The Cathedral of Havana: Symbol of the City. / Go back

cathedral old havana

The Cathedral of Havana is one of the symbols of the city of Havana. Located in the heart of Old Havana (156 Empedrado Street), in the oldest part of the city in an area declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982. It is one of the most beautiful and sober area American Baroque churches.

With a baroque facade contrasts dramatically with a sober neo-classical interior, the Cathedral of Havana is one of the most splendid of the Cuban capital that must not fail to visit colonial buildings.

In 1788, a wealthy bishop of Salamanca (Felipe Jose de Res Palacios) decided to build a cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, on the site of the initial small chapel. The Jesuits made the plans. A series of extensions and embellishments were carried out, from 1802 to 1832, under the aegis of Bishop Diaz de Espada.

The Cathedral has three naves and eight side chapels. Until the independence of the island, the central nave was occupied by a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. But at the end of colonization, Columbus's ashes were taken to Santo Domingo and from there, to the Cathedral of Seville.

The facade of the cathedral surprises by its dark gray color, which stands out from the rest of the square as an engraving in black and white. It is considered "Tuscan" with its two towers or steeples. Its night view with special lighting is a delight.

Inside of the Cathedral of Havana

The Italian Bianchini was responsible for the sculptures and the jewelry of the altar and the tabernacle. They add to the paintings of French Jean-BaptisteVermay decoration. In place all ecstasies with its unique baroque architecture and its marked colonial environment, that takes us back centuries. Behind the altar there are three paintings by the Italian Giuseppe freso Perovani, who is known who was the first professor of drawing of Havana.

The mansions surrounding the square date back to the eighteenth century: the house of Lombillo, built in 1730, the palace of the Marquis de Arcos, 1741, one of the best preserved colonial houses in the city. The house of Count Bayona, 1720, where he currently is the Colonial Art Museum, which houses furniture, porcelain, lamps and a unique collection of stained glass. Beside the former home of the Marquis of Aguas Claras (1720), which is the most beautiful and attractive house stands majestically set.

Plaza of the Cathedral of Havana is located not far from the Plaza de Armas, just a few blocks. It is undeniable that this is the most famous square in Havana and, according to some connoisseurs, one of the most harmonious of Latin America.

Square where the Cathedral of Havana is located is usually a busy, lively place, not only for the faithful who come to the temple, but also because there artisans gather to offer their beautiful Cuban handicrafts, therefore it is an ideal place to go and buy some beautiful memories of our trip to Havana place.

About the author

alexander espinosa alvarez

is the creator of this site, a programmer who loves marketing, web design and programming. It is also a passionate manager and promoter of tourism services in Cuba.


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