Habana’s Cathedral, A Site Worth Visiting.

To go sightseeing in Havana means also visiting the Plaza de la Catedral, a virtuous place with cobbled streets, full of beauty and senses, a place where thousands of people from all over the world get together each month, as tourist guides recall it.

In earlier times it was named Plaza de la Cinaga (Swamp Square), and later on “Plaza de la Catedral”, it is a place that has much to do with the beginning of Havana, founded on the 16th Century in the proximities of Havana’s harbour.

The name is due to a large cathedral built first as oratory of the Hijos de San Ignacio, of the Jesuit order, which first stone was placed in 1748. After three decades the oratory was built, the Cathedral was already functioning, and between 1802 and 1832, important restoration works were made. Beautifully decorated, with important works and copies made by the French Jean Baptiste Vermay, it is a place worth visiting.

Numerous important gatherings take place in this astonishing little spot of Havana. Festival, music concerts and gala dinners for important groups have found the perfect venue in Cathedral Square. The weather is always nice and the atmosphere can not be better. Surrounded by a magnificent architecture and serenaded by some always excellent Cuban music can be the ideal perfect evening.

As a special feature, one of the nearby alleys is the seat of the most famous Cuban restaurant: La Bodeguita del Medio which reaffirms its quality after serving for more than 60 years since its foundation.It is an emblematic restaurant for the Cuban tourism, with the walls full of around two million autographs of all clients from different time periods, and photographs left by outstanding figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Mario Benedetti, Pablo Neruda or Errol Fryn.

The list of celebrities is very long and it has been like that for decades now. Today holiday makers can enjoy one of the best restaurants not only in terms of the food but also in terms of character. Its bar is very intimate, small and cosy and like in many other bars in Havana music is always played by a small traditional Cuban band.

During day time the square becomes crowded with visitors who come to experience the splendour of its walls. The music, the cocktails and specially the characters that can be found here make it a unique place in Havana. You will find an old lady that reads the cards, the one that poses with a huge cigar and the ones that dance all the time even when there is no music playing.

A word of advice is to find a hotel in the old town, there are about 15 of them and they are very small, cosy and boutique hotels with very affordable prices. Santa Isabel and Florida hotels have both the best standard of service and location. Every thing you need to do or see will be walking distance from your hotels. At the end of the day you do not want the hassle of having to take taxis while on your holidays.

Jose Maurette is the Director of Quest World Travel Ltd and a specialist in organizing holidays to Cuba. Visit www.quest2cuba.co.uk for further information on the best Cuba Holidays.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Easy AdSense by Unreal