La Habana (Colonial)

Tourist Destinations

Old Havana, which for centuries was inside the walled part of the city, was founded in late 1519 at the port Carenas. Its primary nucleus consists of buildings that were erected around a series of public squares and tiny areas adjoining monasteries and old churches.

A constant victim of attacks by pirates, corsairs and enemies of the Spanish Crown, the village of San Cristóbal de La Habana had to be fortified with a powerful defense system, some of whose major fortresses, such as the Castle of the Royal Force, the Tres Reyes del Morro Castle and the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña still preserve their original elegance. UNESCO declared Old Havana and its System of Colonial Fortifications Humankind's Cultural Heritage in 1982.

The magnitude of the restoration works that have been done there since the 1970s makes it advisable for travelers to follow routes so as not to miss any of its attractions. Above all, do not miss the 9 o'clock cannon shot, with its colonial-style ceremony.

Havana's historic center covers approximately 142 hectares and contains around 3,500 buildings, one seventh of which are of great value. The restoration of this valuable historic and cultural heritage began in 1976. Two years later, Old Havana was declared a national monument.