UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old Havana and its fortifications

Havana Cathedral ©jodastephen/Flickr

As one of the numerous spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cuba, “Old Havana and its fortifications” is home to several major tourist attractions. The deluge of the fantastic sights attracts dozens of tourists every year. Old Havana is actually the name of the city centre, being also one of the capital city’s districts.

The city centre with its fantastic fortifications is a World Heritage Site since 1982. The outstanding attractions of Old Havana include the following: the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, the Castillo del Morro, Havana Cathedral, the Capitolio Nacional, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Great Theatre of Havana, the El Floridita Bar and so on. It is not surprising at all that Old Havana was designated a World Heritage Site.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

It is a spectacular fort situated in the harbor of the city. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza was originally built to defend the attacks of pirates. It is a fantastic tourist attraction of Havana, housing a gorgeous maritime museum since 2010. One of the highlights of the fort is the watchtower which used to have a weather vane on top of it. The weather vane was actually created in the form of a woman and was named La Giraldilla.

Castillo de la Real Fuerza ©hoyasmeg/Flickr

Castillo del Morro

Another fantastic fort of the capital city is the Castillo del Morro. It guards the entrance to the bay of Havana. The fort is well-preserved, being one of the major attractions of the city. The fort also houses an exhibition of the Cuban lighthouses. It is surely a must-see attraction of Havana.

Havana Cathedral

As for the religious buildings, Havana Cathedral is a magnificent landmark and tourist attraction. It is a beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral. It is considered that the cathedral is the only building with asymmetrical Baroque façade.

Havana Cathedral ©jodastephen/Flickr

The Capitolio Nacional

The amazing building of the Capitolio Nacional is perhaps the major landmark of the city. The neoclassical building attracts dozens of visitors each year. The interior part of the building is as attractive as its exterior. There are guided tours which present you some parts of the building. The most popular visitor attraction of Havana can be visited from Friday to Monday from 9:15 to 15:45 except Thursdays (from 9:15 to 13:45). (November 2012)

Capitolio Nacional ©Boggin/Flickr

The Museum of Fine Arts

Another major tourist attraction of the city is the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana. The two buildings of the museum contain amazing collections of fine art dating from the colonial times, including fantastic sculptures and paintings. The museum is open every day except Mondays.

The Great Theatre of Havana

A major landmark of Havana is the Great Theatre. It is housed in a gorgeous building, the Palace of the Galician Centre. Besides the theatre, it houses a concert hall, an art gallery, conference rooms and other facilities.

El Floridita

Perhaps the most popular bar of Havana, the El Floridita can also be found in Old Havana. It used to be the favorite bar of Hemingway. Visitors can even make a photo with his statue, sitting on his favorite chair. You can not miss to drink a daiquiri at the prestigious small bar.

Leave a Reply