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For other uses, see Havana (disambiguation). Havana_sentence_0

"Habana" redirects here. Havana_sentence_1

For other uses, see Habana (disambiguation). Havana_sentence_2

"Havanese" redirects here. Havana_sentence_3

For the dog breed, see Havanese dog. Havana_sentence_4



La HabanaHavana_header_cell_0_0_0

CountryHavana_header_cell_0_1_0 CubaHavana_cell_0_1_1
ProvinceHavana_header_cell_0_2_0 La HabanaHavana_cell_0_2_1
EstablishedHavana_header_cell_0_3_0 1519Havana_cell_0_3_1
MunicipalitiesHavana_header_cell_0_4_0 15Havana_cell_0_4_1
BodyHavana_header_cell_0_6_0 Gobierno Provincial de La HabanaHavana_cell_0_6_1
GovernorHavana_header_cell_0_7_0 Reinaldo García Zapata (PCC)Havana_cell_0_7_1
TotalHavana_header_cell_0_9_0 728.26 km (281.18 sq mi)Havana_cell_0_9_1
ElevationHavana_header_cell_0_10_0 59 m (194 ft)Havana_cell_0_10_1
TotalHavana_header_cell_0_12_0 2,131,480Havana_cell_0_12_1
DensityHavana_header_cell_0_13_0 2,892.0/km (7,490/sq mi)Havana_cell_0_13_1
Demonym(s)Havana_header_cell_0_14_0 Habanero/aHavana_cell_0_14_1
Time zoneHavana_header_cell_0_15_0 UTC−5 (UTC−05:00)Havana_cell_0_15_1
Summer (DST)Havana_header_cell_0_16_0 UTC−4 (UTC−04:00)Havana_cell_0_16_1
Postal codeHavana_header_cell_0_17_0 10xxx–19xxxHavana_cell_0_17_1
Area code(s)Havana_header_cell_0_18_0 (+53) 07Havana_cell_0_18_1
Patron saintsHavana_header_cell_0_19_0 Saint ChristopherHavana_cell_0_19_1
HDI (2018)Havana_header_cell_0_20_0 0.804 – very highHavana_cell_0_20_1
WebsiteHavana_header_cell_0_21_0 Havana_cell_0_21_1
UNESCO World Heritage SiteHavana_header_cell_0_22_0
Official nameHavana_header_cell_0_23_0 Old Havana and its Fortification SystemHavana_cell_0_23_1
TypeHavana_header_cell_0_24_0 CulturalHavana_cell_0_24_1
CriteriaHavana_header_cell_0_25_0 iv, vHavana_cell_0_25_1
DesignatedHavana_header_cell_0_26_0 1982 (6th session)Havana_cell_0_26_1
Reference no.Havana_header_cell_0_27_0 Havana_cell_0_27_1
State PartyHavana_header_cell_0_28_0 CubaHavana_cell_0_28_1
RegionHavana_header_cell_0_29_0 Latin America and the CaribbeanHavana_cell_0_29_1

Havana (/həˈvænə/; Spanish: La Habana [la aˈβana (listen)) is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. Havana_sentence_5

The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region. Havana_sentence_6

The city of Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas, becoming a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain. Havana_sentence_7

Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of capital in 1592. Havana_sentence_8

Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. Havana_sentence_9

The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War. Havana_sentence_10

The city is the center of the Cuban government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 100 diplomatic offices. Havana_sentence_11

The governor is Reinaldo García Zapata of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Havana_sentence_12

In 2009, the city/province had the third highest income in the country. Havana_sentence_13

Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado and the newer suburban districts. Havana_sentence_14

The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbors: Mari melena, Guanabacoa and Antares. Havana_sentence_15

The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay. Havana_sentence_16

The city attracts over a million tourists annually; the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20% increase from 2005. Havana_sentence_17

Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Havana_sentence_18

The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments. Havana_sentence_19

As typical of Cuba, Havana experiences a tropical climate. Havana_sentence_20

Etymology Havana_section_0

Most native settlements became the site of Spanish colonial cities retaining their original Taíno names. Havana_sentence_21

History Havana_section_1

Main articles: History of Havana and Timeline of Havana Havana_sentence_22

Colonial period Havana_section_2

16th century Havana_section_3

Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded Havana on August 25, 1515, on the southern coast of the island, near the present town of Surgidero de Batabanó, or more likely on the banks of the Mayabeque River close to Playa Mayabeque. Havana_sentence_23

All attempts to found a city on Cuba's south coast failed. Havana_sentence_24

However, an early map of Cuba drawn in 1514 places the town at the mouth of this river. Havana_sentence_25

Between 1514 and 1519 the Spanish established at least two settlements on the north coast, one of them in La Chorrera, today in the neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar, next to the Almendares River. Havana_sentence_26

The town that became Havana finally originated adjacent to what was then called Puerto de Carenas (literally, "Careening Bay"), in 1519. Havana_sentence_27

The quality of this natural bay, which now hosts Havana's harbor, warranted this change of location. Havana_sentence_28

Pánfilo de Narváez gave Havana – the sixth town founded by the Spanish on Cuba – its name: San Cristóbal de la Habana. Havana_sentence_29

The name combines San Cristóbal, patron saint of Havana. Havana_sentence_30

Shortly after the founding of Cuba's first cities, the island served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands. Havana_sentence_31

Havana began as a trading port, and suffered regular attacks by buccaneers, pirates, and French corsairs. Havana_sentence_32

The first attack and resultant burning of the city was by the French corsair Jacques de Sores in 1555. Havana_sentence_33

Such attacks convinced the Spanish Crown to fund the construction of the first fortresses in the main cities – not only to counteract the pirates and corsairs, but also to exert more control over commerce with the West Indies, and to limit the extensive contrabando (black market) that had arisen due to the trade restrictions imposed by the Casa de Contratación of Seville (the crown-controlled trading house that held a monopoly on New World trade). Havana_sentence_34

Ships from all over the New World carried products first to Havana, in order to be taken by the fleet to Spain. Havana_sentence_35

The thousands of ships gathered in the city's bay also fueled Havana's agriculture and manufacture, since they had to be supplied with food, water, and other products needed to traverse the ocean. Havana_sentence_36

On December 20, 1592, King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City. Havana_sentence_37

Later on, the city would be officially designated as "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies" by the Spanish Crown. Havana_sentence_38

In the meantime, efforts to build or improve the defensive infrastructures of the city continued. Havana_sentence_39

17th century Havana_section_4

Havana expanded greatly in the 17th century. Havana_sentence_40

New buildings were constructed from the most abundant materials of the island, mainly wood, combining various Iberian architectural styles, as well as borrowing profusely from Canarian characteristics. Havana_sentence_41

In 1649, an epidemic of the often fatal Yellow fever brought from Cartagena in Colombia affected a third of the European population of Havana. Havana_sentence_42

18th century Havana_section_5

By the middle of the 18th century Havana had more than seventy thousand inhabitants, and was the third-largest city in the Americas, ranking behind Lima and Mexico City but ahead of Boston and New York. Havana_sentence_43

During the 18th century Havana was the most important of the Spanish ports because it had facilities where ships could be refitted and, by 1740, it had become Spain's largest and most active shipyard and only drydock in the New World. Havana_sentence_44

The city was captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. Havana_sentence_45

The episode began on June 6, 1762, when at dawn, a British fleet, comprising more than 50 ships and a combined force of over 11,000 men of the Royal Navy and Army, sailed into Cuban waters and made an amphibious landing east of Havana. Havana_sentence_46

The British immediately opened up trade with their North American and Caribbean colonies, causing a rapid transformation of Cuban society. Havana_sentence_47

Less than a year after Havana was seized, the Peace of Paris was signed by the three warring powers thus ending the Seven Years' War. Havana_sentence_48

The treaty gave Britain Florida in exchange for the return of the city of Havana on to Spain. Havana_sentence_49

After regaining the city, the Spanish transformed Havana into the most heavily fortified city in the Americas. Havana_sentence_50

Construction began on what was to become the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, the third biggest Spanish fortification in the New World after Castillo San Cristóbal (the biggest) and Castillo San Felipe del Morro both in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Havana_sentence_51

On January 15, 1796, the remains of Christopher Columbus were transported to the island from Santo Domingo. Havana_sentence_52

They rested here until 1898, when they were transferred to Seville's Cathedral, after Spain's loss of Cuba. Havana_sentence_53

19th century Havana_section_6

As trade between Caribbean and North American states increased in the early 19th century, Havana became a flourishing and fashionable city. Havana_sentence_54

Havana's theaters featured the most distinguished actors of the age, and prosperity among the burgeoning middle-class led to expensive new classical mansions being erected. Havana_sentence_55

During this period Havana became known as the Paris of the Antilles. Havana_sentence_56

In 1837, the first railroad was constructed, a 51 km (32 mi) stretch between Havana and Bejucal, which was used for transporting sugar from the valley of Güines to the harbor. Havana_sentence_57

With this, Cuba became the fifth country in the world to have a railroad, and the first Spanish-speaking country. Havana_sentence_58

Throughout the century, Havana was enriched by the construction of additional cultural facilities, such as the Tacon Teatre, one of the most luxurious in the world. Havana_sentence_59

The fact that slavery was legal in Cuba until 1886 led to Southern American interest, including a plan by the Knights of the Golden Circle to create a 'Golden Circle' with a 1200 mile-radius centered on Havana. Havana_sentence_60

After the Confederate States of America were defeated in the American Civil War in 1865, many former slaveholders continued to run plantations by moving to Havana. Havana_sentence_61

In 1863, the city walls were knocked down so that the metropolis could be enlarged. Havana_sentence_62

At the end of the 19th century, Havana witnessed the final moments of Spanish colonialism in the Americas. Havana_sentence_63

Republican period and post-revolution Havana_section_7

The 20th century began with Cuba, and therefore Havana, under occupation by the United States. Havana_sentence_64

The US occupation officially ended when Tomás Estrada Palma, first president of Cuba, took office on 20 May 1902. Havana_sentence_65

During the Republican Period, from 1902 to 1959, the city saw a new era of development. Havana_sentence_66

Cuba recovered from the devastation of war to become a well-off country, with the third largest middle class in the hemisphere. Havana_sentence_67

Apartment buildings to accommodate the new middle class, as well as mansions for the Cuban tycoons, were built at a fast pace. Havana_sentence_68

Numerous luxury hotels, casinos and nightclubs were constructed during the 1930s to serve Havana's burgeoning tourist industry, which greatly benefited by the U.S. prohibition on alcohol from 1920 to 1933. Havana_sentence_69

In the 1930s, organized crime characters were aware of Havana's nightclub and casino life, and they made their inroads in the city. Havana_sentence_70

Santo Trafficante Jr. took the roulette wheel at the Sans Souci Casino, Meyer Lansky directed the Hotel Habana Riviera, with Lucky Luciano at the Hotel Nacional Casino. Havana_sentence_71

At the time, Havana became an exotic capital of appeal and numerous activities ranging from marinas, grand prix car racing, musical shows, and parks. Havana_sentence_72

It was also the favorite destination of sex tourists. Havana_sentence_73

Havana achieved the title of being the Latin American city with the biggest middle class population per-capita, simultaneously accompanied by gambling and corruption where gangsters and stars were known to mix socially. Havana_sentence_74

During this era, Havana was generally producing more revenue than Las Vegas, Nevada, whose boom as a tourist destination began only after Havana's casinos closed in 1959. Havana_sentence_75

In 1958, about 300,000 American tourists visited the city. Havana_sentence_76

After the revolution of 1959, the new régime under Fidel Castro promised to improve social services, public housing, and official buildings. Havana_sentence_77

Nevertheless, after Castro's abrupt expropriation of all private property and industry (May 1959 onwards) under a strong communist model backed by the Soviet Union followed by the U.S. embargo, shortages that affected Cuba in general hit Havana especially hard. Havana_sentence_78

By 1966–68, the Cuban government had nationalized all privately owned business entities in Cuba, down to "certain kinds of small retail forms of commerce" (law No. Havana_sentence_79

1076). Havana_sentence_80

A severe economic downturn occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Havana_sentence_81

Soviet subsidies ended, representing billions of dollars which the Soviet Union had given the Cuban government. Havana_sentence_82

Many believed the revolutionary government would soon collapse, as happened to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe. Havana_sentence_83

However, contrary to events in Europe, Cuba's communist government persevered through the 1990s and persists to this day. Havana_sentence_84

After many years of prohibition, the communist government increasingly turned to tourism for new financial revenue, and has allowed foreign investors to build new hotels and develop the hospitality industry. Havana_sentence_85

In Old Havana, effort has also gone into rebuilding for tourist purposes, and a number of streets and squares have been rehabilitated. Havana_sentence_86

But Old Havana is a large city, and the restoration efforts concentrate in all on less than 10% of its area. Havana_sentence_87

Geography Havana_section_8

Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba along the Straits of Florida, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Atlantic Ocean. Havana_sentence_88

The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atarés. Havana_sentence_89

The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay. Havana_sentence_90

There are low hills on which the city lies rise gently from the deep blue waters of the straits. Havana_sentence_91

A noteworthy elevation is the 200-foot-high (60-metre) limestone ridge that slopes up from the east and culminates in the heights of La Cabaña and El Morro, the sites of colonial fortifications overlooking the eastern bay. Havana_sentence_92

Another notable rise is the hill to the west that is occupied by the University of Havana and the Prince's Castle. Havana_sentence_93

Outside the city, higher hills rise on the west and east. Havana_sentence_94

Climate Havana_section_9

Havana, like much of Cuba, has a tropical climate that is tempered by the island's position in the belt of the trade winds and by the warm offshore currents. Havana_sentence_95

Under the Köppen climate classification, Havana has a tropical monsoon climate (Am) that closely borders on a tropical rainforest climate (Af). Havana_sentence_96

Average temperatures range from 22 °C (72 °F) in January and February to 28 °C (82 °F) in August. Havana_sentence_97

The temperature seldom drops below 10 °C (50 °F). Havana_sentence_98

The lowest temperature was 1 °C (34 °F) in Santiago de Las Vegas, Boyeros. Havana_sentence_99

The lowest recorded temperature in Cuba was 0 °C (32 °F) in Bainoa, Mayabeque Province (before 2011 the eastern part of Havana province). Havana_sentence_100

Rainfall is heaviest in June and October and lightest from December through April, averaging 1,200 mm (47 in) annually. Havana_sentence_101

Hurricanes occasionally strike the island, but they ordinarily hit the south coast, and damage in Havana has been less than elsewhere in the country. Havana_sentence_102

Tornadoes can be somewhat rare in Cuba, however, on the evening of January 28, 2019, a very rare strong F4 tornado struck the eastern side of Havana, Cuba's capital city. Havana_sentence_103

The tornado caused extensive damage, destroying at least 90 homes, killing four people and injuring 195. Havana_sentence_104

By February 4, the death toll had increased to six, with 11 people still in critical condition. Havana_sentence_105

The table below lists temperature averages: Havana_sentence_106


Average Sea TemperatureHavana_table_caption_1
JanHavana_header_cell_1_0_0 FebHavana_header_cell_1_0_1 MarHavana_header_cell_1_0_2 AprHavana_header_cell_1_0_3 MayHavana_header_cell_1_0_4 JunHavana_header_cell_1_0_5 JulHavana_header_cell_1_0_6 AugHavana_header_cell_1_0_7 SepHavana_header_cell_1_0_8 OctHavana_header_cell_1_0_9 NovHavana_header_cell_1_0_10 DecHavana_header_cell_1_0_11
23 °C (73 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_0 23 °C (73 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_1 24 °C (75 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_2 26 °C (79 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_3 27 °C (81 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_4 28 °C (82 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_5 28 °C (82 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_6 28 °C (82 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_7 28 °C (82 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_8 27 °C (81 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_9 26 °C (79 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_10 24 °C (75 °F)Havana_cell_1_1_11

Cityscape Havana_section_10

Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. Havana_sentence_107

Old Havana, with its narrow streets and overhanging balconies, is the traditional centre of part of Havana's commerce, industry, and entertainment, as well as being a residential area. Havana_sentence_108

To the west a newer section, centred on the uptown area known as Vedado, has become the rival of Old Havana for commercial activity and nightlife. Havana_sentence_109

The Capitolio Nacional building marks the beginning of Centro Habana, a working-class neighborhood that lies between Vedado and Old Havana. Havana_sentence_110

Barrio Chino and the Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagás, one of Cuba's oldest cigar factories is located in the area. Havana_sentence_111

A third Havana is that of the more affluent residential and industrial districts that spread out mostly to the west. Havana_sentence_112

Among these is Marianao, one of the newer parts of the city, dating mainly from the 1920s. Havana_sentence_113

Some of the suburban exclusivity was lost after the revolution, many of the suburban homes having been nationalized by the Cuban government to serve as schools, hospitals, and government offices. Havana_sentence_114

Several private country clubs were converted to public recreational centres. Havana_sentence_115

Miramar, located west of Vedado along the coast, remains Havana's exclusive area; mansions, foreign embassies, diplomatic residences, upscale shops, and facilities for wealthy foreigners are common in the area. Havana_sentence_116

The International School of Havana is located in the Miramar neighborhood. Havana_sentence_117

In the 1980s many parts of Old Havana, including the Plaza de Armas, became part of a projected 35-year multimillion-dollar restoration project, for Cubans to appreciate their past and boost tourism. Havana_sentence_118

In the past ten years, with the assistance of foreign aid and under the support of local city historian Eusebio Leal Spengler, large parts of Habana Vieja have been renovated. Havana_sentence_119

The city is moving forward with their renovations, with most of the major plazas (Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza de Armas) and major tourist streets (Obispo and Mercaderes) near completion. Havana_sentence_120

Districts Havana_section_11

The city is divided into 15 municipalities – or boroughs, which are further subdivided into 105 wards (consejos populares). Havana_sentence_121

(Numbers refer to map). Havana_sentence_122


  1. Playa: Santa Fe, Siboney, Cubanacán, Ampliación Almendares, Miramar, Sierra, Ceiba, Buena Vista.Havana_item_0_0
  2. Plaza de la Revolución: El Carmelo, Vedado-Malecón, Rampa, Príncipe, Plaza, Nuevo Vedado-Puentes Grandes, Colón-Nuevo Vedado, Vedado.Havana_item_0_1
  3. Centro Habana: Cayo Hueso, Pueblo Nuevo, Los Sitios, Dragones, Colón.Havana_item_0_2
  4. La Habana Vieja: Prado, Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Belén, San Isidro, Jesús María, Tallapiedra.Havana_item_0_3
  5. Regla: Guaicanimar, Loma Modelo, Casablanca.Havana_item_0_4
  6. La Habana del Este: Camilo Cienfuegos, Cojímar, Guiteras, Alturas de Alamar, Alamar Este, Guanabo, Campo Florido, Alamar-Playa.Havana_item_0_5
  7. Guanabacoa: Mañana-Habana Nueva, Villa I, Villa II, Chivas-Roble, Debeche-Nalon, Hata-Naranjo, Peñalver-Bacuranao, Minas-Barreras.Havana_item_0_6
  8. San Miguel del Padrón: Rocafort, Luyanó Moderno, Diezmero, San Francisco de Paula, Dolores-Veracruz, Jacomino.Havana_item_0_7
  9. Diez de Octubre: Luyanó, Jesús del Monte, Lawton, Vista Alegre, Goyle, Sevillano, La Víbora, Santos Suárez, Tamarindo.Havana_item_0_8
  10. Cerro: Latinoamericano, Pilar-Atares, Cerro, Las Cañas, El Canal, Palatino, Armada.Havana_item_0_9
  11. Marianao: CAI-Los Ángeles, Pocito-Palmas, Zamora-Cocosolo, Libertad, Pogoloti-Belén-Finlay, Santa Felicia.Havana_item_0_10
  12. La Lisa : Alturas de La Lisa, Balcón Arimao, El Cano-Valle Grande-Bello 26 y Morado, Punta Brava, Arroyo Arenas, San Agustín, Versalles-Coronela.Havana_item_0_11
  13. Boyeros: Santiago de Las Vegas, Nuevo Santiago, Boyeros, Wajay, Calabazar, Altahabana-Capdevila, Armada-Aldabó.Havana_item_0_12
  14. Arroyo Naranjo: Los Pinos, Poey, Víbora Park, Mantilla, Párraga, Calvario-Fraternidad, Guinera, Eléctrico, Managua, Callejas.Havana_item_0_13
  15. Cotorro: San Pedro-Centro Cotorro, Santa Maria del Rosario, Lotería, Cuatro Caminos, Magdalena-Torriente, Alberro.Havana_item_0_14

Architecture Havana_section_12

Due to Havana's almost five hundred-year existence, the city boasts some of the most diverse styles of architecture in the world, from castles built in the late 16th century to modernist present-day high-rises. Havana_sentence_123

The present condition of many buildings in Havana has deteriorated since the 1959 Revolution. Havana_sentence_124

Numerous collapses have resulted in injuries and deaths due to a lack of maintenance and crumbling structures. Havana_sentence_125


Neoclassism was introduced into the city in the 1840s, at the time including Gas public lighting in 1848 and the railroad in 1837. Havana_sentence_126

In the second half of the 18th century, sugar and coffee production increased rapidly, which became essential in the development of Havana's most prominent architectural style. Havana_sentence_127

Many wealthy Habaneros took their inspiration from the French; this can be seen within the interiors of upper-class houses such as the Aldama Palace built in 1844. Havana_sentence_128

This is considered the most important neoclassical residential building in Cuba and typifies the design of many houses of this period with portales of neoclassical columns facing open spaces or courtyards. Havana_sentence_129

In 1925 Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, the head of urban planning in Paris moved to Havana for five years to collaborate with architects and landscape designers. Havana_sentence_130

In the master planning of the city his aim was to create a harmonic balance between the classical built form and the tropical landscape. Havana_sentence_131

He embraced and connected the city's road networks while accentuating prominent landmarks. Havana_sentence_132

His influence has left a huge mark on Havana although many of his ideas were cut short by the great depression in 1929. Havana_sentence_133

During the first decades of the 20th century Havana expanded more rapidly than at any time during its history. Havana_sentence_134

Great wealth prompted architectural styles to be influenced from abroad. Havana_sentence_135

The peak of Neoclassicism came with the construction of the Vedado district (begun in 1859). Havana_sentence_136

This area features a number of set back well-proportioned buildings in the Neoclassical style Havana_sentence_137


Riches were brought from the colonialists into and through Havana as it was a key transshipment point between the new world and old world. Havana_sentence_138

As a result, Havana was the most heavily fortified city in the Americas. Havana_sentence_139

Most examples of early architecture can be seen in military fortifications such as La Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana (1558–1577) designed by Battista Antonelli and the Castillo del Morro (1589–1630). Havana_sentence_140

This sits at the entrance of Havana Bay and provides an insight into the supremacy and wealth at that time. Havana_sentence_141

Old Havana was also protected by a defensive wall begun in 1674 but had already overgrown its boundaries when it was completed in 1767, becoming the new neighbourhood of Centro Habana. Havana_sentence_142

The influence from different styles and cultures can be seen in Havana's colonial architecture, with a diverse range of Moorish architecture, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Roman. Havana_sentence_143

The San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary (18th century) is a good example of early Spanish influenced architecture. Havana_sentence_144

The Havana cathedral (1748–1777) dominating the Plaza de la Catedral (1749) is the best example of Cuban Baroque. Havana_sentence_145

Surrounding it are the former palaces of the Count de Casa-Bayona (1720–1746) Marquis de Arcos (1746) and the Marquis de Aguas Claras (1751–1775). Havana_sentence_146


The first echoes of the Art Deco movement in Havana started in 1927, in the residential area of Miramar. Havana_sentence_147

The Edificio Bacardi, (1930) is thought to be the best example of Art-deco architecture in the city and the first tall Art Deco building as well, followed by the Hotel Nacional de Cuba (1930) and the López Serrano Building in 1932. Havana_sentence_148

The FOCSA Building was finished in 1956. Havana_sentence_149

The year 1928 marked the beginning of the reaction against the Spanish Renaissance style architecture. Havana_sentence_150

Art Deco started in the lush and wealthy suburbs of Miramar, Marianao, and Vedado. Havana_sentence_151

The city's eclectic architectural sights begins in Centro Habana. Havana_sentence_152

The Central Railway Terminal (1912), and the Museum of the Revolution (1920) are example of Eclectic architecture. Havana_sentence_153


Many high-rise office buildings, and apartment complexes, along with some hotels built in the 1950s dramatically altered the skyline. Havana_sentence_154

Modernism, therefore, transformed much of the city and is known its individual buildings of high quality rather than its larger key buildings. Havana_sentence_155

Examples of the latter are Habana Libre (1958), which before the revolution was the Havana Hilton Hotel and La Rampa movie theater (1955). Havana_sentence_156

Famous architects such as Walter Gropius, Richard Neutra and Oscar Niemeyer all passed through the city, while strong influences can be seen in Havana at this time from Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Havana_sentence_157

The Edificio Focsa (1956) represents Havana's economic dominance at the time. Havana_sentence_158

This 35-story complex was conceived and based on Corbusian ideas of a self-contained city within a city. Havana_sentence_159

It contained 400 apartments, garages, a school, a supermarket, and restaurant on the top floor. Havana_sentence_160

This was the tallest concrete structure in the world at the time (using no steel frame) and the ultimate symbol of luxury and excess. Havana_sentence_161

The Havana Riviera Hotel (1957) designed by Igor B. Polevitzky, a twenty-one-story edifice, when it opened, the Riviera was the largest purpose-built casino-hotel in Cuba or anywhere in the world, outside Las Vegas (the Havana Hilton (1958) surpassed its size a year later). Havana_sentence_162

Landmarks and historical centres Havana_section_13


  • Habana Vieja: contains the core of the original city of Havana. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Havana_item_5_15
  • Plaza Vieja: a plaza in Old Havana, it was the site of executions, processions, bullfights, and fiestas.Havana_item_5_16
  • Fortress San Carlos de la Cabaña, a fortress located on the east side of the Havana bay, La Cabaña is the most impressive fortress from colonial times, particularly its walls constructed at the end of the 18th century.Havana_item_5_17
  • El Capitolio Nacional: built in 1929 as the Senate and House of Representatives, the colossal building is recognizable by its dome which dominates the city's skyline. Inside stands the third largest indoor statue in the world, La Estatua de la República. Nowadays, the Cuban Academy of Sciences headquarters and the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (the National Museum of Natural History) has its venue within the building and contains the largest natural history collection in the country.Havana_item_5_18
  • El Morro Castle: is a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay; Morro Castle was built because of the threat to the harbor from pirates.Havana_item_5_19
  • Fortress San Salvador de la Punta: a small fortress built in the 16th century, at the western entry point to the Havana harbour, it played a crucial role in the defence of Havana during the initial centuries of colonisation. It houses some twenty old guns and military antiques.Havana_item_5_20
  • Christ of Havana: Havana's 20-meter (66 ft) marble statue of Christ (1958) blesses the city from the east hillside of the bay, much like the famous Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro.Havana_item_5_21
  • The Great Theatre of Havana: is an opera house famous particularly for the National Ballet of Cuba, it sometimes hosts performances by the National Opera. The theater is also known as concert hall, García Lorca, the biggest in Cuba.Havana_item_5_22
  • The Malecon/Sea wall: is the avenue that runs along the north coast of the city, beside the seawall. The Malecón is the most popular avenue of Havana, it is known for its sunsets.Havana_item_5_23
  • Hotel Nacional de Cuba: an Art Deco National Hotel famous in the 1950s as a gambling and entertainment complex.Havana_item_5_24
  • Museo de la Revolución: located in the former Presidential Palace, with the yacht Granma on display behind the museum.Havana_item_5_25
  • Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón: a cemetery and open-air museum, it is one of the most famous cemeteries in Latin America, known for its beauty and magnificence. The cemetery was built in 1876 and has nearly one million tombs. Some gravestones are decorated with sculpture by Ramos Blancos, among others.Havana_item_5_26


  • Havana_item_6_27
  • Havana_item_6_28

Coat of arms Havana_section_14

Main article: Seal of Havana Havana_sentence_163

Culture Havana_section_15

Havana, by far the leading cultural centre of the country, offers a wide variety of features that range from museums, palaces, public squares, avenues, churches, fortresses (including the largest fortified complex in the Americas dating from the 16th through 18th centuries), ballet and from art and musical festivals to exhibitions of technology. Havana_sentence_164

The restoration of Old Havana offered a number of new attractions, including a museum to house relics of the Cuban revolution. Havana_sentence_165

The government placed special emphasis on cultural activities, many of which are free or involve only a minimal charge. Havana_sentence_166

Old Havana Havana_section_16

Main article: Old Havana Havana_sentence_167

Old Havana, (La Habana Vieja in Spanish), contains the core of the original city of Havana, with more than 2,000 hectares it exhibits almost all the Western architectural styles seen in the New World. Havana_sentence_168

La Habana Vieja was founded by the Spanish in 1519 in the natural harbor of the Bay of Havana. Havana_sentence_169

It became a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. Havana_sentence_170

In the 17th century, it was one of the main shipbuilding centers. Havana_sentence_171

The city was built in baroque and neoclassic style. Havana_sentence_172

Many buildings have fallen in ruin but a number are being restored. Havana_sentence_173

The narrow streets of Old Havana contain many buildings, accounting for perhaps as many as one-third of the approximately 3,000 buildings found in Old Havana. Havana_sentence_174

Old Havana is the ancient city formed from the port, the official center and the Plaza de Armas. Havana_sentence_175

Alejo Carpentier called Old Havana the place "de las columnas" (of the columns). Havana_sentence_176

The Cuban government is taking many steps to preserve and to restore Old Havana, through the Office of the city historian, directed by Eusebio Leal. Havana_sentence_177

Old Havana and its fortifications were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. Havana_sentence_178

The beauty of Old Havana City attracts millions of tourists each year who enjoy its rich old culture and folk music. Havana_sentence_179

In spring 2015, the largest open-air art exhibition ever in Cuba took in front of the basilica on the Plaza San Francisco de Asis: Over eight weeks the United Buddy Bears visited Havana. Havana_sentence_180

United Buddy Bears exhibitions are part of a non-commercial and non-profit project. Havana_sentence_181

The main aim is to promote the idea of tolerance and mutual understanding between countries, cultures and religions and to communicate a vision of a future peaceful world. Havana_sentence_182

Barrio Chino Havana_section_17

Further information: Chinese Cuban Havana_sentence_183

Barrio Chino was once Latin America's largest and most vibrant Chinese community, incorporated into the city by the early part of the 20th century. Havana_sentence_184

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers were brought in by Spanish settlers from Guangdong, Fujian, Hong Kong, and Macau via Manila, Philippines starting in the mid-19th century to replace or work alongside African slaves. Havana_sentence_185

After completing 8-year contracts, many Chinese immigrants settled permanently in Havana. Havana_sentence_186

The first 206 Chinese-born arrived in Havana on June 3, 1847. Havana_sentence_187

The neighborhood was booming with Chinese restaurants, laundries, banks, pharmacies, theaters and several Chinese-language newspapers, the neighborhood comprised 44 square blocks during its prime. Havana_sentence_188

The heart of Barrio Chino is on el Cuchillo de Zanja (or The Zanja Canal). Havana_sentence_189

The strip is a pedestrian-only street adorned with many red lanterns, dancing red paper dragons and other Chinese cultural designs, there is a great number of restaurants that serve a full spectrum of Chinese dishes – unfortunately that 'spectrum' is said by many not to be related to real Chinese cuisine. Havana_sentence_190

The district has two paifang (Chinese arches), the larger one located on Calle Dragones. Havana_sentence_191

China donated the materials in the late 1990s. Havana_sentence_192

It has a well defined written welcoming sign in Chinese and Spanish. Havana_sentence_193

The smaller arch is located on Zanja strip. Havana_sentence_194

The Cuban's Chinese boom ended when Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution seized private businesses, sending tens of thousands of business-minded Chinese fleeing, mainly to the United States. Havana_sentence_195

Descendants are now making efforts to preserve and revive the culture. Havana_sentence_196

Visual arts Havana_section_18

The National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) is a Fine Arts museum that exhibits Cuban and International art collections. Havana_sentence_197

The museum houses one of the largest collections of paintings and sculpture from Latin America and is the largest in the Caribbean region. Havana_sentence_198

Under the Cuban Ministry of Culture, it occupies two locations in the vicinity of Havana's Paseo del Prado, these are the Palace of Fine Arts, devoted to Cuban art and the Palace of the Asturian Center, dedicated to universal art. Havana_sentence_199

Its artistic heritage is made up of over 45,000 pieces. Havana_sentence_200

The Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolución), designed in Havana by Cuban architect Carlos Maruri, and the Belgian Paul Belau, who came up with an eclectic design, harmoniously combines Spanish, French and German architectural elements. Havana_sentence_201

The museum was the Presidential Palace in the capital; today, its displays and documents outline Cuba's history from the beginning of the neo-colonial period. Havana_sentence_202

The building was the site of the Havana Presidential Palace Attack (1957) by the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil. Havana_sentence_203

The neo-classical mansion of the Countess of Revilla de Camargo, today it is the Museum of Decorative Arts (Museo de Artes Decorativas), known as the "small French Palace of Havana" built between 1924 and 1927, it was designed in Paris inspired in French Renaissance. Havana_sentence_204

The museum has been exhibiting more than 33,000 works dating from the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI, and Napoleon III; as well as 16th to 20th century Oriental pieces, among many other treasures. Havana_sentence_205

The Museum has ten permanent exhibit halls. Havana_sentence_206

Among them are prominent porcelain articles from the factories in Sèvres and Chantilly, France; Meissen, Germany; and Wedgwood, England, as well as Chinese from the Qianlong Emperor period and Japanese from the Imari. Havana_sentence_207

The furniture comes from Stéphane Boudin, Jean Henri Riesener and several others. Havana_sentence_208

Several museums in Old Havana houses furniture, silverware, pottery, glass and other items from the colonial period. Havana_sentence_209

One of these is the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, where Spanish governors once lived. Havana_sentence_210

The Casa de Africa presents another aspect of Cuba's history, it houses a large collection of Afro-Cuban religious artifacts. Havana_sentence_211

Other museums in the city include Casa de los Árabes (House of Arabs) and the Casa de Asia (House of Asia) with Middle and Far Eastern collections. Havana_sentence_212

Havana's Museo del Automobil has an impressive collection of vehicles dating back to a 1905 Cadillac. Havana_sentence_213

While most museums of Havana are situated in Old Havana, few of them can also be found in Vedado. Havana_sentence_214

In total, Havana has around 50 museums, including the National Museum of Music; the Museum of Dance and Rum; the Cigar Museum; the Napoleonic, Colonial and Oricha Museums; the Museum of Anthropology; the Ernest Hemingway Museum; the José Martí Monument; the Aircraft Museum (Museo del Aire). Havana_sentence_215

There are also museums of Natural Sciences, the city, Archeology, Gold-and-Silverwork, Perfume, Pharmaceuticals, Sports, Numismatics, and Weapons. Havana_sentence_216

Performing arts Havana_section_19

Facing Havana's Central Park is the baroque Great Theatre of Havana, a prominent theatre built in 1837. Havana_sentence_217

It is now home of the National Ballet of Cuba and the International Ballet Festival of Havana, one of the oldest in the New World. Havana_sentence_218

The façade of the building is adorned with a stone and marble statue. Havana_sentence_219

There are also sculptural pieces by Giuseppe Moretti, representing allegories depicting benevolence, education, music and theatre. Havana_sentence_220

The principal theatre is the García Lorca Auditorium, with seats for 1,500 and balconies. Havana_sentence_221

Glories of its rich history; the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso sang, the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova danced, and the French Sarah Bernhardt acted. Havana_sentence_222

Other important theatres in the city includes the National Theater of Cuba, housed in a huge modern building located in Plaza de la Revolucion, decorated with works by Cuban artists. Havana_sentence_223

The National Theater includes two main theatre stages, the Avellaneda Auditorium and the Covarrubias Auditorium, as well as a smaller theatre workshop space on the ninth floor. Havana_sentence_224

The Karl Marx Theater with its large auditorium have a seating capacity of 5,500 spectators, is generally used for concerts and other events, it is also one of the venues for the annual Havana Film Festival. Havana_sentence_225

Festivals Havana_section_20

Further information: Festivals in Havana Havana_sentence_226


Tourism Havana_section_21

Havana attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20% increase from 2005. Havana_sentence_227

The city has long been a popular attraction for tourists. Havana_sentence_228

Between 1915 and 1930, Havana hosted more tourists than any other location in the Caribbean. Havana_sentence_229

The influx was due in large part to Cuba's proximity to the United States, where restrictive prohibition on alcohol and other pastimes stood in stark contrast to the island's traditionally relaxed attitude to leisure pursuits. Havana_sentence_230

A pamphlet published by E.C. Havana_sentence_231

Kropp Co., Milwaukee, WI, between 1921 and 1939 promoting tourism in Havana, Cuba, can be found in the University of Houston Digital Library, Havana, Cuba, The Summer Land of the World, Digital Collection. Havana_sentence_232

With the deterioration of Cuba – United States relations and the imposition of the trade embargo on the island in 1961, tourism dropped drastically and did not return to anything close to its pre-revolution levels until 1989. Havana_sentence_233

The revolutionary government in general, and Fidel Castro in particular, initially opposed any considerable development of the tourism industry, linking it to the debauchery and criminal activities of times past. Havana_sentence_234

In the late 1970s, however, Castro changed his stance and, in 1982, the Cuban government passed a foreign investment code which opened a number of sectors, tourism included, to foreign capital. Havana_sentence_235

Through the creation of firms open to such foreign investment (such as Cubanacan), Cuba began to attract capital for hotel development, managing to increase the number of tourists from 130,000 (in 1980) to 326,000 (by the end of that decade). Havana_sentence_236

Havana has also been a popular health tourism destination for more than 20 years. Havana_sentence_237

Foreign patients travel to Cuba, Havana in particular, for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and orthopaedics. Havana_sentence_238

Many patients are from Latin America, although medical treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, often known as night blindness, has attracted many patients from Europe and North America. Havana_sentence_239

Economy Havana_section_22

Industry Havana_section_23

Havana has a diversified economy, with traditional sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, transportation and communications, and new or revived ones such as biotechnology and tourism. Havana_sentence_240

The city's economy first developed on the basis of its location, which made it one of the early great trade centres in the New World. Havana_sentence_241

Sugar and a flourishing slave trade first brought riches to the city, and later, after independence, it became a renowned resort. Havana_sentence_242

Despite efforts by Fidel Castro's government to spread Cuba's industrial activity to all parts of the island, Havana remains the centre of much of the nation's industry. Havana_sentence_243

The traditional sugar industry, upon which the island's economy has been based for three centuries, is centred elsewhere on the island and controls some three-fourths of the export economy. Havana_sentence_244

But light manufacturing facilities, meat-packing plants, and chemical and pharmaceutical operations are concentrated in Havana. Havana_sentence_245

Other food-processing industries are also important, along with shipbuilding, vehicle manufacturing, production of alcoholic beverages (particularly rum), textiles, and tobacco products, particularly the world-famous Habanos cigars. Havana_sentence_246

Although the harbours of Cienfuegos and Matanzas, in particular, have been developed under the revolutionary government, Havana remains Cuba's primary port facility; 50% of Cuban imports and exports pass through Havana. Havana_sentence_247

The port also supports a considerable fishing industry. Havana_sentence_248

In 2000, nearly 89% of the city's officially recorded labour force worked for government-run agencies, institutions or enterprises. Havana_sentence_249

Havana, on average, has the country's highest incomes and human development indicators. Havana_sentence_250

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba re-emphasized tourism as a major industry leading to its recovery. Havana_sentence_251

Tourism is now Havana and Cuba's primary economic source. Havana_sentence_252

Havana's economy is still in flux, despite Raul Castro's embrace of free enterprise in 2011. Havana_sentence_253

Though there was an uptick in small businesses in 2011, many have since gone out of business, due to lack of business and income on the part of the local residents, whose salaries average $20 per month. Havana_sentence_254

Commerce and finance Havana_section_24

After the Revolution, Cuba's traditional capitalist free-enterprise system was replaced by a heavily socialized economic system. Havana_sentence_255

In Havana, Cuban-owned businesses and U.S.-owned businesses were nationalized and today most businesses operate solely under state control. Havana_sentence_256

In Old Havana and throughout Vedado there are several small private businesses, such as shoe-repair shops or dressmaking facilities. Havana_sentence_257

Banking as well is also under state control, and the National Bank of Cuba, headquartered in Havana, is the control center of the Cuban economy. Havana_sentence_258

Its branches in some cases occupy buildings that were in pre-revolutionary times the offices of Cuban or foreign banks. Havana_sentence_259

In the late 1990s Vedado, located along the atlantic waterfront, started to represent the principal commercial area. Havana_sentence_260

It was developed extensively between 1930 and 1960, when Havana developed as a major destination for U.S. tourists; high-rise hotels, casinos, restaurants, and upscale commercial establishments, many reflecting the art deco style. Havana_sentence_261

Vedado is today Havana's financial district, the main banks, airline companies offices, shops, most businesses headquarters, numerous high-rise apartments and hotels, are located in the area. Havana_sentence_262

The University of Havana is located in Vedado. Havana_sentence_263

Demographics Havana_section_25

By the end of 2012 official Census, 19.1% of the population of Cuba lived in Havana. Havana_sentence_264

According to the census of 2012, the population was 2,106,146. Havana_sentence_265

The city has an average life expectancy of 76.81 years at birth. Havana_sentence_266

In 2009, there were 1,924 people living with HIV/AIDS in the city, 78.9% of these are men, and 21.1% being women. Havana_sentence_267

According to the 2012 official census (the Cuban census and similar studies use the term "skin colour" instead of "race"). Havana_sentence_268


There are few mestizos in contrast to many other Latin American countries, because the Native Indian population was virtually wiped out by Eurasian diseases in colonial times. Havana_sentence_269

Havana agglomeration grew rapidly during the first half of the 20th century reaching 1 million inhabitants in the 1943 census. Havana_sentence_270

The con-urbanization expanded over the Havana municipality borders into neighbor municipalities of Marianao, Regla and Guanabacoa. Havana_sentence_271

Starting from the 1980s, the city's population is growing slowly as a result of balanced development policies, low birth rate, its relatively high rate of emigration abroad, and controlled domestic migration. Havana_sentence_272

Because of the city and country's low birth rate and high life expectancy, its age structure is similar to a developed country, with Havana having an even higher proportion of elderly than the country as a whole. Havana_sentence_273

The Cuban government controls the movement of people into Havana on the grounds that the Havana metropolitan area (home to nearly 20% of the country's population) is overstretched in terms of land use, water, electricity, transportation, and other elements of the urban infrastructure. Havana_sentence_274

There is a population of internal migrants to Havana nicknamed "palestinos" (Palestinians), sometimes considered a racist term, these mostly hail from the eastern region of Oriente. Havana_sentence_275

The city's significant minority of Chinese, mostly Cantonese ancestors, were brought in the mid-19th century by Spanish settlers via the Philippines with work contracts and after completing 8-year contracts many Chinese immigrants settled permanently in Havana. Havana_sentence_276

Before the revolution the Chinese population counted to over 200,000, today, Chinese ancestors could count up to 100,000. Havana_sentence_277

Chinese born/ native Chinese (mostly Cantonese as well) are around 400 presently. Havana_sentence_278

There are some 3,000 Russians living in the city; as reported by the Russian Embassy in Havana, most are women married to Cubans who had studied in the Soviet Union. Havana_sentence_279

Havana also shelters other non-Cuban population of an unknown size. Havana_sentence_280

There is a population of several thousand North African teen and pre-teen refugees. Havana_sentence_281

Religion Havana_section_26

Roman Catholics form the largest religious group in Havana. Havana_sentence_282

Havana is one of the three Metropolitan sees on the island (the others being Camagüey and Santiago), with two suffragan bishoprics: Matanzas and Pinar del Río. Havana_sentence_283

Its patron saint is San Cristobal (Saint Christopher), to whom the cathedral is devoted. Havana_sentence_284

it also has a minor basilica, Basílica Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre and two other national shrines, Jesús Nazareno del Rescate and San Lázaro (El Rincón). Havana_sentence_285

It received papal visits from three successive supreme pontiffs: Pope John Paul II (January 1998), Pope Benedict XVI (March 2012) and Pope Francis (September 2015). Havana_sentence_286

The Jewish community in Havana has reduced after the Revolution from once having embraced more than 15,000 Jews, many of whom had fled Nazi persecution and subsequently left Cuba to Miami or moved to Israel after Castro took to power in 1959. Havana_sentence_287

The city once had five synagogues, but only three remain (one Orthodox, and two Conservative: one Conservative Ashkenazi and one Conservative Sephardic), Beth Shalom Grand Synagogue is one of them and another that is a hybrid of all 3 put together. Havana_sentence_288

In February 2007 the New York Times estimated that there were about 1,500 known Jews living in Havana. Havana_sentence_289

Poverty and slums Havana_section_27

The years after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the city, and Cuba in general have suffered decades of economic deterioration, including Special Period of 1990s. Havana_sentence_290

The national government does not have an official definition of poverty. Havana_sentence_291

The government researchers argue that "poverty" in most commonly accepted meanings does not really exist in Cuba, but rather that there is a sector of the population that can be described as "at risk" or "vulnerable" using internationally accepted measures. Havana_sentence_292

The generic term "slum" is seldom used in Cuba, substandard housing is described: housing type, housing conditions, building materials, and settlement type. Havana_sentence_293

The National Housing Institute considers units in solares (a large inner-city mansion or older hotel or boarding house subdivided into rooms, sometimes with over 60 families) and shanty towns to be the "precarious housing stock" and tracks their number. Havana_sentence_294

Most slum units are concentrated in the inner-city municipalities of Old Havana and Centro Habana, as well as such neighbourhoods as Atarés in Regla. Havana_sentence_295

People living in slums have access to the same education, health care, job opportunities and social security as those who live in formerly privileged neighbourhoods. Havana_sentence_296

Shanty towns are scattered throughout the city except for in a few central areas. Havana_sentence_297

Over 9% of Havana's population live in cuartería (solares, ciudadela), 3.3% in shanty towns, and 0.3% in refugee shelters. Havana_sentence_298

This does not include an estimate of the number of people living in housing in "fair" or "poor" condition because in many cases these units do not necessarily constitute slum housing but rather are basically sound dwellings needing repairs. Havana_sentence_299

According to Instituto Nacional de Vivienda (National Housing Institute) official figures, in 2001, 64% of Havana's 586,768 units were considered in "good" condition, up from 50% in 1990. Havana_sentence_300

Some 20% were in "fair" condition and 16% in "poor" condition. Havana_sentence_301

Partial or total building collapses are not uncommon, although the number had been cut in half by the end of the 1990s as the worst units disappeared and others were repaired. Havana_sentence_302

Buildings in Old Havana and Centro Habana are especially exposed to the elements: high humidity, the corrosive effects of salt spray from proximity to the coast, and occasional flooding. Havana_sentence_303

Most areas of the city, specially the highly-populated districts, are in urban decay. Havana_sentence_304

Transport Havana_section_28

Urban buses Havana_section_29

The city's public buses is carried out by the Empresa Provincial de Transporte de La Habana (EPTH). Havana_sentence_305


Main article: Havana MetroBus Havana_sentence_306

The Red Principal, previously known as MetroBus, serves the inner-city urban area, with a maximum distance of 20 km (12 mi). Havana_sentence_307

The Red Principal consists of 17 main lines, identified with the letter "P" with long-distance routes. Havana_sentence_308

The stops are usually 800–1,000 metres (2,600–3,300 ft), with frequent buses in peak hours, about every 10 minutes. Havana_sentence_309

It uses large modern articulated buses, such as the Chinese-made Yutong brand, Russian-made Liaz, or MAZ of Belarus. Havana_sentence_310


The Red Alimentadora, known as the feeder line, connects the adjacent towns and cities in the metropolitan area with the city center, with a maximum distance of 40 km (25 mi). Havana_sentence_311

This division has one of the most used and largest urban bus fleets in the country, its fleet is made up of mostly new Chinese Yutong buses. Havana_sentence_312

In 2008 the Cuban government invested millions of dollars for the acquisition of 1,500 new Yutong urban buses. Havana_sentence_313

Airports Havana_section_30

Havana is served by José Martí International Airport. Havana_sentence_314

The Airport lies about 11 kilometres (7 mi) south of the city center, in the municipality of Boyeros, and is the main hub for the country's flag carrier Cubana de Aviación. Havana_sentence_315

The airport is Cuba's main international and domestic gateway, it connects Havana with the rest of the Caribbean, North, Central and South America, Europe and one destination in Africa. Havana_sentence_316

The city is also served by Playa Baracoa Airport which is small airport to the west of city used for some domestic flights, primarily Aerogaviota. Havana_sentence_317

Rail Havana_section_31

See also: Havana Suburban Railway Havana_sentence_318

Havana has a network of suburban, interurban and long-distance rail lines. Havana_sentence_319

The railways are nationalised and run by the FFCC (Ferrocarriles de Cuba – Railways of Cuba). Havana_sentence_320

The FFCC connects Havana with all the provinces of Cuba. Havana_sentence_321

The main railway stations are: Central Rail Station, La Coubre Rail Station, Casablanca Station, and Estación de Tulipán. Havana_sentence_322

In 2004 the annual passenger volume was some 11 million, but demand is estimated at two-and-a-half to three times this value, with the busiest route being between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, some 836 kilometres (519 mi) apart by rail. Havana_sentence_323

In 2000 the Union de Ferrocarriles de Cuba bought French first class airconditioned coaches. Havana_sentence_324

In the 1980s there were plans for a Metro system in Havana similar to Moscow's, as a result of the Soviet Union influence in Cuba at the time. Havana_sentence_325

The studies of geology and finance made by Cuban, Czech and Soviet specialists were already well advanced in the 1980s. Havana_sentence_326

The Cuban press showed the construction project and the course route, linking municipalities and neighborhoods in the capital. Havana_sentence_327

In the late 1980s the project had already begun, each mile of track was worth a million dollars at the time, but with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 the project was later dropped. Havana_sentence_328

Interurban (tram) Havana_section_32

An interurban line, known as the Hershey Electric Railway, built in 1917 runs from Casablanca (across the harbor from Old Havana) to Hershey and on to Matanzas. Havana_sentence_329

Tramway Havana_section_33

Havana operated a tram system until 1952, which began as a horsecar system, Ferro Carril Urbano de la Habana in 1858, merged with rival coach operator in 1863 as Empresa del Ferro-Carril Urbano y Omnibus de La Habana and later electrified in 1900 under new foreign owners as Havana Electric Railway Company. Havana_sentence_330

Ridership decline resulted in bankruptcy in 1950 with new owner Autobus Modernos SA abandoning systems in favor of buses and sold the remaining cars were sold to Matanzas in 1952. Havana_sentence_331

Ferry Havana_section_34

Ferries connect Old Havana with Regla and Casablanca, leaving every 10–15 minutes from Muelle Luz (at the foot of Santa Clara Street). Havana_sentence_332

The fare is CUP 0.20¢. Havana_sentence_333

Roads Havana_section_35

The city's road network is quite extensive, and has broad avenues, main streets and major access roads to the city such as the Autopista Nacional (A1), Carretera Central and Via Blanca. Havana_sentence_334

The road network has been under construction and growth since the colonial era but is undergoing a major deterioration due to low maintenance. Havana_sentence_335

Motorways (autopistas) include: Havana_sentence_336


Administration Havana_section_36

The governor is Reinaldo García Zapata, he was elected on January, 2020. Havana_sentence_337

The city is administered by a city-provincial council, with a governor as chief administrative officer, thus Havana functions as both a city and a province. Havana_sentence_338

The city has little autonomy and is dependent upon the national government, particularly, for much of its budgetary and overall political direction. Havana_sentence_339

The national government is headquartered in Havana and plays an extremely visible role in the city's life. Havana_sentence_340

Moreover, the all-embracing authority of many national institutions has led to a declining role for the city government, which, nevertheless, still provides much of the essential services and has competences in education, health care, city public transport, garbage collection, small industry, agriculture, etc. Havana_sentence_341

Voters elect delegates to Municipal Assemblies in competitive elections. Havana_sentence_342

There is only one political party, the Communist Party, but since there must be a minimum of two candidates, members of the Communist Party often run against each other. Havana_sentence_343

Candidates are not required to be members of the party. Havana_sentence_344

They are nominated directly by citizens in open meetings within each election district. Havana_sentence_345

Municipal Assembly delegates in turn elect members of the Provincial Assembly, which in Havana serves roughly as the City Council; its president functions as the Mayor. Havana_sentence_346

There are direct elections for deputies to the National Assembly based on slates, and a portion of the candidates is nominated at the local level. Havana_sentence_347

The People's Councils (Consejos Populares) consist of local municipal delegates who elect a full-time representative to preside over the body. Havana_sentence_348

In addition, there is participation from "mass organisations" and representatives of local government agencies, industries and services. Havana_sentence_349

The 105 People's Councils in Havana cover an average of 20,000 residents. Havana_sentence_350

Havana city borders are contiguous with the Mayabeque Province on the south and east and to Artemisa Province on the west, since former La Habana Province (rural) was abolished in 2010. Havana_sentence_351

Infrastructure Havana_section_37

Education Havana_section_38

Further information: Education in Cuba Havana_sentence_352

The national government assumes all responsibility for education, and there are adequate primary, secondary, and vocational training schools throughout Cuba. Havana_sentence_353

The schools are of varying quality and education is free and compulsory at all levels except higher learning, which is also free. Havana_sentence_354

The University of Havana, located in the Vedado section of Havana, was established in 1728 and was regarded as a leading institution of higher learning in the Western Hemisphere. Havana_sentence_355

Soon after the Revolution, the university, as well as all other educational institutions, were nationalized. Havana_sentence_356

Since then several other universities have opened, like the Higher Learning Polytechnic Institute José Antonio Echeverría where the vast majority of today's Cuban engineers are taught. Havana_sentence_357

The Cuban National Ballet School with 4,350 students is one of the largest ballet schools in the world and the most prestigious ballet school in Cuba. Havana_sentence_358

Health Havana_section_39

Further information: Healthcare in Cuba Havana_sentence_359

All Cuban residents have free access to health care in hospitals, local polyclinics, and neighborhood family doctors who serve on average 170 families each, which is one of the highest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world. Havana_sentence_360

However, the health system has suffered from shortages of supplies, equipment and medications caused by ending of the Soviet Union subsidies in the early 1990s and the US embargo. Havana_sentence_361

Nevertheless, Havana's infant mortality rate in 2009 was 4.9 per 1,000 live births, 5.12 in the country as a whole, which is lower than many developed nations, and the lowest in the developing world. Havana_sentence_362

Administration of the health care system for the nation is centered largely in Havana. Havana_sentence_363

Hospitals in Havana are run by the national government, and citizens are assigned hospitals and clinics to which they may go for attention. Havana_sentence_364

Services Havana_section_40

Utility services are under the control of several nationalized state enterprises that have developed since the Cuban revolution. Havana_sentence_365

Water, electricity, and sewage service are administered in this fashion. Havana_sentence_366

Electricity is supplied by generators that are fueled with oil. Havana_sentence_367

Much of the original power plant installations, which operated before the Revolutionary government assumed control, have become somewhat outdated. Havana_sentence_368

Electrical blackouts occurred, prompting the national government in 1986 to allocate the equivalent of $25,000,000 to modernize the electrical system. Havana_sentence_369

Sports Havana_section_41

Many Cubans are avid sports fans who particularly favour baseball. Havana_sentence_370

Havana's team in the Cuban National Series is Industriales. Havana_sentence_371

FCBA. Havana_sentence_372

The city has several large sports stadiums, the largest one is the Estadio Latinoamericano. Havana_sentence_373

Admission to sporting events is generally free, and impromptu games are played in neighborhoods throughout the city. Havana_sentence_374

Social clubs at the beaches provide facilities for water sports and include restaurants and dance halls. Havana_sentence_375


Notable people Havana_section_42

Further information: :Category:People from Havana Havana_sentence_376

Notable people originally from Havana: Havana_sentence_377


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International relations Havana_section_43

Diplomatic offices Havana_section_44

As Cuba's national capital and seat of government, Havana hosts 88 embassies (including the papal apostolic nunciature, traditionally manned by a titular archbishop). Havana_sentence_378

Furthermore, there are 11 consulates(-general) and a trade office. Havana_sentence_379


Twin towns – sister cities Havana_section_45

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havana.