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Attractions

Old Havana and its Colonial Fortress System
World Heritage Sites
Address
La Habana Vieja. La Habana Vieja. La Habana
Description
It was included in the World Heritage List when it was approved in the 6th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World, Cultural and Natural Heritage, held from December 13 to 17, 1982, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

The architectural complex and the fortress system were internationally recognized under the criteria that they are representatives of a type of structure which portraits a significative era in history and are exceptional examples of a traditional human settlement that represented a culture, which was vulnerable to modifications or irreversible changes.

The Historical Urban Center of the City of Havana and its Fortress System are legally protected by the Law No. 1 of the National Assembly of the People’s Power: “Protection of Cultural Heritage Law”, passed on August 4, 1977; and the Law No.2 of the National Assembly of the People’s Power: “National and Local Monuments Law”, passed on August 4, 1977, and Resolution No. 3 passed on October 3, 1978, by the National Commission of Monuments that declared as National Monument the Historical Center of the old villa of San Cristobal of Havana.

This public property is highly inhabited and also used for social, commercial, administrative and cultural activities. There is still, however, a great environmental homogeneity and the buildings with a high historical value have been harmoniously and expressively repaired bearing in mind the original urban structure and formal basic aspects of the complex. Inside the old walls that surrounded the old town there are buildings with high architectural values, especially those near Plaza de Armas, Cathedral Square, San Francisco de Asis Square, and Plaza Vieja.

All these characteristics turn Old Havana into the most relevant Historical Urban Center of the Caribbean and one of the most important in the American continent.

Havana not only is exceptional for what has mentioned above, but also because of the position of its bay as an established path to the New World, which indeed required immediately military protection. So the old villa had three defensive systems, which form the architectural pint of view, were both esthetic and functional. And as they truly part of the Historical Center, they were included in the world Heritage List.
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