Casas Havana Vieja
- (span. for Old-Havana) is the city-center (downtown) and one of the 15 municipalities (or boroughs) forming Havana, Cuba
- is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- ´s buildings have fallen in ruin in the later half of the 20th century, but a number are being restored.
- Main sights:
--> The Malecón is the avenue that runs along the seawall at the northern shore of Havana, from Habana Vieja to the Almendares River.
--> Castillo del Morro, picturesque fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay. The construction of the castle Los Tres Reyes del Morro owed to the step along in Havana of the English pirate Sir Francis Drake. The king of Spain arranged its construction on a big stone which was known by the name of El Morro. He sent the field master Juan de Texeda, accompanied of the military engineer Battista Antonelli, who came to Havana in 1587 and began the task at once.
--> La Cabaña fortress, located on the east side of the Havana Bay. The most impressive fortress of the Spanish colony was La Cabaña. It impresses with its 18th century walls, constructed at the same time as El Morro. Every night at 9 p.m., some soldiers dressed in suits of the epoch shoot from her the “el cañonazo de las nueve”, (gunshot of the nine). It went off every day to warn of the closing of the doors of the wall that surrounded the city.
--> San Salvador de la Punta Fortress, In the shore opposite to the Castle of El Morro, at the beginning of the curve of El Malecon, there rises the fortress of San Salvador de la Punta, of minor architectural dimensions. It was constructed in 1590, and in 1629 the Chapter of Havana decided, to defend better the port, to join her in the night with the El Morro by using a thick chain that prevented the entry of enemy ships.
--> Castillo de la Real Fuerza, The fortress or (lit.) Castle of the Royal Army is another big monument that closes the Plaza de las Armas. It was the first big fortification of the city, initiated in 1558 on the ruins of an ancient fortress. In the same year, the Crown sent to Cuba the engineer Bartolomé Sanchez, supervised by 14 official and main stonemasons in order to reconstruct the castle, which had been set fire and destroyed by the French corsair Jacques de Sores.
--> Catedral de San Cristóbal, the most prominent building on the Plaza de la Catedral. The Cathedral was raised on the chapel after 1748 by order of the bishop from Salamanca, Jose Felipe de Trespalacios. It is one of the most beautiful and sober churches of the American baroque.
--> National Capitol, styled after the Panthéon (Paris), looking similar to the U.S. Capitol.
--> Galician Center, Central Park, The Galician Center, of neobarroque style was establish as a social club of the Galician emigrants between 1907 and 1914. Built on the Theater Tacon (nowadays Great Theater of Havana), it was open during the Carnival of 1838 with five masked dances.
--> Plaza de Armas – the main touristic square. The origin of its name is military, since from the end of the 16th century the ceremonies and the military events took place here.
--> Gran Teatro de la Habana, the Great Theater of Havana is famous, particularly for the acclaimed National Ballet of Cuba and its founder Alicia Alonso. It sometimes performs the National Opera. The theater is also known as concert hall, Garcia Lorca, the biggest in Cuba.
--> The Museum of the Revolution, located in the former Presidential Palace, with the boat Granma on display in front of the museum.
--> San Francisco de la Habana Basilica, Habana Vieja, The set of church and convent of San Francisco de Asis, byline of the year 1608, and it was reconstructed in 1737.