La Habana, city, capital of
both Cuba Ciudad de la Habana prov., W Cuba; largest and of
city and chief port of the West Indies and one of the oldest
cities in the Americas. Havana is the political, economic,
and cultural center of Cuba. An important hub of air and maritime
transportation, it is the focal point of Cuban commerce, exporting
sugar, tobacco, and fruits and importing mainly foodstuffs,
cotton, and machinery and technical equipment. Industries
include shipbuilding, assembly plants, rum distilleries, sugar
refineries, and factories making the famous Havana cigars.
Tourism has been greatly revived in the 1990s as Cuba redirects
its economic model from central planning toward a mixed economy.
The city's hot, humid climate is moderated by sea winds.
Havana possesses one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean
and has long been strategically and commercially important.
The original settlement, called San Cristóbal de la
Habana, was founded in 1515 by the Spanish explorer Diego
de Velázquez on Cuba's southern coast but was relocated
to the site of present-day Havana in 1519. Spanish treasure
galleons assembled in Havana's harbor for their return voyage
to Spain, and the city tempted many English, French, and Dutch
buccaneers. It became the capital of Cuba in the late 16th
cent. In 1762, during the French and Indian Wars, Havana fell
to Anglo-American forces, but the following year it was returned
to Spain in exchange for the Floridas. By the early 19th cent.,
the city ranked as one of the wealthiest and busiest commercial
centers in the Western Hemisphere.
The blowing up of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor
in Feb., 1898, was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American
War. U.S. troops occupying Havana in the wake of their victory
there improved sanitary conditions and eliminated yellow fever
from the city. Until 1959 the close political and economic
relations between Cuba and the United States were strongly
reflected in the commercial and cultural life of the city.
After the Castro government took control, the U.S. presence
in Havana was replaced by that of the Soviet Union, with which
the Cuban government maintained close ties.
Castro's policy of directing economic resources toward rural
areas resulted in the deterioration of Havana, particularly
the old city, but restoration efforts began in the 1980s.
The old city is dominated by Morro Castle and other fortresses
and is also known for its narrow streets, numerous churches,
and fine examples of colonial architecture. The modern section
of the city has wide boulevards, impressive public buildings
(notably the lavishly decorated capitol), and magnificent
residences. Havana Univ. was founded in 1728. The city has
many cultural facilities.
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The Capitol Building is, without a doubt, one of the most distinguished buildings in Havana, not just due to its monumental character, but also to its singular features, which make it one of the most representative buildings of its type in the word. The eclectic style in which it is built is typical of the mixture of styles which characterises the peoples of the Caribbean region. Even before the site had been properly cleaned up after its construction, the Capitol [...]
It is an elegant edification in eclectic style located in a centric place of Old Havana,†right in front†of The Capitol Building, The Fountain of the Indian Woman and The Partagas Cigar Factory. Gregorio Palacios Spanish merchant built it between 1879-80 and at that moment was one of the most important hotels in Havana. Apparently, Its name is a remembrance of a hot springs bathing housed in The United States. Antonio Guiteras, ex former Secretary of Governing during the Grau San [...]
The Plaza hotel rises majestically with its image, at the gates of Old Havana, as a key input to a World of history, culture and Cuban. Opened in 1909, was once the mansion of a wealthy family of the time, the Marquis of Pinar del Rio. Had with the passing of time its cozy atmosphere of eclectic style, with its original interior courtyard, where a figure of woman-in-Carrara marble welcomes visitors. Included in decor original paintings from the colonial era, [...]
Located in a privileged place of Havana, where the old part of the city join with the modernity, near of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Paseo del Prado and the former Presidential Palace (today Revolution Museum). It was one of the first hotels that work with North American capital and had a good comfort for that time. Theirs first owners were the greek brothers Economics, who also possessed the Zaserac Coffe shop, situated behind the Inglaterra Hotel. In the [...]
A Casa Particular or homestay near the Capital Building in Old Havana will ensure you experience both the wonders of Old Havana's Colonial buildings and rich history, together with true Cuban hospitality. Your hosts at your casa particular in Old Havana will speak English and have a profound knowledge of the city. Any questions you have will be answered instantly by the Cuban family you are staying with. Some of our casa particulares also offer meals and drinks, meaning you'll [...]
The luxurious 5-star hotel Iberostar Parque Central is located opposite the historic Central Park and Capitolio Havana, near the renowned Malecon Boulevard, which runs along the sea. Here you will [...]