Catedral de La Habana

in Havana Vieja
  • Catedral de La Habana in Havana Vieja - Cuba
Location :
Empedrado #156 e/ San Ignacio y Mercaderes, Plaza de la Catedral, Habana Vieja, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana is rather a mouthful, so most people call it the Catedral de La Habana, or Havana Cathedral in English. Completed in 1777, it’s a good example of Baroque architecture. Part of its charm comes from its asymmetry: two bell towers of different sizes rise up on each side of the building. The elaborate facade belies the rustic materials used in construction, namely coral from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. In fact, if you examine the facade closely you’ll see minute marine fossils preserved in the material. Legend has it that the cathedral once boasted the remains of Christopher Columbus, although whether this is true or not, they were sent back to Spain after the Cuban War of Independence in the late 19th century. The square around the cathedral, Plaza de la Catedral is one of five main squares in Old Havana. Take a break on the terrace of one of the restaurants and soak up the atmosphere. It’s hard to believe that this was originally swampland, later a naval dockyard. Once the construction of the cathedral was complete, some of the city’s most impressive mansions mushroomed up around it, which also add to the mood of stately elegance.
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