Theme Week Havana – La Habana Vieja

21 December 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Hotel Inglatera © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hotel Inglatera © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-4.0

Old Havana (Spanish: La Habana Vieja) is the city-center (downtown) and one of the 15 municipalities (or boroughs) forming Havana. It has the second highest population density in the city and contains the core of the original city of Havana. The positions of the original Havana city walls are the modern boundaries of Old Havana. Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A safeguarding campaign was launched a year later to restore the authentic character of the buildings. Old Havana resembles Cadiz and Tenerife. Alejo Carpentier called it “de las columnas” (of the columns), but it could also be named for the gateways, the revoco, the deterioration and the rescue, the intimacy, the shade, the cool, the courtyards… In her there are all the big ancient monuments, the forts, the convents and churches, the palaces, the alleys, the arcade, the human density. The Cuban State has undertaken enormous efforts to preserve and to restore Old Havana through the efforts of the Office of the Historian of the City, directed by Eusebio Leal.   read more…

Theme Week Cuba – Varadero

30 April 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

La Casa de Al, Al Capone's warhouse during prohibition, today a restaurant © Laslovarga/cc-by-sa-4.0

La Casa de Al, Al Capone’s warhouse during prohibition, today a restaurant © Laslovarga/cc-by-sa-4.0

Varadero is a resort town in the province of Matanzas, and one of the largest resort areas in the Caribbean. The first mention of Varadero was in 1555. The place was first used as a dry dock (Spanish: varadero) and the salt mines of the peninsula (closed in 1961) supplied most of the Spanish Latin America Fleet since 1587. However, the foundation date of Varadero as city was only on December 5, 1887, when ten families from the city of Cárdenas obtained a permission to build their vacation homes between today’s 42nd and 48th Street. Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, situated west of the peninsula, is Varadero’s airport. It is the second-most-important airport of the island after José Martí International Airport in Havana, and serves international and domestic flights.   read more…

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