Paseo del Prado

CA5
Top Pick
Famous Street
CA Ranking: 5
Prado from Neptuno to Avenida del Puerto, Habana Vieja
Also included in For Kids section
  • 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. However, people keep calling it simply “El Prado.”

    Construction works began in 1772 under Don Felipe Fonsdeviela y Ondeano, the Marquis de la Torre, Governor and Captain General of Cuba, who is considered Havana’s first town planner. He is also responsible for the construction of Alameda de Paula, the first theater in Havana, El Principal, and the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, among many other important public buildings.  In time, the street became very popular with the city’s bourgeoisie. In 1884, it was remodeled and gained prominence with improvements on the street lighting, paving and benches. Additionally, important buildings and other constructions began to be erected on either side, which made the area even more appealing, and by the early 20th century, it had become the most popular location among well-off families to build their residences. In the late 1920s, as part of the expansion of Havana led by the French landscape artist Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier and a team of French and Cuban collaborators, the Paseo del Prado got the bronze lions, lamp-posts and marble benches we see today. Calle Prado is divided into four well demarcated sections: the Paseo, Parque Central, the area in front of the Capitolio and Parque de la Fraternidad. It was not until 1904 that it officially became Paseo Martí.

    
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    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’ …

    Edificio Bacardí

    Edificio Bacardí  LH 5

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    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) …

    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 …

    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 …

    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 …

    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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