Cuba’s capital, Havana, is one of Latin America’s architectural treasures, boasting a involving mix of colonial, Baroque and Art Deco styles. Quite quite a bit of its jewels maintain suffered from a protracted time of deterioration nonetheless, slowly, advanced renovation works are bringing a pair of of them motivate to lifestyles. As the metropolis celebrates 500 years of its foundation on 16 November, right here’s a see at a pair of of its most illustrious structures and sights.

Havana Cathedral

The Cathedral in Havana, Cuba circa 1880s. From a 19th century illustration.Characterize copyright

The Havana Cathedral, or Catedral de San Cristóbal, used to be constructed between 1748 and 1777 and consecrated in 1782. The Baroque constructing (seen within the image above within the 1880s) has two asymmetrical bell towers and its fundamental façade is effectively off in crucial capabilities.

A preference of artworks in conjunction with sculptures and work are exhibited interior, where the central nave ground kinds a Latin ghastly.

People gather in traditional costumes at the Havana Cathedral in HavanaCharacterize copyright
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Havana CathedralCharacterize copyright
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For 100 years the cathedral held the remains of explorer Christopher Columbus before they had been transferred motivate to Spain after the Spanish-American War in 1898, which resulted in Cuba’s independence.

The constructing (seen within the fundamental recount above within the course of a acquire together in 1946) is positioned at Plaza de la Catedral, one of the crucial five fundamental squares of Former Havana, a Unesco World Heritage direct.

Paseo del Prado

Color postcard of overview of Prado Promenade, Havana, Cuba, circa 1915.Characterize copyright
Allan Seiden Legacy Archive/Getty

The Paseo del Prado (seen within the image above in 1915) used to be inbuilt 1772 and lickety-split grew to became one of the crucial metropolis’s most long-established sites. In a redesign by French landscape artist Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier within the 1920s, it received the bushes, bronze lions sculptures and marble benches that exist to this present day.

Some of Havana’s most renowned structures, in conjunction with the Gran Teatro de La Habana, Hotel Sevilla and Capitolio are spherical this boulevard, which marks the western fringe of Former Havana, where some 900 structures of historical charge are positioned.

But insufficient repairs amid a protracted time of commercial hardship and a crippling US trade embargo maintain meant that structures right here – and within the the relaxation of the capital – deteriorated, a pair of even collapsed. While some had been restored in most modern years others are peaceable in a precarious direct.

Brightly-painted buildings on Paseo de Marti opposite the National Capitol Building in HavanaCharacterize copyright
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Paseo del Prado main street in HavanaCharacterize copyright

„Havana fortunately conserved its treasured architectural patrimony, unlike other Latin American cities that lost an superb fragment of their historic centres‘ patrimony because of true estate constructing,“ Gina Rey, a Cuban urban planning specialist, advised Reuters news agency.

„But paradoxically this patrimony is amazingly deteriorated, and [renovation] efforts have not been sufficient to this level.“


Capitolio Nacional: HavanaCharacterize copyright

Capitolio Nacional: HavanaCharacterize copyright
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The Capitolio (seen within the fundamental recount above in 2012) is one of Havana’s most iconic structures. Similar to the US Capitol in Washington, it used to be commissioned by President Gerardo Machado to house Congress, took three years to be constructed and opened its doorways in 1929.

After the 1959 Communist revolution led by Fidel Castro, parliament used to be dissolved so the constructing of classical columns and substantial salons served because the headquarters of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Science Ministry. It has long passed by famous renovations in most modern years to as soon as but again house the Nationwide Assembly.

Gran Teatro de La Habana

Gran Teatro de la HabanaCharacterize copyright
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Ballet dancers, graduated from Cuban National Ballet School, perform at National Theater of Cuba during a term end show in Havana, Cuba on February 11, 2015Characterize copyright
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Opened in 1915, the Gran Teatro de La Habana (seen within the fundamental recount above in 1959) is home to the Cuban Nationwide Ballet and Global Ballet Competition of Havana. The Neo-Baroque constructing used to be within the muse a Galician community centre, and used to be constructed across the outmoded Teatro Tacón, which had opened in 1838.

It also has a concert hall, a cinema, a gallery and rehearsal and convention rooms. Barack Obama made a speech there in 2016 within the course of the fundamental fling to by a US president to the island since 1928.

Hotel Nacional

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, Cuba, circa 1959.Characterize copyright
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Tourists at the swimming pool of Havana's Hotel NacionalCharacterize copyright
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One other grandiose edifice whose constructing began within the 1920s, the Hotel Nacional used to be created at a time when Cuba used to be a most long-established vacation location for US tourists. Opened in 1930, the inviting Art Deco constructing sits on the Taganana Hill within the Vedado neighbourhood and has incredible views of the sea and the metropolis.

Renowned guests to maintain stayed at the hotel encompass Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and scientist Alexander Fleming. The hotel has been declared a Nationwide Monument and the guns that had been fragment of the outmoded Santa Clara Battery within the course of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis are on exhibition in its backyard.

Edificio Bacardi

View of the Bacardi building in Havana, on February 6, 2019Characterize copyright
Yamil Lage/Getty

Belief to be as one of the crucial finest examples of Art Deco in Latin America, the Edificio Bacardi (seen within the image above in 2019) used to be designed to be the headquarters of the Bacardi Rum Company in Havana. It used to be accomplished in 1930 beneath a 300-day closing date imposed by the firm.

The firm used to be nationalised by Castro within the 1960s and the Bacardi family relocated their industry to Bermuda. In 2001 an Italian firm restored the constructing, which peaceable maintains its fresh interior decor with marble and granite imported from Europe.


People gather along the Malecon to watch the sunsetCharacterize copyright
David Silverman/Getty

Havana’s iconic sea-side avenue used to be designed to help as a seawall to offer protection to the metropolis. Construction started in 1901 and the tall thoroughfare stretches for 8km (five miles) from Former Havana to the Vedado neighbourhood.

It’s peaceable a most long-established location for couples, households, artists and tourists. And whereas quite a bit of its structures display cover the signs of years of neglect, most modern economic reforms maintain translated into unusual companies which maintain refreshed one of the crucial metropolis’s most recognised addresses.

View of Havana Vieja on July 20, 2015Characterize copyright
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Economic situation in Havana, Cuba in September, 1994Characterize copyright
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Surf at the Malecon, district VedadoCharacterize copyright

People gather to enjoy the sunset on the MaleconCharacterize copyright
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Sources: BBC Walk back and forth, Lonely Planet, La Habana Journal

All images discipline to copyright.

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