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**Historical Significance of Havana:**
– Havana was founded in 1514 by Diego Velázquez as San Cristóbal de la Habana.
– The city’s name may derive from a local chief, Habaguanex, or the Taíno word ‘haba’.
– Havana was a significant trading port facing attacks by pirates and corsairs.
– Spanish fortresses were built in Havana in the 16th century to counteract attacks.
– Havana was granted the title of City by King Philip II of Spain in 1592.
– Havana underwent rapid transformation during the British capture in 1762 and subsequent Spanish fortification.
– The city flourished in the 19th century, known as the ‘Paris of the Antilles’.
– The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor led to the Spanish-American War.

**Architectural Diversity in Havana:**
– Havana showcases diverse architectural styles from 16th-century castles to modern high-rise buildings.
– The city’s early architecture includes military fortifications like La Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana and the Castillo del Morro.
– Old Havana features a defensive wall from 1674 and a mix of Mudéjar, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Roman architectural influences.
– Notable examples of Spanish-influenced architecture in Havana include the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary and the Havana cathedral.
– The Iglesia del Espíritu Santo, built in 1635, is one of the oldest temples in Havana with beautiful stone construction.
– The uni-nave architectural style, prevalent in Cuban religious constructions, emphasizes simplicity and lack of lavish decoration.

**Challenges and Transformations in Havana:**
– Health challenges in the 20th century included high rates of parasitism, unequal access to nutrition, and significant income disparities.
– Economic issues in Havana included disparities, unemployment, and dissatisfaction among the middle class.
– The Cuban Revolution transformed relations with the United States, leading to nationalization and economic consolidation.
– The revolution also expanded Cuban medical internationalism to foreign conflicts.
– Economic downturns followed events like the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

**Geographical and Climate Features of Havana:**
– Havana is located on the northern coast of Cuba, extending westward and southward from the bay.
– The city is traversed by the Almendares River and features noteworthy elevations like the limestone ridge and University of Havana hill.
– Havana has a tropical savanna climate with average temperatures ranging from 22°C to 28°C.
– The city receives around 1,200mm of rainfall annually, with hurricanes occasionally striking the island.
– Tornadoes, like the rare EF4 tornado in 2019, can impact Havana, with recent tropical cyclones affecting the region.

**Administrative Structure and Governance in Havana:**
– Havana is administered by a city-provincial council with limited autonomy.
– The Communist Party is the only political party in Havana.
– Municipal Assemblies are responsible for the city’s boroughs, with direct elections for the city’s deputies to the National Assembly.
– The Provincial Council appoints the Governor and Vice Governor for Havana.
– The city’s Coat of Arms symbolizes its historical significance and defensive capabilities, reflecting the rights of man.

Havana (Wikipedia)

Havana (/həˈvænə/; Spanish: La Habana [la aˈβana] ; Lucumi: Ilú Pupu Ilé) is the capital and largest city of Cuba. The heart of the La Habana Province, Havana is the country's main port and commercial center. It is the most populous city, the largest by area, and the second largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region. The population in 2002 was 2,137,847 inhabitants, and its area is 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi) for the capital city side and 8,475.57 km² for the metropolitan zone.

La Habana
Municipio de La Habana
From the top to the left: Castillo del Morro; Barrio chino; Malecón; Palacio de la Revolución; and Línea Street
City of Columns
Havana is located in Cuba
Location in Cuba
Havana is located in Caribbean
Havana (Caribbean)
Havana is located in Gulf of Mexico
Havana (Gulf of Mexico)
Coordinates: 23°08′12″N 82°21′32″W / 23.13667°N 82.35889°W / 23.13667; -82.35889
Metro ZoneGreater Havana
EstablishedNovember 16, 1519 (current place)
 • BodyGobierno Provincial de La Habana
 • GovernorReynaldo García Zapata (PCC)
 • Total728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi)
59 m (195 ft)
 • Total2,130,872
 • Rank7th in North America
1st in Cuba
 • Density2,926/km2 (7,580/sq mi)
GDP (PPP, constant 2015 values)
 • Year2023
 • Total$41.1 billion
 • Per capita$19,100
Time zoneUTC−5 (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (UTC−04:00)
Postal code
Area code(+53) 07
ISO 3166 codeCU-03
Patron saintSan Cristóbal
HDI (2019)0.834 – very high
Official nameOld Havana and its Fortification System
Criteriaiv, v
Designated1982 (6th session)
Reference no.204
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean
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Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. It served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas, becoming a stopping point for Spanish galleons returning to Spain. Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of capital in 1607. Walls and forts were built to protect the city.

The city is the seat of the Cuban government and various ministries, and headquarters of businesses and over 100 diplomatic offices. The governor is Reinaldo García Zapata of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). In 2009, the city/province had the third-highest income in the country.

Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado and the newer suburban districts. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbors: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Antares. The Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.

The city attracts over a million tourists annually; (1,176,627 international tourists in 2010, a 20% increase from 2005). Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments. As typical of Cuba, Havana experiences a tropical climate.

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