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  • 1 Casa del Conde de Lombillo Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Plaza de la Catedral

    This fine restored building has a lively yellow façade. It was built in the first half of the 18C by the Pedroso y Florencia family, who were ennobled as counts in 1871. Housing Havana's restoration authority, it today hosts exhibitions in the galler..

  • 2 Palacio Pedroso Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    64 Calle Cuba 64

    Named after the mayor of Havana for whom it was built in 1780, the palace is also known as Palacio de la Artesanía. Today it is used for tourism and commercial purposes: cigars, rum, T-shirts, CDs and books have taken over its interior and its patio ..

  • 3 Calle Oficios Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Calle Oficios

    Running from the Colegio de San Francisco de Sales (17C) to the square of the same name, this street has been restored thanks to Unesco funding. It has some fine houses in which are located shops, several smart hotels and also museums, including the ..

  • 4 Plaza San Francisco de Asís Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Plaza San Francisco de Asís

    This square gives onto Havana's port, where cruise ships have replaced the Spanish galleons of old. Laid out in the 16C in front of the convent of the same name, it is enlivened by terraces ideal for an idle pause, enhanced by a white marble fountain..

  • 5 Plaza Vieja Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Plaza Vieja

    To the west of San Francisco de Asís, this square dating from the 16C is eclectic, marrying Baroque with Art Nouveau (former hotel Viena, 1906). Extensive restoration has revitalised the original colours all round the square, centred on a new fountai..

  • 6 Casa del Conde de Jaruco Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Plaza Vieja

    Standing on the corner of San Ignacio Street and Muralla Street, this is the most remarkable building on the square. Built in 1737, it underwent significant remodelling in the mid-20C and subsequently fell into disrepair. Thanks to restoration work, ..

  • 7 Church and Convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced Interesting

    Religious buildings

    806 Calle Cuba 806

    On the corner of Cuba Street and Merced Street stands the fine architectural ensemble of the convento de la Merced, begun in1755 and not finished until the following century. Note the Moorish-style ceiling, the frescoes decorating the cupola, the fin..

  • 8 Birth House of José Martí Interesting

    Museums and art

    314 Calle Leonor Perez 314

    The house at n°314 Calle Leonor Pérez is a momentous site. Here on 28 January 1853 José Marti was born, who went on to play a leading role in the struggle for Cuban independence. In this museum's hushed atmosphere, the hero's character is illustrated..

  • 9 Church and Convent of Nuestra Señora de Belén Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Calle Compostela

    This vast architectural ensemble built between 1712 and 1718 for the congregation of Bethlehem was Havana's first Baroque building. Abandoned in 1925 and subsequently damaged by fire in 1991, the church and convent are gradually regaining their splen..

  • 10 Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás Interesting

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    520 Calle Industria 520

    Tucked away behind the Capitol at n°520 Calle Industria is one of Cuba's oldest tobacco factories, the Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás. The date 1845 on the building's pediment testifies to its year of establishment, although activity was only transferre..

  • 11 Parque Central Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    Parque Central

    This venerable square basks in the reflected glory of its surrounding buildings. Tourist do not often linger, despite the welcome shade of its royal palm trees, but the locals meet up here at all hours to chat and enjoy the tranquillity of the place...

  • 12 Gran Teatro de La Habana Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Angle Paseo de Marti et San Rafael

    The best way to admire the magnificent interior of the this theatre and its staircase is to go to a performance here, either an opera or a ballet by the Cuban national ballet. The largest auditorium, the García Lorca hall, was previously the main ven..

  • 13 El Prado Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Paseo de Martí

    The hub for all the city's museums of interest. This broad avenue dividing the municipios of Centro Habana and Habana Viaja runs from Parque Central to the bay. Once the playground of Cuban aristocrats, it is flanked by buildings in a variety of styl..

  • 14 Museum of the Revolution Interesting

    Museums and art

    1 Calle Refugio 1

    Next door to the National Museum of Fine Arts (Cuban Section), the former presidential palace housing this museum dates from 1913, with interior décor sourced from Tiffany's in New York. It became the presidential residence in 1920. Over four floors,..

  • 15 Casa de Pérez de la Riva Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Calle Carcel

    On the corner of Avenida de las Misiones and Avenida Cárcel, this Italian Renaissance-style façade seems out of keeping with the neighbouring busy thoroughfares of Parque de los Mártires. Built in 1905, this elegant house is now home to the Museo Nac..

  • 16 Le Malecón Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Le Malecón

    Running along the bay from Castillo San Salvador to Miramar, the Malecón (sea wall) forms a perfect arc standing over the sea. Running for 8km, it offers a kaleidoscope of contrasting sights, from brightly coloured traditional houses (freshly repaint..

  • 17 Callejón de Hamel Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Known to the locals simply as "Salvador", artist Salvador González Escalona lived and worked here. In the very run-down quarter of Cayo Hueso at the heart of Centro Habana, one street stands out. One day in 1990, Salvador started to paint a..

  • 18 Vedado Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Calle 23

    Lying either side of Calle 23 (Rampa), Vedado is a centre for business, tourism and leisure, its laid-back ambience and bright colours contrasting with an American "downtown" feel. Big hotels are sited here, on grid-pattern streets lined by..

  • 19 La Rampa (Calle 23) Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Calle 23

    Calle 23 runs through Vedado for more than 2km from Malecón to the Colón cemetery. Called Rampa between the hotel Nacional, an Art Deco building (1930) looking onto the sea, and the Habana Libre palace, embellished by extensive ceramic ornamentation,..

  • 20 Museo Napoleónico Interesting

    Museums and art

    1159 Calle San Miguel 1159

    Sited behind the university, this museum houses one of the world's largest collections relating to Napoleon. A Cuban millionaire, Julio Lobo, with a fascination for the great French emperor had this Florentine-style palace constructed. Sèvres porcela..

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