Havana Cathedral, Havana

Havana Cathedral, Havana (must see)

Constructed by the Jesuits (1748–77) on the site of an earlier church, Havana Cathedral is one of eleven Catholic cathedrals on the island. It is sometimes dubbed as Christopher Cathedral for being the place where Christopher Columbus’ remains were kept between 1796 and 1898 before they were returned to Spain after the Cuban War of Independence.

The Cathedral is said to be the only example of a baroque facade that was designed with asymmetrical features – one of the towers is wider than the other. This particular feature was conceived in order to allow the water that tended to accumulate on the plaza to freely flow through the streets during the colonial period when it was built.

Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier famously described the Cathedral as "music set in stone". In fact, its structure is notable for being built with stones which are very different from what are used to in Europe. The stones lend the cathedral a particular color and it is really beautiful. Nearby there are terraces, music, and people all around offering drinks, food, cigars, and many more – the essence of the city.

Tip:
Note that despite the official opening times, the Cathedral is often locked, though you can sometimes gain access just before mass. Admission is free, although there is a small charge if you wish to go up the bell tower. Cover-ups for those with short shorts or bare shoulders are available for free

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10:30am-3pm; Sat: 10:30am-2pm; Sun: 9am-12pm

Mass:
Mon, Fri: 7:15am; Tue, Thu: 8:15pm; Sat: 5:30pm; Sun: 10:30am

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

Havana Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Havana Cathedral
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.
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
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
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 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

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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...
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...