Ciudad de la Havana, Cuba. Attractions, photo

Coloric city with long historical to Ories, Ciudad de la Habana (Ciudad de la Habana), is the capital of Cuba and the province of the same name.

The name is considered obsolete: In August 2010, the National Assembly of the Republic officially excluded the word "city" and the current capital of the country is called Havana (La Habana).

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is a major city with a territory exceeding 728 square meters. km, spread out on the northern coast of the island, on the hills of the picturesque Havan Bay. The extended winding bay with a hidden entrance makes Havana at the same time large industrial port and an attractive resort with magnificent beaches along the northern coastline.

You can only get to the capital of the island of freedom only by plane:

  • The only direct flight will fly out 3-5 times a week from Sheremetyevo Moscow Airport. Time in the way of 12.5-13 hours, the cost of the flight is one end from $ 407.
  • Journey to Havana through Paris with a 2-hour expectation at Charles de Gaulle Airport will take 16 hours. The cost of a ticket to both ends starts from $ 560.
  • The most inexpensive flight is the transfer of KLM airline with a transfer to Amsterdam. Waiting time will be 15 hours. Which can be spent on acquaintance with the capital of the Netherlands. Total time on the way 23 h. 25 min., The cost of the flight from $ 430 one way.

Jose Marti International Airport is located in the suburb of Havana, 20 km from the city center. The most comfortable way of movement remains a taxi: the trip will take 30-40 minutes, the cost of $ 20-25. In the third international airport terminal, Cubacar, Rex, Havanautos and Via Transgaviota car rental services are operating.

During the tourist season, it is better to book a car in advance, the rental price depends on the class of car and is $25-120.

There are no direct comfortable buses from the airport to the center of Havana, and local flights are not designed to transport tourists.

From June to October, 3 times a month, Nordwind Airlines organizes direct flights from Sheremetyevo to the airport in the resort town of Varadero, 145 km from Havana. Flight time is 12.5 hours, tickets must be pre-ordered on the carrier's website. Comfortable buses depart from the Varadero terminal to the center of Havana.

Weather, the best time to travel

The climate of the region is tropical trade winds, seasonality is weak, the number of sunny days per year reaches 330. From May to mid-October, there is a wet season with a slight decrease in temperature and frequent rainfall, in the remaining months warm dry weather sets in.

The average annual temperature in Havana is +25С°, in April-June the air warms up to +29-31С° during the day, a little colder at night, +17-20С°. The hottest months are July and August: during the day the heat reaches +33C°, the evening coolness gives relief up to +22C°. A little relief comes from the refreshing breezes from the Atlantic Ocean.

The water temperature in the bay during the winter months does not fall below +24С°, on hot days of July and August the bay can warm up to +29С°. It is better to swim and sunbathe in the morning or evening hours, during the day you can burn unnoticed in the sun.

Description of the city

Ciudad de la Havana, founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1519, spreads out on low hills starting from the very coast. The main bay is connected by a narrow strait to the Gulf of Mexico, on its shores there are 3 ports: the small village of Guanabacoa, the ancient Fort Atares and the industrial suburb of Marimelena.

To the east are picturesque sandy beaches and bays: Playa de Guanabo, Playa de Tarara, Rincon de Guanabo. On the west coast, there is Playa el Salado beach, popular with divers, and Playa de las Hermanitas, a sparsely populated beach, chosen by local residents.

One of the beaches of the city of Ciudad de la Havana, Cuba

Part of the coast is occupied by a protected area with a unique mangrove ecosystem, coral reefs and numerous representatives of underwater fauna.

The modern capital of Cuba is conditionally divided into 3 districts that appeared in different periods.

District Location Features Main attractions
La Habana Vieja (Old Havana)West of Havana BayPreserved colonial architecture, recognized as a World Heritage Site since 1984El Malecon Promenade
Ancient Church Cathedral of Iglesia de Nuestra Havana
Catedral de San Cristobal on Cathedral Square
Cemetery Cementerio de Cristobal Colon
Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana
El Capitolio (Capitol, former government building of Cuba)
Napoleon Museum
VedadoNorth-western part of the cityMain residential area with beautiful parks and active nightAvenida de los Presidentes (Presidents Avenue)
Memorial a Jose Marti (Jose Marti Memorial)
University Havana
Skyscraper Edificio Lopez Serrano
MiramarEastern RegionModern part of the city with prestigious mansions, hotels and embassies of different countriesAntique clock Reloj de Quinta Avenida
Casa de Alberto de Armas (1926)
Casa de Alberto de Armas (Museum of the Ministry of the Interior)
Parque de los Ahorcados
International School of Havana (Modern School Havana)
Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar Cathedral

The streets of Havana surprisingly combine architectural monuments of the 16th-20th centuries, high baroque churches, wide avenues and modern skyscrapers e hotels. Life in tourist areas is seething

What does the name of the city mean and how did it appear

Ciudad de la Havana as a settlement was founded by the Spanish conquistador Diego Velazquez on the site of settlements of San Cristobal and Carenas. The full name of the city was San Cristobal de La Habana.

There are several theories about the origin of the name:

  • The Oikonym “Havana” is considered to be derived from “sabana”: in the language of the aboriginal Sibonean tribe, the word means “steppe overgrown with high grass."
  • The name could be a tribute to the famous Indian leader Habaguanex, who ruled the area.
  • In the Germanic dialect, the word "haven" means "bay or harbour."

In addition to scientific versions, there is a romantic legend about a beautiful Indian girl who was met by the colonizers. Waiting out a hurricane in a convenient bay, the Spaniards saw a young aborigine on a rock, whose name was remembered as "Havana". The legend was immortalized in the neoclassical fountain La Fuente de la India o de la Noble Habana, which adorned the city's central park in 1837.

Historical facts

The first Spanish settlement appeared on the southern coast of the island in 1515. In 1519 the city was moved to the coast of the northern bay, to a strategically advantageous place for the conquerors.

There are written references to several devastating raids by pirates of the Caribbean:

  • in 1555, the corsair Jacques de Soreze, outraged by a small ransom, captured and burned the city to the ground.
  • From 1561, the Spanish government ordered the construction of a military defense at the entrance to the Gulf of Havana. The city became a transit point for sending goods and raw materials from the colony to Spain: from March to August, large convoys were formed, which, under the protection of military frigates, transported precious metals, Colombian emeralds, alpaca wool, mahogany, potato tubers and exotic spices.
  • In 1563, Havana became the administrative center of the Spanish Captaincy General of Cuba.
  • The fortification and construction of the city and port continued in the 17th century. Significant administrative and religious buildings appeared during this period: the castle de El Morro, the monastery de San Agustin, the fountain de la Dorotea de la Luna, the church of Santo Angel Custodio, the monasteries de Santa Teresa and de San Felipe Neri.
  • In 1728, the Royal and Pontifical University de San Jero was founded in the monastery de San Juan de Letran
  • On June 6, 1762, a two-month siege of Havana by a British fleet of 54 warships began. In mid-1763, the conquerors returned the port to the Spaniards in exchange for Florida.
  • The construction of the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana fortress began, which became the basis of the defensive line of the city. The work continued for 11 years, the fortress became the most impregnable bastion in the New World.
  • In 1896, the remains of Christopher Columbus were transported to Havana from San Domingo.
  • At the beginning of the XIX century. Havana is becoming a prosperous port: a section of the railway is being built to transport sugar, luxurious Tacon and Coliseo theaters are being built, the Art and Literary Lyceums are open, and a tobacco factory has begun work.
  • In the middle of the XIX century. part of the city wall was demolished for expansion, wealthy industrialists built up the new Vedado district with elegant castles and mansions.
  • Simultaneously with the economic boom, there are organized protests against the Spanish colonizers. In February 1895, a revolution began in the city, which grew into a people's liberation war that engulfed the whole country.
  • Already in September 1895, the rebels proclaimed the independence of Cuba from Spain. In 1898, the United States intervened in the conflict, officially declaring war on Spain. By the end of the year, American troops had captured the city and blockaded the coastal areas. The occupation lasted until 1902
  • In 1902, Cuba officially gained independence, but continued to remain completely dependent on the United States. Ciudad de la Havana became the official capital of the Republic of Cuba, and under American influence, numerous casinos, nightclubs and luxury hotels such as Tryp Habana Libre and Nacional de Cuba grew up in the city. In fact, the capital is controlled by the North American mafia, the city has become a center of gambling and corruption.
  • From 1930 to 1959 there were a series of military coups that destabilized the economy and led the country into decline.
  • A revival began after the Cuban Revolution of 1959: destroyed buildings were restored, schools, universities and hospitals were erected.

In 1982, the historic center of the city was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a large-scale restoration of architectural monuments of the colonial era began and continues. Long sandy beaches, the clearest sea, incendiary music festivals and the hospitality of local residents add to the tourist attraction.

Historical sights

Ciudad de la Havana charms with its rich architecture and countless old buildings, harmoniously combined with high-rise hotels and Soviet-style buildings.

Catedral de San Cristobal (Cathedral of Saint Christopher)

The construction of the cathedral began in 1748 and lasted 29 years. The perfectly preserved building is one of the oldest functioning cathedrals in the Americas.

The author of the project was the Italian architect Francesco Borromini, who chose the traditional Jesuit churches as a model for the temple. The majestic baroque building in colonial style was erected from hewn blocks of coral limestone.

Square in plan, the cathedral is decorated with 2 high asymmetric towers: the left one is less wide, which ensured free outflow of water during the flooding of the square.

The interior is decorated with copies of paintings by Rubens and Murillo, paintings by B. Veremey, original frescoes by Giuseppe Perovani have been preserved above the altar. Inside the cathedral there is a statue of St. Christopher dating from 1632. From 1796 to 1898. the ashes were kept here. Columbus, then the remains were transferred to the Cathedral of Seville.

Visitation is allowed on weekdays, from 09:00 to 11:00 or after 14:30. Address: 156 Empedrado, La Habana

El Templete (El Templete)

The construction of an elegant neoclassical chapel was completed in 1828. The oldest chapel in the city is located in the heart of Havana, on the site of the foundation cities. One of the columns of the small temple marks the spot where the first Mass on Cuban soil was celebrated in 1754.

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The chapel is open daily from 09:00 to 18:00. Address: Avenida del Puerto (San Pedro), Reparto Camilo Cienfuegos

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (Palace of the Captain Generals)

A magnificent colonial baroque mansion occupies the entire west side of Plaza de Armas. The building was built in 1770 and for a long time served as the official residence of the Governor General of Cuba. Later, the building became the Presidential Palace, since 1920 the Historical Museum of Havana (Museo de la Ciudad de la Habana) has been located in the mansion.

The interiors are decorated with skillful marble carvings, antique furniture from the period of colonization has been preserved. The exposition consists of archaeological finds, items related to navigation and the period of great geographical discoveries. A separate Throne Room, available for inspection, was once prepared for visits by the Spanish royal family.

In the inner courtyard there is a magnificent tropical garden, in the center stands an ancient statue of Christopher Columbus, dating from 1862. The museum is open daily, from 09:00 to 18:00.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

One of the most ancient bastions of the continent is located in the western part of the harbor and borders the Plaza de Armas (Armory Square). The construction of fortifications that protected the city from pirate raids was completed in 1578

Massive sloping walls up to 10 m high and at least 6 m wide protected the harbor entrance. Special channels are punched in the walls, providing continuous air circulation, and the shape of the narrow loopholes does not allow you to see what is happening inside the fortress.

Since 2010, the Maritime Museum has been opened in the fort with an extensive collection of old navigational instruments, maps and models of ships. A significant part of the exposition is devoted to finds raised from the bottom of the sea.

The museum is open from 09:30 to 17:00, closed on Mondays. Address: O'Reilly, La Habana.

Church of the Iglesia del Santo Angel Custodio

The majestic Gothic church is located between the Museum of the Revolution and the Old Town. Built in the second half of the 17th century.a small church was rebuilt and expanded several times: 2 side aisles were added, in 1704 majestic towers appeared. The reason for the last large-scale reconstruction, begun in 1866, was the destruction of one of the towers.

Currently, the temple has two spire-shaped towers and an atrium, where the church cemetery was located centuries ago. Entrance doors in the shape of pointed arches hide a laconic interior.

The church is active, services are held daily at 18:00. Address: Calle Compostela, 2

Museum of the Revolution

Erected in 1920, the building served as the official residence of the rulers of Cuba for almost 30 years. The Belgian architect Paul Belau and Cuban-born Carlos Maruri were involved in the knowledge project. Interior forged elements, mirrors, crystal chandeliers and stained glass lamps were created by the masters of the Tiffany's house.

Shortly after the Cuban Revolution, the building housed a museum, in the halls of which there are now more than 9 thousand exhibits: preserved furniture and decor items, weapons and clothing of the war years, documents, photographs, reconstructions of battles.

Outside, on the side of the facade, there is a glass memorial of the Granma yacht, from which Fidel Castro and his like-minded revolutionaries landed in 1956. Nearby, automobile equipment from the times of the revolution, Castro's personal cars, several aircraft and the Soviet S-75 missile system are installed.

The museum is located on Avenida Belgica, open from 09:30 to 16:00.

The Capitol

Long-term American influence even affected the development of the city: the Havana Capitol was built in 1929 on the model of the Washington Congress House. Its dome is higher than that of the original and second in height only to the domes of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome and St. Paul's in London.

The sculpture that adorns the dome is a replica of a bronze statue of Mercury, created in the 16th century in Florence. Massive bronze doors are decorated with reliefs depicting scenes from the history of Cuba from the discovery of America to the events of the early 20th century.

From 1929 until 1959, the House of Representatives and the Senate of Cuba were located in the Capitol, after which the spacious building was occupied by the Ministry of Science, the Historical Museum, halls for conferences and library.

The building and interior can be viewed on weekdays from 10:30 to 22:00. Address: Paseo del Prado 422 e/ San José y Dragones

Itinerary for self-sightseeing for 1-2 days

Ciudad de la Havana cannot be seen in a short trip, the color is too unique and architectural appearance of the Cuban capital. However, 2 days will be enough for acquaintance with the most unusual sights, walking one of the many parks and dating from local cuisine.

1 day

Behind the impressions you need to go to the old part of the city, Areas La Habana Vieja and Vedado:

  • Start a walk on the magnificent boulevard Paseo Del Prado, built in 1772. The street is paved with multi-colored stone slabs, massive benches for recreation and vintage lights are located.
  • The Capitol building is located on the boulevard, the inspection of which will take 1.5-2 hours.
  • The Gran Tearto de La Habana (Bolshoi Theater Havana) is towers nearby (Bolshaya Theater Havana), a luxurious colonial style building decorated with a high corner tower. Quick facade decorate 4 marble sculptures of Juseppe Maretti, numerous carved figures and stone sculptures.
  • 100 meters from the Capitol, opposite the Saratoga Hotel, there is FUNE INDIA Fountain (India Source). The platform around the figure carved from Carrarsky marble, squeezing on the throne, is considered the place of dates of citizens.
  • Near the Capitol, between Prado, Neptuno Streets, Zulueta, is one of the entrances to the Central Park, with shady allys, comfortable benches and sculptures. On its territory there is a monument to the medical students who were shot by the Spanish colonialists in 1871
  • near the presidential palace with a working museum of revolution. Opposite the Palace there is a historic area of ​​Parque Plaza 13 de Marzo, decorated with a horseman Jose Marty. The height of the bronze sculpture is 5.6 m, the weight is about three tons.
  • To the right, on Loma Del Angel, the Gothic Cathedral of Iglesia Del Santo Angel Custodio is towers.
  • Continue walking on Paseo Del Prado to the side of the authentic EL MALECO embankment along the eight-kilometer embankment placed colonial mansions, hotels, numerous monuments. Twilight to the embankment flocks the crowds of those who want to admire the sunset: going beyond the sea, the sun paints the sky with amazing color transitions.

2 Day

The second day can be devoted to a beach rest or strolls in less filled tourists Havana streets:

  • Start a tour with The Fortaleza De San Carlos De La Cabana historic Park, part of which is the complex of fortress buildings of the XVIII century.
  • From him in the underwater Havana tunnel to get to the archaeological park.
  • From there along the harbor, the road goes to Plaza de Armas, in the center of which the marble monument to Carlos Manuel de Seszestedes is installed.
  • View the Chapel EL Templete.
  • Visit the Museum of Natural Located nearby (Museo de Historia Natural).
  • Exit to the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, where the Museum of National Art and the monastery of Iglesia de San Francisco (1608) are located.
  • Walk to the Havana Club Rum Museum, whose halls mimic a colonial-era distillery. There is a tasting room, a cozy bar and a shop.
  • After 900 m, see the elegant church of Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula.
  • Finish the walk at the handicraft market, where you can buy leather goods, paintings and decorations made by Cuban craftsmen.

Modern Ciudad de la Havana surprisingly combines the historical flavor of narrow streets and exquisite mansions, attention to the heritage of the Cuban revolution and modern centers commerce, leisure and entertainment.

Video about the city

Heads and Tails: Havana: