World Heritage #0204 – Old Havana

Last modified 27.03.2022 | Published 23.06.2003Cuba, North America, World Heritage Sites

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The decaying buildings of Old Havana adds much to the fascination of it. On the other hand it cannot develop too far in that direction.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Full name of site: Old Havana and its Fortifications
  • Country: Cuba
  • Date of Inscription: 1982
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 204:

“Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish. By the 17th century, it had become one of the Caribbean’s main centres for ship-building. Although it is today a sprawling metropolis of 2 million inhabitants, its old centre retains an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards.”


My visit

During my visit to Havana in 2003 I made this remark in my diary:

“Afterwards we took a coco-taxi to the old town, Habana Vieja (3 USD). A coco-taxi is a kind of taxi made of a motorcycle built into a yellow eggshell with two seats aside in the rear end. We drove along the Malecón. Funny to observe what we at home had watched on video and books: Big seafront, worn-out old colonial buildings, discarded (but not in fact) old American cars from the fifties and Ladas from the eighties, multi-ethnic people, and not too clean and tidy. It was exciting in other words.”

Read more about my visit.

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