The Cuban archipelago, full of unique natural attractions for tourism, complements its tourist options with a wide range of historical and cultural values inherited from colonial times.
The Cuban capital city, previously known as San Cristobal de La Habana, preserves vivid examples of colonial architecture that started to become famous by the end of the 16th century and is characterized by unique features with a strong Spanish influence.
Havana’s fortress system, led by the emblematic Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro, comprised nine large constructions to make up, as experts say, the most outstanding complex of its kind in Spanish America.
Likewise, close to 140 buildings, of the constructions located in the city’s historic heart, date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, while about 200 were built in the 18th century and over 460 in the 19th; thus achieving a very attractive combination for the most demanding tastes.
The city also preserves distinctive places, of inevitable traffic by residents and visitors, like the famous Paseo del Prado (Prado Promenade) and the renowned Alameda de Paula, which was built on the second half of the 18th century.
In the east, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa (Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa) stands out as the first village founded by the governor Diego Velázquez between 1511 and 1512, being the island’s first capital and diocese.
Visitors are surrounded by a colonial environment full of historic remembrances like the famous Cruz de La Parra, a cross made of precious wood from the region by the Spanish during their first voyage to the Americas and that was used by the priest Bartolomé de Las Casas to say his first mass in the island.
The central area of the country includes the Villa de la Santísima Trinidad (Village of the Holy Trinity), founded by Diego Velázquez in 1514, which comprises one of the best preserved colonial architectural complexes in the Americas and was given the status of World Heritage by UNESCO.
In the historic heart of Trinidad, an actual combination of architectural styles from the 18th, 19th and the turn of the 20th centuries can be appreciated, including narrow cobblestone streets between houses of superb woodwork, wrought-iron windows and ornamented walls.
The list of colonial cities also includes Camagüey, formerly known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, founded in 1514 and characterized by one-tower churches, facades with archivolts and pilasters, artistic wrought-iron windows, houses with interior thresholds and red-tile roofs.
The city streets show an unusual urban planning, keeping a short straight line and then start winding in different directions that eventually end up in one of the innumerable city’s squares.