Havana © Cuba Absolutely, 2014

The Palacio de los Matrimonios the city’s famous wedding chapel.

hav gran teatro 2

The magnificent Gran Teatro de La Habana is one of the world’s largest opera houses. The theater faces Parque Central. It has a beautiful Baroque facade featuring four stunning sculptures. It has played host to some of the most famous celebrities in the world. Today it is home to Cuba’s National Ballet and Opera. Guided tours are available.

hav university

Near the impressive Universidad de La Habana or the University of Havana,

hav napoleon

you’ll find the Museo Napoleonico displaying the private collection of Julio Lobo, who was a collector of all things to do with Napoleon. There are many mementos and memorabilia. It has found its home in a lovely building styled as a Florentine palace. Here you’ll also view Napoleon’s death mask, a library of related topics, weaponry and two portraits of the famous French military leader by Andrea Appiani and Antoine Gros. The collection has over 7,000 pieces and is one of the finest collections of Napoleon artifacts outside of Europe.

hav rev sqaure

The Plaza de la Revolucion or Revolution Square is worth a look at for its historical significance. When Pope John Paul II visited in 1996 he held celebrated mass here. It is also the place Castro gave speeches.

hav rev jose marti memorial

Overlooking the square is the Jose Marti Memorial with a 109-meter gray tower and a white marble statue of the Cuban national hero. There is a small museum you can visit or take the lift up the tower for spectacular views of Havana.

hav rev interior

Among the Government buildings surrounding the square is the Ministry of the Interior adorned with the iconic image of Che Guevara.

hav museo rev

The Museo de la Revolucion or Museum of the Revolution is housed in a former presidential palace. It was built in the early part of the 20th century in neo-Classical style. There are many displays on Cuba’s struggle for independence. You can see life-size wax figures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos.

hav museo rev granma

Behind the museum is an interesting display of the yacht Granma which is the boat that brought Fidel Castro to Cuba from Mexico. Also on display is a plane shot down during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

hav miramar

Miramar is an upscale area with hotels and restaurants. There are wide, tree-lined avenues and stately homes.

5th avenue in Miramar © Cuba Absolutely, 2014

The main street Avenida 5 has Miami-style Art Deco mansions and grand homes. Take a look at the Maqueta de la Habana with a scale model of the city.

hav playa este

Playas del Este is a short drive from the city center. It is a beautiful long stretch of palm-fringed beach. Here you’ll find hotels and restaurants and tourist facilities.

hav playa este santa maria

The beach is divided into two sections with the best one being Santa Maria del Mar.

hav playa este guanabo

A favorite of locals is Guanabo.

 

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/havana-cub-cdh-h.htm

Google images safe search


Responses

  1. The photos are absolutely stunning. I am amazed.

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. As I have mentioned at the end of the article the photos are Google images. I always attempt to find the best and in this case thought it could also help increase tourism in a country that was not open to everyone. It was amazing to see how much there is to admire.

      • Oh, I missed it. Anyway the photos are amazing, it is such a beautiful country. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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