Old Havana Facts

Old Havana, Cuba, is a historic city with cobblestone streets lined with colonial buildings. Vibrant and colorful architecture provides a wealth of opportunities to explore Cuban culture through its art and cuisine. 

However, visitors should use caution when exploring Old Havana, as the city has been somewhat neglected in recent years and still suffers from crumbling infrastructure and overpopulation.

Old Havana Facts for Kids

  • Old Havana is the oldest part of the Cuban capital, Havana.
  • It was founded in 1519 by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.
  • Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • It is known for its beautiful colonial-style architecture.
  • Old Havana is home to many museums, churches, and squares.
  • It is a popular tourist destination for its rich history and cultural significance.

What is Havana’s history?

Havana was founded by the Spanish in 1519 and was given its name by a conquistador named Panfilo de Narvaez.

Originally a trading port, it was prone to looting and attacks from pirates, buccaneers, and French corsairs. In 1555, Jacques de Sores burned the city down, leading to increased fortifications by the Spanish Crown.

By the 17th century, it became one of the main shipbuilding centers and ended up being more populous than New York! The 19th century saw many changes to Havana, with walls knocked down so it could grow.

However, after being occupied by the United States (which ended in 1902), followed by a Soviet Union collapse in 1991, it looked towards tourism as an economic recovery.

What are the key facts about Old Havana?

Old Havana is both the capital city of Cuba and its largest commercial center.

It began as a trading port but expanded rapidly with much of its architecture made of wood – unfortunately, 1/4 of Europeans died during a yellow fever epidemic here in 1649.

During the Seven Years’ War (1762-1763), Spain ceded Florida to Britain in exchange for returning control of Havana back to them, which continued until 1902, when the US occupation ended.

In the 1930s, luxury homes were constructed as well as casinos and hotels, as part of more substantial efforts toward tourism.

Exploring the Charms of Old Havana

Old Havana is a city located on the northern coast of Cuba and surrounded by the original city walls.

It’s a popular tourist destination for its rich old culture and folk music, interesting history, and mix of Western architectural styles.

The entrance to Havana Bay is marked by Castillo del Moro, while La Cabaña overlooks the bay from the east. Old Havana has similarities to places like Cadiz, Spain, and Tenerife, Spain, as well as Washington DC’s Capitol Building.

Cuba puts great effort into preserving and restoring Old Havana. Its street, The Malecon, runs along a seawall that features a 9 pm nightly gunshot signaling the closing of La Cabana doors.

The Plaza de Armas is the main tourist square and hosts The Great Theatre of Havana, where the National Ballet of Cuba practices and performs.

Chinese culture also has a place in Old Havana thanks to thousands of Chinese workers imported to replace African slaves who did work in mid-19th century Havana.

After completing their duties, many chose to stay, resulting in mini Chinatowns springing up, including banks, restaurants, and even streets named after Chinese culture!

Unfortunately, in 2008, hurricane Ike destroyed much of what had been dedicated years to rebuilding — undoing much of this progress.

Today about two million people call Old Havana home; its original layout has earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status since 1982.

Important Facts and Overview

It is the oldest part of the Cuban capital, Havana, and is known for its rich culture and history.

Old Havana is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful colonial-style architecture and cultural significance.

It is located in Latin America and is the seat of the Cuban government.

Old Havana is situated along the Almendares River and is known for its narrow streets.

Santiago de Cuba, another city on the eastern coast of Cuba, is located approximately 657 kilometers (408 miles) from Old Havana.

Old Havana is a city located on the northern coast of Cuba.

Old Havana was founded in the 16th century by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.

It became an important city in the 18th century and is known for its beautiful colonial-style architecture.

Old Havana was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

It is located on the north coast of Cuba and is a popular tourist destination for its rich culture and history.

Havana, of which Old Havana is a part, is the largest city in Cuba and the capital of the country.

In the 20th century, Cuba put great effort into preserving and restoring Old Havana.