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.

     

    
  • 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, …

    Jardín Botánico Nacional

    Jardín Botánico Nacional  LH 5+

    These 600-hectare botanical gardens feature approximately 150,000 examples of 4,000 different species of trees and bushes from all over the world. A tractor train ride around the park departs four tim …

    Almacenes de San José

    Almacenes de San José  LH 5

    This former harborside warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana. The sober and imposing façade that looks out onto the city conceals the building’s steel struc …

    Santa María del Mar

    Santa María del Mar  LH 5

    Santa María is the most popular beach among both Habaneros and visitors. It has lodgings, restaurants, watersports hire, grocery stores and a pharmacy. As with the other beahes, it boasts soft, white …

    Cámara Oscura

    Cámara Oscura  LH 5

    Located on the top floor of the eclectic-style early 20th-century Edificio Gómez Vila—the plaza’s tallest building (35 meters/115 feet)—on the northeast corner, the Cámara Oscura provides a 360-degree …

    Ivan Chef Justo

    Ivan Chef Justo  LH 5

    There is only one problem with Ivan Chef Justo and that is describing to people how to get there. Actually it is not that complicated, opposite the Museum of the Revolution on the Old Havana side. Con …

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