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Tourism: Cultural Heritage in Cuba
Date: MAY 25, 2009
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The Cuban archipelago, one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the Caribbean region, offers a rich combination of culture, nature and traditions.

Cities with abundant exponents of Spanish colonial architecture in a perfect state of preservation, hotels linked to plastic arts, and patrimonial sites can be found anywhere in the Caribbean island.

One of those places is the Cuban capital. 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.

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. They create a very attractive combination of architectural styles, including baroque, neogothic, neoclassicism, eclecticism, art noveau and the modern movement.

Among those buildings is the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the most extraordinary convent-church complexes from the Spanish colonial period.

The Basilica's most significant element is its 42-meter-tall tower, the second tallest tower in the country, only preceded by the Iznaga Tower in Trinidad, which is 45 meters tall.

Another interesting building in Old Havana is El Templete, a small Greco-Roman-styled temple that has the Bay of Havana in the background and is across from Arms Square.

El Templete marks the site where the first mass was held in 1519 and where the first city council was seated when the city was founded in its present location.

Those interested in architecture must visit the Cathedral of Havana, the maximum exponent of the so-called Cuban baroque, which developed in the 18th century.

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.

Another characteristic building in the city is the Castle of the Three Kings of Morro, which was designed by Italian military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli.

Many centuries-old buildings have been restored painstakingly and turned into major components of Cuba's tourist sector.

Havana`s Capitol.
Paula Church
Capitolio. Dome.
Capitolio. Front view.
Interior view of El Morro Castle.
Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro
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  • Gallery
    Havana`s Capitol.

    Choose a small photo to enlarge:
    Havana`s Capitol. Paula Church Capitolio. Dome. Capitolio. Front view. Interior view of El Morro Castle. Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro Interior view of Paula Church El Morro`s lighthouse View from Malecón (seafront) Barracks in La Cabaña Fortress. Alameda de Paula (Paula Promenade) "The 12 Apostles" Battery View of Alameda de Paula Detail of the ceiling.
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