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Colonial Havana

Our house is located in Vedado, one of the most beautiful areas in Havana. With plenty of trees and parks it is only a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Havana. Each room has its own bathroom, air conditioner, safe box, TV, and a fridge. This guest house is perfectly situated, making it a great base to explore this beautiful and historic city.

Vedado is the downtown and a vibrant neighbourhood in the city of Havana, Cuba. Bordered on the east by Central Havana, and on the west by the Miramar/Playa district. The main street running east to west is Calle 23, also known as 'La Rampa'. The northern edge of the district is the waterfront breakwater known as the Malecón, a famous and popular place for social gatherings in the city.

Vedado is part of the municipality Plaza de la Revolucion. Latin America’s best-preserved colonial city, Havana is one of the oldest, grandest and safest cities in the Americas, and packs a cultural punch well beyond its size and certainly beyond its economic status. Centuries of Spanish and African interaction have made it a hotbed of culture and the vibrancy of Cuban music and dance alone make it worth the trip.

Add in palm trees and a tropical climate and you have a potent cocktail. Ice-cream coloured colonial buildings, cool squares and the waves lapping against the crumbling sea wall make it visually bewitching, while charismatic habaneros take care of the rest.

Cuba is home to some of the most spectacular architecture in the Americas. With a Spanish colonial legacy dating back to the 16th century, Havana is graced with hundreds of magnificent structures: El Morro castle at the gates of the harbour; the Cathedral of San Cristobal; the Grand Theatre; El Capitolio, modelled after the U.S. Capitol Building, to name just a few. It also boasts an array of splendid 20th century buildings in a range of styles - Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Catalan Modernismo, and more. These are far more numerous than the colonial structures, but are often overlooked when it comes to preservation, because they are scattered all over the city.

The wages of time, the scarcity of construction material, and the Caribbean salt air have conspired to erode almost every building in the country. Much of Cuba's unique architectural legacy is in danger of crumbling into irreversible disrepair. The Cuban government has undertaken an ambitious program of restoration, and has given the city historian's office unprecedented financial independence in revitalizing Old Havana, where much of the colonial architecture is concentrated. UNESCO has designated the area a World Heritage Site. As Cuba's international tourist trade continues to expand, foreign companies who build hotels there are required to contribute to the ongoing preservation and restoration efforts. As a result, Old Havana today is a flurry of activity, with scaffolding and workers at every turn.

American urban planners and architects have also taken notice, drawn not only to the beauty of the structures, but to the layout and design of neighbourhoods that are pedestrian-friendly and promote community through the proximity of public spaces and resources. Numerous American design conferences focusing on Cuba have been organized in recent years, examining issues from history and preservation to sustainable neighbourhood development.

Contact Details

Telephone 53 5 2646921

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This page was last updated: 16 July 2013

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Colonial Havana

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