Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís (Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi), Havana

Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís (Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi), Havana

The Basílica Menor of San Francisco de Asís (Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi) is a Franciscan convent in the district of Old Havana. Its construction began in 1548 and lasted until 1591, although it was inaugurated in 1575, it was damaged by storms in 1680 and 1692, and by a hurricane that broke down its tower in 1694. It began in its current form in 1716, and completed 200 years later with a series of structural reforms from 1731 to 1738.

The basilica was used by the English for their worship during the year in which they ruled Havana. It is now used for concerts. Attached to the Basilica is a bell tower (138-ft). Originally a statue of St. Francis of Assisi stood on the top of the bell tower but it was destroyed by a cyclone in 1846. Today a statue of Fray Junípero Serra with Juaneño Indian boy stands next to the basilica.

Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís pays homage to the Corinthian and Doric styles, and it has a few remnants of early Baroque architectural style as well. The facade is located in the Calle Oficios where three stone statues representing the Immaculate Conception, Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic. It attained its current status of Minor Basilica in 1739. The adjacent Plaza de San Francisco de Asís was inaugurated in 1628. Along with the rest of Old Havana, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.

The cloister of the adjacent monastery which dates back to 1739 now houses a museum of sacred art. In front of the Basilica on the sidewalk stands a bronze life-size statue by Jose Villa Soberon of José María López Lledín known as El Caballero de Paris (1899–1985) is buried inside the Basilica.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Havana. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís (Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi) on Map

Sight Name: Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís (Minor Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi)
Sight Location: Havana, Cuba (See walking tours in Havana)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Havana, Cuba

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Havana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Spanish founded Havana in 1519. After French pirate Jacques de Sores ransacked the city in 1555, the Castle of the Royal Force was built to protect the city.

Havana became a major stopping point between the newly discovered Americas and ancient Europe. In the 1600s, Havana was a major shipbuilding port.

Old Havana is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic city has five...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Ever since Hemingway first visited Cuba in 1928 until his death in 1961, he felt an intense connection with the people and culture of Cuba. Hemingway lived at Hotel Ambos Mundos during the 1930s, and began, wrote, and finished several novels there. Today, you can see some of Hemingway's belongings in Room 511.

Hemingway was a frequent patron at El Floridita, famous for its daiquiris....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old Palaces Walking Tour

Old Palaces Walking Tour

Havana has been the seat of Cuba’s ruling gentry for centuries. Today, you can walk the streets of Old Havana and explore its palaces to get a glimpse into the city’s royal past. Although these structures now serve Havana’s citizens and visitors, they still catch your eye (and your camera lens!) with their architecture and history.

Start your trip with the ornate Presidential Palace,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Discovered and conquered by Spanish colonists in the early 16th century, Havana has turned into a major religious center of Catholicism in the Caribbean. Although a communist regime is currently in power, many of the churches, cathedrals, and other religious buildings have been preserved and still give a glimpse of the city’s religious heritage.

The old Havana Cathedral, located in a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


18 Uniquely Cuban Things to Buy in Havana

18 Uniquely Cuban Things to Buy in Havana

Rum, cigars and revolution have been, perhaps, at least until recently, the three most popular exports from Cuba. Luckily, with the embargo lifted (or soon to be lifted), those traveling to the U.S. might soon be able to pick up some of these (with the exception of revolution, perhaps) on their way...
Cuban Sweets and Pastries

Cuban Sweets and Pastries

On the tropical island where sugar cane is one of the main commodities along with the rum made of the very same sugar, and where the enormous abundance of tropical fruits make up a great deal of the local diet, it is only natural to expect the richness of dessert cuisine. Pair it with the strong...