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Cuba: Attractions in Havana

The Cuban capital, the main urban center in the country, with a population of over two million inhabitants, holds in its 15 municipalities a wide range of attractions.

Havana is also the main port of the archipelago, its economic-cultural center and its main tourist destination, a gateway for thousands of visitors every year.

In fact, the city is one of the best exponents of colonial architecture in Cuba, marked by a notoriety that began in the late 16th century, with its own characteristics but with a strong Spanish influence.

Its system of fortresses, with the emblematic Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro, consists of nine large constructions that constitute, according to experts, the most notable group of its kind in the Hispanic Americas.

Among those constructions, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza (completed in 1577) paved the way in the continent to Renaissance in military constructions, with a style that prevailed in Spain during the time of the Catholic Monarchs and was also called Elizabethan.

About 140 buildings in Havana's historic heart were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, 200 others are from the 18th century and more than 460 were constructed in the 19th century.

Santa María del Mar Beach.

There are several places to visit in Havana, with special emphasis on Arms Square, Cathedral Square, the so-called Old Square and that of San Francis of Assisi; the latter is adjacent to the church and convent of the same name.

In the city, buildings represent such style as Renaissance and Art Deco, passing through Mudejar, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Eclecticism, Art Nouveau and Cuban Baroque.

The capital also holds several of the country's nearly 300 museums, including the Havana Numismatic Museum, with more than 100,000 pieces.

In a building from 1791 and known as the Palace of the Captain Generals, the headquarters of the Spanish colonial administration for more than 100 years, the so-called City Museum is located.

The memories are also kept in the Museum of Colonial Art, located in the Cathedral Square, one of the best preserved in Havana's historic heart, and built in 1720 with the stately style of the 18th century.

For visitors from countries with a predominantly Muslim population, the city reserves the attractions of the so-called Arabs' House, where believers even have a room for prayers.

The Arabs' House shows an excellent collection of weapons from the 18th and 19th centuries, which are plated in gold and silver and fully decorated, all of which are kept in a building that reflects the Arab influence on Cuban architecture, brought to the island by the Spanish maestros.

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