Old Havana is the oldest area
of the Cuban capital city. Founded by the Spanish as the
Village of San Cristobal de La Habana in 1519, it is one of the richest
colonial sets of Latin America. In 1982 it was declared World Heritage Site by
UNESCO; and it is today one of the most visited tourist destinations in Cuba.
The historical site exhibits a wide range of architectural treasures: the
remains of the walls that for two centuries protected the Village, narrow
cobbled streets, arcades, balconies, railings, stain-glass windows and interior
patios of colonial houses, impressive fortresses, baroque and neoclassical
churches; as well as admirable monuments.
Several buildings house thematic museums that offer a more complete vision of a history of V Centuries ago. But Old Havana is not a city frozen in time, but a dynamic community of entrepreneurial, creative, hospitable, and diaphanous people. In squares and streets are mixed the cries of a “Manisero” (Peanut cone vendors), smells of local food and rum, predictions of picturesque fortune tellers, musical ensembles that offer visitors the best of traditional Cuban repertoire, the joy of children in schools, the amazements to the living statues that beautify the historical site, the warm smile of a stranger, and the taste of tropical air.
Activities do not stop: craft fairs, books, performances, sports clubs, a vast chain of museums and shops, besides varied cultural and food offers. In its Casas Particulares (Private Lodging Facilities) you will get to know the genuine Cuban values, and opening the door or coming out onto the balcony will give you the opportunity to enjoy one of the best outdoor museums. Old Havana has much to tell and offer.