The Havana reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Havana

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This is about the Cuban city. For other places named Havana, please see Havana (disambiguation)

Image:CubaHavanaCity.png
1888 German map of Havana
Havana, New Capitol Building, c. 1920
Old Havana, 2002

Havana ("San Cristóbal de La Habana" in Spanish) is the capital of Cuba and, with a population of 2.1 million, the largest city in the Caribbean.

History

Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded the first town in Cuba called Havana in 1515 on the southern coast of the island, but moved Havana to its current location in 1519.

Havana was originally as a trading port, and became the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba in 1607, and the main port of the Spanish colonies in the New World.

Havana suffered from being burnt by buccaneers in 1538, and looted in 1555 and 1553. Great Britain seized the city in 1762, then exchanged it for Florida the following year. After regaining the city, the Spanish made it the most heavily fortified city in the Americas.

In the 1920s during Prohibition in the United States, Havana became a popular vacation destination for Americans; the nightclubs and gambling survived Repeal, but most were closed in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution.

Old Havana preserves a wealth of Spanish Colonial architecture, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Havana's International airport is Jose Marti International Airport.

Dusk on Havana's waterfrontEnlarge

Dusk on Havana's waterfront


Provinces of Cuba
Camagüey | Ciego de Ávila | Cienfuegos | Ciudad de La Habana | Guantánamo | Granma | Holguín | Isla de la Juventud | La Habana | Las Tunas | Matanzas | Pinar del Río | Sancti Spíritus | Villa Clara