Cathedral, Havana Catedral de San Cristobal
The Catedral de San Cristobal tests your faith. The reason for this is the claim that the relics of Christopher Columbus were housed here from 1796 to 1898. There is no official proof and the claim has not been independently verified.Apart from the dubious claim, the Catedral de San Cristobal should still be on every visitor's list of things to see in Havana. The building was begun in 1748 by the Jesuits, but completed twenty-nine years later in 1777 by the Franciscans.The exterior of the Catedral de San Cristobal is quite stunning. Done up in a style referred to as Cuban baroque, there are two large bell towers and many inlaid columns. The interior of the building is less grandiose due to a 19th Century neo-Classical makeover but worth a quick look for the huge statue of St Christopher and the impressive vaulted ceilings.
Address: Calle Empedrado 156, Cuba
Opening hours: 10am-12:30pm; Sun: 9am-12:30pm; Sat: 10:30am-1pm
The Hotel Inglaterra in Havana has an interesting and important history that most Cubans are well aware of. The hotel and the sidewalk out front was a central gathering spot for liberal minded activists in the years prior to separation from Spain. General Antonio Maceo made the Hotel Ingleaterra his headquarters when he planned out the framework for the Cuban wars of independence.The hotel is done up in neo-Classical style and was built in the late 19th century. Although it has the outwards appearance of neo-Classical, intrepid visitors will note the strong mudejar influence throughout the building. Be sure to check out the Andalusian mosaics and locate the column with the Arabic inscription: "Only Allah is the victor".The Hotel Inglaterra has host many of Havana's famous guests, including Anna Pavlova and Sarah Bernhardt among others.
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