The Historic Center of Old Havana, an area with the greatest tourist attraction in the Cuban capital.
Within all the areas of the Cuban capital, the Historic Center of Old Havana stands out as unique, not only because it is the oldest, but also because of the architectural, cultural and heritage values it possesses.
In that city the fortresses and buildings tell by themselves part of the rich history of that city.
This municipality, apart from being the oldest, is the smallest, its extension does not exceed 5 km2, and it is divided into 7 Popular Councils.
The Historic Center of the City is approximately half of the territory, although in terms of population, more than 65% of the inhabitants of the municipality reside there.
At that point in the Cuban geography a curious and interesting mix of architectural styles such as baroque and neoclassical converge.
Its streets are somewhat narrow and many of its houses are old with balconies, iron gates and interior patios.
Among the historical centers of the world, Old Havana is one of the best preserved, hence in 1892 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
This appointment includes the entire area of the city that is between the walls, together with its fortifications and the Quinta de los Molinos and the Chinatown.
Due to the extensive restoration that has been carried out in the churches, historical buildings and fortresses, at present the Historic Center of Old Havana is one of the areas of greatest tourist attraction in the Cuban capital.
On this site it is possible to find restaurants, museums, shops, bookstores and other spaces that offer various services.
Also due to the large number of visitors that Old Havana receives, it is the venue for fairs, exhibitions and artistic presentations.
Some buildings in the Historic Center of Old Havana
One of the attractions of Old Havana are its squares, castles and fortifications, undeniable witnesses of the history, traditions and ancient life of that area of the Cuban capital.
Among its main strengths, that of San Carlos de la Cabaña stands out.
Among its main squares are the Cathedral, Christ, San Francisco, Old and Armas.
As for its castles, the Royal Force, the Three Kings of Morro, the Atares and the San Salvador de la Punta stand out.
Along with these squares and castles, other buildings stand out, such as the Ambos Mundos, Seville and England hotels, also the Havana Cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Church, the famous Floridita bar and restaurant and the Bodeguita del Medio.
Added to this list are the museums of the Revolution, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Chocolate Museum, the Weapons Museum, and the Palace of the General Captains.
The Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, the Casa del Ron, the Payret cinema and El Templete join the extensive list.
Important Streets and Monuments of the Historic Center of Old Havana
Among the most recognized and visited streets of Old Havana, the Malecón Habanero, Alameda de Paula, Avenida del Puerto, Paseo del Prado and Calle Obispo stand out.
As for interesting Monuments, the sources of India and Neptune and the Monument to General Máximo Gómez stand out.
History and Conservation of Old Havana
The history of Old Havana as a place dates from the year 1519 like the rest of the Cuban capital.
Three main stages can be highlighted: from its foundation as a town in 1519 and until 1868, a stage where the Spanish colonial period was framed.
A second moment goes from that 1868 with the beginning of the independence struggles in Cuba until 1959, that period is that of the North American neocolony.
And the third stage ranges from the triumph of the Cuban revolution to the present day called the revolutionary period.
To preserve the buildings and historical values of that city, the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana (OHCH) was created in 1938 by Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring.
After his death, Eusebio Leal Spengler assumed that responsibility.
Around the year 1960, the rescue of the historical environment of Old Havana began, and until now, extensive research and restoration work has been carried out in its Historic Center.
The Office of the Historian of the City of Havana is responsible for the integral restoration of the Historic Center in all its edges and for this it executes an interesting project that is nourished by the economic capacities that come from the development of its Cultural, Tourist, Commercial and Real estate
Specialists such as architects, urban planners, sociologists, geographers, historians, economists and network engineers work within its projects.
All the activities and rehabilitations carried out in that area have raised the quality of life of the inhabitants