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Cuba: Underwater Treasures and History
Date: OCT 15, 2007
Other Reports

Cuba, which benefits from a strategic location in the Caribbean and at entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, offers many underwater treasures and the rich history of Havana streets.

The island nation offers diving enthusiasts more than 70,000 kilometers of insular platform, including 5,000 kilometers of coast bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Nearly 6,500 varieties of fish, crustaceans, sponges and mollusks, in addition to many species of corals, turn the Caribbean Island into one of the best-preserved submarine ecosystems in the region.

Three dozen diving centers operate throughout the Cuban archipelago, offering initiation courses and diving programs in coral reefs and caverns under international standards.

Diving also benefits from an average sea temperature of 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and a horizontal visibility of more than 30 meters sometimes.

In the Cuban capital, the main tourist destination in the country, the architectural values of its historic heart keep many elements of the city's history alive.

Havana was founded on its current location in 1519, and many of its buildings have survived the passage of time and can be admired today.

Specialized museums, art galleries, theaters, commercial centers, hotels and inns, housed in centuries-old buildings, are some of the facilities that can be found in Old Havana

The great patrimonial value of the city lies in the wide range of architectural styles, including baroque, neo-gothic, neoclassic, eclectic, art noveau and modern elements.

The development of the so-called Inner Havana resulted in the construction of huge projects, one of which was the Alameda de Paula, the oldest promenade in the Cuban capital.

The promenade was named after the nearby San Francisco de Paula Hospital, built in 1664 by a church that was later given the same name.

The heart of the Cuban capital consists of a series of castles, fortresses and highly valuable buildings constructed around a system of squares, monasteries and temples.

Those open spaces, especially the Arms, Cathedral, Old, Cristo and San Francisco squares, marked the design of the so-called inner city.

The Arms Square is considered the heart of the old city, as the development of the village of San Cristóbal de La Habana began there.

The square is near the sea, in the place where the foundational mass was held on November 16 under a big ceiba tree.

Precisely, in front of that tree, replanted by several generations of Havana dwellers, the first square of the village was built. It was named Arms Square in 1584 because it was used for military exercises.

Sea bottom in Cuba.
Sea bottom in Cuba.
Paula Church
Archeological excavations
Sea bottom in Cuba.
View of Alameda de Paula
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    Sea bottom in Cuba.

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