Old Havana is not only a legendary city, it is the Cuban capital with its excellent historical center declared as Human Patrimony by UNESCO in 1982.
Since it was founded in 1519, where today is raided "El Templete " at "La Plaza de Armas " (Army Square), were built the main colonial architectural buildings around its squares, and Oficios and Mercaderes streets. The ancient city was inside a protective wall, but at XIX century the city grew out of the wall which were pulled down and drawing over its rest the limit between the old and new growing city. The Capitol is the main exponent of the buildings over the ancient wall.
The history of every city is marked by its blocks drawing and growing as its evolution in space and architecture. Old Havana is an urban of beautiful and simple architecture where is represented a common and quite dialogue between the colonial styles, eclectic, art-deco, and rationalist, identified by its formal and expressive components.
Without doubts, the most used symbol which identifies us wherever in the world is "Los Tres Reyes del Morro " Castle, located at the opposite side of the bay entrance and to take it, it is necessary crossing the Bay Tunnel, the castle is together with a high lighthouse built in 1844 under the government of General Captain Leopoldo O'Donnell and a monumental structure adapted to the scarped base which support it.
The project belonged to the famous military engineer Bautista Antonelli. It's clear that its proposal was to defend the city from corsairs and pirates attacks, as it made at a glorious part of its history. In that sense it's necessary to mention "La Gran Fuerza " Castle, which the fortress with oldest features in America.
Other distinguish symbols in Old Havana are its squares: La Plaza de Armas , where are located between others; the "Palacio de los Capitanes Generales " (General Captains' Palace); "Ã‹l Templete"; the "Palacio del Segundo Cabo" (Second Cave's Palace); Cathedral Square which is whit Morro Castle the identifying universal symbol of the city, and the highest Cuban baroque style representation, here we can find earls and marquis' houses; San Francisco Square, rounded by the "Lonja del Comercio" (Trade exchange), the Port Duty, the "Basilica Menor del Convento de San Francisco de Asis ", it is an important place to appreciate the most authentic classic music; the "Plaza Vieja " (Old Square) and many other ones smaller, but with the same colonial enchant.
There are also high religious buildings, faithful examples of the architectonical styles living in this city as the economic power of the Catholic church and its devoted people.
But the Humanity's Old Havana is even more. Here the Cuban National Hero was born, Bacardi building was raised as the "Palacio de Bellas Artes" (Wonderful Arts Palace). Here our "mulata" lives and laugh sincerely, the helpful citizen, the typical "solar". Here is where Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler is rescuing the ancient times with the biggest restoration works that have made ever in Cuba an other places around the world. For Havana continuing being the Cubans' capital.
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