Havana- Unexpected and Interesting Facts

The Car in front is a Desoto
Since it’s founding in 1515, Havana has been one of the most important cities in Latin America, and a popular location for Cuban holidays. Dubbed the “Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies” by Spain’s King Phillip II, this city shows off its colorful history everywhere you look. Properly called Ciudad de la Habana, or simply la Habana, the city is home to 2.4 million residents, making it the largest in both Cuba and the Caribbean. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the city:

  • Citing the grand architecture that characterizes much of the city, Havana’s official nickname is “Ciudad de las Columnas,” or City of Columns.
  • Havana is home to a street cobbled with wood. It runs right next to the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. As the story goes, the wife of one of the capitanes was afraid that horses walking on stone cobbles outside her window would keep her awake, so she had the lane paved with wood.
  • Cuba’s capital is known for its many statues, some of which might be unexpected. In the center of John Lennon Park is a bronze likeness of, yes, John Lennon. It was unveiled in 2000 after Fidel Castro declared the former Beatle to be a “true revolutionary.”

1-john_lennon_havana
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  • Monopoly, the Parker Brothers’ game of financial domination, is banned in all of Cuba.
  • With his strong ties to Havana, it is no surprise that there is a museum for Ernest Hemingway in the city. In fact, the museum is his house of many years, and outside of it is his fishing boat, Pilar. The strangest sight in the entire museum lies close to the boat: four tombstones marking the graves of the writer’s dogs, with countless smaller mounds for the more than 60 cats he kept while in residence.
  • In 1848, Havana became the third city in the world to receive gas lighting.

Ernest Hemingway Home

  • With countless museums, Havana is home to pieces of history from all over the world. One of the more surprising is the Museo Napoliónico, a museum of Napoleonic art and artefacts that includes one of Napoleon’s teeth and the general’s death mask. The museum is made up of more than 7000 pieces of the personal collection of Julio Lobo, which was purchased by the government when he left the country in 1959.

Guest post supplied by Floridita Travel- specialists in providing luxury Cuba hotel accommodation and Cuban tours.

Benedict Adam

Trying to travel with the ethos of a backpacker, no matter of budget, whether I'm across the other side of the world or over the road.

  7 comments for “Havana- Unexpected and Interesting Facts

  1. June 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Very interesting article. Being an American, our relations with Cuba are kinds of shaky. Hopefully that will change. I would like to visit Havana. I didn’t know that it was founded in 1515. Furthermore, I never knew they had a statue of John Lennon, let alone John Lennon Park. It’s true, you really do learn something new everyday.

  2. June 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Oops! Caught an error on my comment. I meant to say “kind of shaky” NOT “kinds of shaky.”

  3. John @ Chicago Buick Dealer
    June 23, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Looks like things are quite nice in Havana. I would like to get out there at some point in my life and explore the city and local culture.

  4. November 14, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Cuba is a great place for travel, especially the islands. Some lovely beaches and great food!!

  5. November 28, 2009 at 7:26 am

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  6. July 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    There’s also a statue of Lady Di and el Caballero de Paris, a once-famous homeless man
    Havana is beautiful, surprising and exhausting. I highly recomend everyone to go, and my fellow Americans should get creative about it so they can see it before everything changes

  7. Ricky
    November 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I am very intrested in (el caballero de Paris) When I go to Cuba wr can I find the statue. wr can I get a pic of that.My mom as a kid would see him often.They say he was from Spain.If anyone has pics or info about him plz send it to me thx Ricky ink904@yahoo.com

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