Old Havana

Old Havana



It is also known as San Cristobal de la Habana. Saint Christopher helped a child cross a river and even though current was hard, he never let him go. The child was Jesus Christ. The city has 4 square kms and was founded on November 16, 1519 (see El Templete monument) by the bay. The Bay shape helped the Spanish decide to move the capital here (see old map). Even though it was a natural protection they also built several forts like the “Castillo de la Real Fuerza (see Royal Fort). This fort saw one of its governor, captain Hernando de Soto (they named the car after him). De Soto departed to Florida and left his wife in charge, being the first woman to ever hold such a position. Her name was Ines de Bobadilla and died alone (said of sadness) since her husband never returned. She became a symbol for the capital of Cubans(see La Giraldilla statue, the Havana Club rum logo and the city’s baseball team logo). Other fortresses were El Morro and la Punta. The last Fort was La Cabaña, built after English traded Havana for Florida after taking possession of this village in 1762 (see English invasion). Soon the Spanish erected the walls surrounding the city (see map) and established the curfew with the Gun Shot ceremony, closing the gates and the bay entrance with wood logs attached by chains. The city continued to develop, adding more than the main 4 squares (Arms’ square, San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Cathedral Square). Water was brought through the aqueduct built by Albear, see statue which is next to the Floridita restaurant where Daiquiri was invented. Hemingway was a frequent visitor to this bar. He stayed in the Ambos Mundos hotel (see photo) in room 502 to enjoy the view of the ocean. Other famous building is the Bacardi. The Cuban rum was started by Emilio Bacardi in Santiago de Cuba. There is lot more you could learn and you could star by simply sending me an email. I will be happy to help.


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Old Havana Colonial Tour