Christian Churches of Havana (Self Guided), Havana

Discovered and conquered by the Spaniards, Havana has turned into a major religious center of Catholicism in the Caribbean. Although a communist regime is in power at the moment, many of the churches, cathedrals, and other religious buildings are preserved and still give a glimpse of the religious heritage of Havana.
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Christian Churches of Havana Map

Guide Name: Christian Churches of Havana
Guide Location: Cuba » Havana (See other walking tours in Havana)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: kane
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula
  • Iglesia del Espíritu Santo
  • Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen
  • Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje
  • Havana Cathedral
  • Convento de San Francisco de Asis
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Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

1) Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula

Saint Francis of Paula Church used to serve as a women's hospital in the past, but after the hurricane in 1730, it was destroyed and rebuilt to become a church. However, it was abandoned for some years before its latest restoration in 1946. The church has a unique Baroque architectural style.
2
Iglesia del Espíritu Santo

2) Iglesia del Espíritu Santo

Iglesia del Espíritu Santo is the earliest-built christian church in the city of Havana. The church is well known for its possession of some exceptional images on linen, plus a crypt with catacombs. Built in 1638, it's also the only church in Havana to give political asylum. The bell tower on the left side of the building is amongst the tallest buildings in the old part of the city.
3
Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen

3) Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen

Convento de Nuestra Senora de Belen was finished in 1718, and was given to the first members of the order of Bethlehem that arrived in Havana. After it had been the property of the Spanish government, it was taken by the Jesuits and enlarged. Today, the church has just one arch and a gate with beautiful stone statues depicting different saints.
4
Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje

4) Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje

Iglesia del Cristo was constructed in mid 17th century and in 1693, it was certified as a parish church by the most distinguished priest of the Cuban episcopate - Bishop Avelino de Compostela. There's a picture of Christ on the Cross inside the church, which is believed to keep travelers from harm. The Baroque motifs and its towers make the church unique.
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Havana Cathedral

5) Havana Cathedral (must see)

Constructed by the Jesuits (1748–77) on the site of an earlier church, La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana (Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception) is also dedicated to Saint Christopher, thus it is sometimes dubbed as Catedral de San Cristobal.

Set in the former Plaza de La Ciénaga or Swamp Plaza, 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 a stone which is very different from what folks are used to in Europe. It lends it a particular color but 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 – and there are free cover-ups for those with short shorts or bare shoulders.

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
6
Convento de San Francisco de Asis

6) Convento de San Francisco de Asis

Convento de San Francisco de Asis pays homage to the Corinthian and Doric styles, and it has a few remnants of early Baroque architectural style as well. It has been destroyed several times but has managed to retain its magnificent antique looks. It's located in the old part of the city and is easily accessible.

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.
Cuban Freedom Fighters & Battles

Cuban Freedom Fighters & Battles

Since it was discovered by Spain, the Island remained under its rule until the late 19th-early 20th century. During that period, it saw a series of wars, revolutions, and coup d'etats. On this tour you will see the key places in Havana related to those events, as well as monuments to the key people who made them happen.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Museums of Havana

Museums of Havana

Havana has a rich history and was once the Spanish center of power in the Caribbean and South America. Later, it became the center of art, architecture and military power in the region. The museums in Havana can show you much of the city's history.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Cultural Walk in Havana

Cultural Walk in Havana

Havana is both the official capital of Cuba, and the cultural capital as well. Many galleries, cinemas, theaters, and music shops offer visitors a taste of the local culture - which is a mixture of native habits and ways along with those of the Spaniards, and later, U.S. influence. The following tour will take you for a short walk which will summarize it all.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Architectural Walk

Architectural Walk

Havana, once a major sea power in the Caribbean, still retains an aura of royalty and splendor. Take this walk and explore the architectural landmarks of the city and see mixtures of all the styles that have dominated major civilizations in the past several hundred years.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Nightlife in Eastern "La Habana"

Nightlife in Eastern "La Habana"

Havana is one of the capitals of nightlife in the Caribbean. Coming to Havana and taking a tour of its bars and nightclubs is a must. If you want to understand the city, you have to feel the heat of its night. Take this tour and experience some of the best places to spend a wonderful night out.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Havana City Center Walk

Havana City Center Walk

The city of Havana was founded in 1511. Today, Havana is the capital of Cuba and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Havana is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean region. Almost perfect weather conditions makes it a great spot for taking a vacation. This walking tour will help you explore the center of Havana.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles

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