Sights in Havana

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José Martí memorial at  Plaza de la Revolución, Havana

José Martí memorial at Plaza de la Revolución, Havana

Hans-Peter Harmsen

Havana, especially the old part, Habana Viaje, is full of interesting squares and colonial buildings, most of them not yet renovated though. Just stroll around and let the city surprise you.

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Malecón

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Waves spashing at Malecón boulevard in Havana
Waves spashing at Malecón boulevard in Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

The boulavard following the north side of the city is called the Malecón. It's a popular place for cubans to hang out in the evening. Nice for a scroll along the sea side. The bars along the Malecón serve good mohito's.

type:Hotspots
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Statue of Máximo Gómez

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Statue of Máximo Gómez, Havana
Statue of Máximo Gómez, Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

In the north part of the old city you will find the Parque Martires del 71 with the the huge statue of Máximo Gómez.

When José Martí began the War of Independence, he asked Gómez to lead his revolutionaries. Using small guerilla forces, Gómez would go from town to town, burning the Spanish plantations and eliminating their troops.

The interesting thing about the statue is that is actually inhabited! If you look at the back side, you'll find a door. The old man living in the statue is always willing to trade stories about the Cuban battles for some Pesos or a bar of more..

type:Fountains and statues
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address:Parque Martires del 71

Gran Teatro

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Gran Teatro, Havana
Gran Teatro, Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

The old Gran Teatro, is where it all happened in the past. Now it´s still an exceptional venue for ballet and opera performances, old world horseshoe layout, meaning you must try to get tickets in the center or slight off-center sections.

type:Public Buildings
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address:Paseo de Martí 458, Central Havana
openings:Office: 9am-5pm Tue-Sun; Performance times: 8.30pm Fri-Sat, 5pm Sun, Performance times: 8.30pm Fri-Sat, 5pm Sun
tel:(53-7) 861-3096

Plaza de la Revolución

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José Martí memorial at  Plaza de la Revolución, Havana
José Martí memorial at Plaza de la Revolución, Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

The Plaza de la Revolución is the grand communist parade place.

At the square you can find to remarkable landmarks. First is the 138,5 meter above sealevel José Martí memorial. The other is the large stylistic face of Che Guevara along the face of an apartment builiding.

type:Squares
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address:Plaza de la Revolución

Catedral de San Cristóbal

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Catedral de San Cristóbal - December 2005
Catedral de San Cristóbal - December 2005
photo by: Michael Laverdiere

The Catedral de San Cristóbal was built between 1748 and 1777. It is dedicated to Christopher Columbus himself becuase his body is believed to have rested there. There's never been proof of this claim though.

type:Churches and Cathedrals
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address:Calle Emperado 156
openings:mon-fri 10:30-12:30, sat 10:30-13:00, sun 9:00-12:30

Capitolio

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Capitolio, Havana
Capitolio, Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

The Capitolio is located in the quarted called Centro Habana, just next to the old city. The building is almost an exact replica of the Washington DC Capitol building only just a bit bigger and more nicely decorated.

Originally built to house the Cuban parliament, it now houses the ministry of science and a big library.

type:Castles
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address:Paseo de Marti

Plaza Vieja

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Plaza Vieja, Havanna
Plaza Vieja, Havanna
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

The Plaza Vieja (old square) was originally called Plaza Nuevo (new square). It is a nice square in the southern part of the old city. Around the square you can find many old colonial buildings, some renovated, some old and worn out.

type:Squares
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Plaza de Armas

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Book stalls at Plaza de Armas, Havana
Book stalls at Plaza de Armas, Havana
photo by: Hans-Peter Harmsen

Plaza de Armas is a nice square located in the east part of the old city, close to the harbour.

The square itself is nice and green and it is full of book stalls selling old and new books. Many of them revolution oriented.

Around the plaza are some of the nicest colonial buildings. This is the part of the city where the renovation has done a good job already.

type:Squares
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Plaza de San Francisco de Asís

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San Francisco de Asís church, Havana
San Francisco de Asís church, Havana
photo by: Monique Mende

This square, located close to the harbour is the end of the old 11km long aquaduct, parts of which, can still be found in the city. The end point of the aquaduct is the Fuente de los Leone. This fountain is an exact copy of the lions fountain in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. It is decorated with four lions. It used to be place where ships used to take in fresh water.

An important building at the square is the Church of San Francisco de Asís.

type:Squares
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address:Plaza de San Francisco de Asís

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