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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Tourism and Heritage

Cuba, famous for its excellent beaches of white sand and warm crystal-clear water, also offers a wide range of attractions for tourists, including Cuba's history, culture and nature.

In addition to traditional tourist options, Cuba offers a valuable cultural wealth, especially in Havana.

Nearly 140 buildings in Old Havana were built in the 16th and 17th centuries; another 200 were constructed in the 18th century and more than 460 in the 19th century.

The nucleus of the Cuban capital exhibits a true collection of castles, fortresses and buildings with high cultural values, which were built around a system of squares, monasteries and temples.

Those open spaces, including the Arms Square, the Cathedral Square, the so-called Old Square and the Saint Francis Square, marked the design of the so-called inner city.

The city also holds distinctive sites such as the famous Prado Promenade and the well-known Paula Promenade. The latter was built in the late 18th century. The two sites were meeting areas for local dwellers at the time.

Center for the Development of Visual Arts
Castle of the Royal Force
City Museum

One of the symbols of Cuban architecture in Havana is the Capitol, which experts consider the second highest point in the capital.

Architects and historian agree that the Capitol is an almost perfect work of engineering from the early 20th century, and one of the world's top six most relevant palaces.

The Capitol holds a statue that symbolizes the Republic, and was created by Italian sculptor Angelo Zanelli, and it is the world's third largest statue indoors.

Havana also holds the remains of defensive structures built to protect the city during the Spanish-colonial period.

The city's vulnerability by land led the Spanish Crown to build a wall around the village of San Cristóbal de La Habana in the 16th century.

The works began in 1674. Construction was originally planned for three years, but it lasted more than six decades. The works were completed in 1740.

The wall became a characteristic feature of the urban environment of the village. It had nine gates to the city, including those in La Punta, and on Reina and Muralla streets.

However, the wall was operational for only 123 years, and its demolition began in 1863, because the city was growing fast beyond the wall.

Museums, cultural centers, squares, parks and amphitheaters are also part of the Cuban capital, where traditional sun and beach options are complemented by the city's cultural and historic wealth.

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