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Havana: Attractions for Tourism

Havana, Cuba's capital and an important destination for tourism, offers a wide range of attractions for holidaymakers, both national and foreign tourists.

Known as the village of San Cristobal de La Habana, it is one of the most outstanding exponents of Spanish colonial architecture in Cuba, and is marked by a notoriety that began in the late 16th century, with its own characteristics but with a strong Iberian influence.

Its system of fortresses, with the emblematic Castle of the Three Kings of El Morro, consisted of nine big constructions that constituted, according to experts, the most remarkable set of its kind in the Hispanic Americas.

Among these works, the Castle of the Royal Force (Castillo de la Real Fuerza, completed in 1577) paved the way in the continent to Renaissance design in military buildings, with a style that predominated in Spain during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, also called the called Elizabethan period.

About 140 of the buildings located in Havana's historic heart were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, another 200 belong to the 18th century and more than 460 are from the 19th century.

The tallest buildings of the city are the sector known as El Vedado, as well as most restaurants, bars, nightclubs, big stores, main cinemas and theaters, together with an important segment of the city's cultural life.

Castle of the Royal Force
City Museum
View of the Castle of the Three Kings of El Morro from Havana`s Malecón

Havana also holds the Malecon seafront drive, which runs along the coast in Centro Habana and El Vedado, flanked by a wall that is about one meter wide and extending for about 12 kilometers from La Punta Castle, at the entrance to the Bay of Havana, to the tunnel under the Almendares River, in the limits between El Vedado and Miramar.

Coupled with this is the Colon Cemetery, famous for its funerary architecture and monuments in which Carrara marble, granite and stained glass have been used extensively.

Another place to mention is the Quinta de los Molinos, built as a summer residence for the Captains General in 1830s.

Several squares are located in Havana, with special highlight for those known as Armas, Cathedral, the so-called Old Square and Saint Francis of Assisi, the latter is adjacent to the church and the convent of the same name.

The city also retains distinctive features such as the famous Paseo del Prado (Prado Promenade) and the well-known Alameda de Paula (Paula Promenade). The latter was built in the second half of the 18th century. Both sites were visited by the capital's inhabitants at the time.

Havana holds buildings that represent from the Renaissance to the Art Deco styles, passing through the Mudejar, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Eclecticism, Art Nouveau and the Cuban Baroque.

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