A guide to Vedado

The FOCSA Building, photo by twicepix/Flickr

Vedado is a district of the wonderful capital city, Havana. It is actually the vibrant downtown of the city. The northern part of Vedado is also named Malecón which is situated at the waterfront. Besides the prestigious hotels, there are also numerous attractions in Vedado. The Havana Libre and the Hotel Nacional de Cuba are just two of the best-known hotels of the capital city. Among the attractions of the district are the immense FOCSA Building, the John Lennon Park, the Beth Shalom Temple, the Coppelia, the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Platform and so on. If you visit Havana, don’t miss to visit this fantastic district either.

The FOCSA Building

Being the tallest building in the whole country, the FOCSA Building is one of the most representative landmarks of the district. It is also considered one of the wonders of civil engineering in Cuba. The construction of the immense building took only 2 years and 4 months. It is 121 m tall and has 29 floors, including a total number of 373 apartments. The building is divided into three major parts: the base, the tower which includes the 29 floors and the La Torre Restaurant. Besides, it includes a huge parking lot, a swimming pool and a shopping centre.

The FOCSA Building, photo by twicepix/Flickr

The John Lennon Park

Named after the sitting statue of the worldwide famous star, John Lennon, it is the best-known park in Vedado. The statue of Lennon was unveiled by Fidel Castro, in 2000. The statue “sits” on one of the park’s benches and is a favorite spot for tourists who make photographs with the famous former Beatles member.

The Beth Shalom Temple

Also named Gran Sinagoga Bet Shalom, it is a synagogue located in Vedado. It was built in 1952, but today the major part of the building is sold. Only a smaller part of it remained in Jewish hands. There is also a Jewish library inside the building. The synagogue is considered the seat of the Jewish Community of Cuba.

Beth Shalom Temple, en.wikipedia.org

Coppelia

It is actually an ice cream parlor situated in the district of Vedado. It is considered the largest of its kind in the world. Coppelia is one of the best-known landmarks of the city. It was opened in 1966 and since then it is a very popular place among local people. The fantastic ice cream parlor attracts about 35.000 visitors each day. On the site of the actual building used to be a hospital which was demolished somewhere around the middle of the 20th century. The actual building is characterized by Modernism.

Inside the Coppelia, photo by BitBoy/Flickr

The José Martí Anti-Imperialist Platform

The platform is situated on the Plaza de la Dignidad and was opened in 2000. The first demonstration held on the platform was an anti-American protest. The “Wall of Flags” is a highlight of the platform which is a flag monument. The platform is a popular site among visitors of Vedado.

 

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