Old Havana

Old Havana is a magical journey through five centuries of history and architecture that culminate to comprise Cuba’s first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  The historic core of Havana is defined by the limits of the ancient colonial settlement founded in 1519 and that was later girded by fortified walls. Practically all architectural styles intertwine in this quarter making it the largest and most complete colonial compound in Latin America. The four main plazas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral, are strategically placed throughout the area, connected by a perfectly planned grid of cobblestone streets lined with colonial fortresses, including the oldest in the Caribbean, churches, cathedrals and opulent palaces spanning from Spanish Colonial to Neoclassical interspersed with a mix of Baroque. The homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought iron gates and internal courtyards -- many evocatively time worn, but many restored to their original majesty. El Prado, the avenue creating the border between Habana Vieja and Centro Habana is one of the most exquisitely designed and splendid major avenues in all of the Americas and home to the quintessential structures that define Havana, including the iconic Capitolio. Designed in 1772 by French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, El Prado runs for many blocks from the dramatic fountain, La Fuente de la India, to the iconic Malecon. You will want to return to explore La Habana Vieja on our own to explore and discover its magic and mystery for yourself.


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