Parque Central

CA4
City squares / parks
CA Ranking: 4
Admission: n-a
Bordered by Prado, Zulueta, San José & Neptuno, Habana Vieja
  • Completed in 1877 after the city walls were knocked down, the park is bordered by El Prado, Zulueta, San José and Neptuno Streets. It is surrounded by significant buildings, such as the Gran Teatro de La Habana; the Inglaterra, Telégrafo, Parque Central and Plaza hotels; the shopping complex known as Manzana de Gómez; and the building devoted to international art of the Museo de Bellas Artes. In the late 18th century, the park was pretty much bare of trees and mostly paved. Trees, fountains and sculptures were added to the park after 1959.

    The statue of José Martí in Carrara white marble, by José Vilalta de Saavedra–the first monument in the country dedicated to the poet, writer, lawyer and fighter for Cuban independence–was raised on the 10th anniversary of the national hero’s death and was the first to be erected of Martí in Cuba in 1905. The statue is encircled by 28 palm trees that signify Martí’s birth date: January 28. A statue of the Queen Isabel II os Spain used to occupy this space during the Spanish rule in Cuba.

    He obviously inspires locals, who gather in the park under his gaze to debate passionately about baseball at what locals call “La Esquina Calinete” literally The Hot Corner.

     

    
  • Catedral de La Habana

    Catedral de La Habana  LH 5+

    The entry of the Jesuits in Cuba was formally requested in 1656, and in 1727, a plot was granted for their school and church. Bishop Brother Gerónimo Valdés explained to the King of Spain that Havana’ …

    Museo de la Ciudad (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)

    Museo de la Ciudad (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)  LH 5

    History & architecture Considered the most important example of baroque architecture in the city, this grand building on the west side of the plaza was built in 1792, on the sight of the former pa …

    Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

    Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula  LH 5

    In 1664 the Presbyter of the Cathedral of Havana, don Nicolás Estévez Borges, ordered the construction of a chapel devoted to Saint Francis of Paola (founder of the Roman Catholic Order of the Minims) …

    Edificio Bacardí

    Edificio Bacardí  LH 5

    The first and main exponent of art deco in the city belonged to Emilio Bacardí and was the home to his famous rum company. After winning the contest held by Bacardí, architects E. Rodríguez, R. Fernán …

    Convento e Iglesia de la Merced

    Convento e Iglesia de la Merced  LH 5

    Built between 1865 and 1867, this is arguably one of Havana’s most lush churches. The temple stands opposite a small square and its façade, constructed in Baroque style, features the principal door wi …

    Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam

    Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam  LH 5+

    The north-west corner of the square is occupied by the 18th-century Casa de los Condes de Peñalver, which has at different times served as a post office, a bank and a school. Today, it houses the Cent …

    Quinta Avenida

    Quinta Avenida  LH 5+

    Initially called Avenida de las Américas, Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) stretches from the tunnel that connects it to Calzada Street, in Vedado, to the Santa Ana River, in the locality of Santa Fe. Co …

    Plaza Vieja

    Plaza Vieja  LH 5+

    The 16th-century Plaza Vieja has always been a residential rather than a military, religious or administrative space, and is surrounded by elegant colonial residences, combined with a few very strikin …

    Paseo del Prado

    Paseo del Prado  LH 5+

    In colonial times, this promenade received several names, including Nuevo Prado, Alameda de Extramuros, Paseo de Isabel II and Paseo del Prado, and with cuba’s independecne, it became Paseo de Martí. …

    Arte Corte (Papito’s)

    Arte Corte (Papito’s)  LH 5+

    Established about eight years ago, Arte Corte is a hairdressing salon that is also an “interactive museum” where the customer, while comfortably seated in a hundred year-old chair awaiting their turn, …

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