Havana, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba

History : 17th century : 16th century : 17th century : 18th century : 19th century | Republican period | Revolution | Geography : Location | Districts | Economy | Commerce and finance | Tourist Industry | Poverty | Transport : Air : Rail | Interurban | Tramway | Transport : Road | Education

🇨🇺 Havana 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. The city spans a total of 728.26 km² (281.18 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

The city of 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 as well as forts were built to protect the city.

The city is the centre of the Cuban government, and home to various ministries, 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; the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, 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.

History: 17th century Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded Havana in 1514, on the southern coast of the island, near the present town of Surgidero de Batabanó on the banks of the Mayabeque River close to Playa Mayabeque. However, all attempts to found a city on Cuba's south coast failed; an early map of Cuba drawn in 1514 places the town at the mouth of the river.

Between 1514 and 1519 the Spanish established two settlements on the north coast, one of them in La Chorrera, around the site of the Torreón de la Chorrera, what eventually became the neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar, next to the mouth of the Almendares River. The town that became Havana originated adjacent to what was then called Puerto de Carenas (literally, "Careening Bay"), in 1519. The quality of this natural bay, which now hosts Havana's harbor, warranted this change of location.

Pánfilo de Narváez gave Havana – the sixth town founded by the Spanish on Cuba – its name: San Cristóbal de la Habana. The name combines San Cristóbal, patron saint of Havana. Shortly after the founding of Cuba's first cities, the island served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands.

Havana began as a trading port, and suffered regular attacks by buccaneers, pirates, and French corsairs. The first attack and resultant burning of the city was by the French corsair Jacques de Sores in 1555. Such attacks convinced the Spanish Crown to fund the construction of the first fortresses in the main cities – not only to counteract the pirates and corsairs, but also to exert more control over commerce with the West Indies, and to limit the extensive contrabando (black market) that had arisen due to the trade restrictions imposed by the Casa de Contratación of Seville (the crown-controlled trading house that held a monopoly on New World trade).

Ships from all over the New World carried products first to Havana, to be taken by the fleet to Spain. The thousands of ships gathered in the city's bay also fuelled Havana's agriculture and manufacture, since they had to be supplied with food, water, and other products needed to traverse the ocean.

On December 20, 1592, King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City. Later on, the city would be officially designated as "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies" by the Spanish Crown. In the meantime, efforts to build or improve the defensive infrastructures of the city continued.

History: 16th century Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded Havana in 1514, on the southern coast of the island, near the present town of Surgidero de Batabanó on the banks of the Mayabeque River close to Playa Mayabeque. However, all attempts to found a city on Cuba's south coast failed; an early map of Cuba drawn in 1514 places the town at the mouth of the river.

Between 1514 and 1519 the Spanish established two settlements on the north coast, one of them in La Chorrera, around the site of the Torreón de la Chorrera, what eventually became the neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar, next to the mouth of the Almendares River. The town that became Havana originated adjacent to what was then called Puerto de Carenas (literally, "Careening Bay"), in 1519. The quality of this natural bay, which now hosts Havana's harbor, warranted this change of location.

Pánfilo de Narváez gave Havana – the sixth town founded by the Spanish on Cuba – its name: San Cristóbal de la Habana. The name combines San Cristóbal, patron saint of Havana. Shortly after the founding of Cuba's first cities, the island served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands.

Havana began as a trading port, and suffered regular attacks by buccaneers, pirates, and French corsairs. The first attack and resultant burning of the city was by the French corsair Jacques de Sores in 1555. Such attacks convinced the Spanish Crown to fund the construction of the first fortresses in the main cities – not only to counteract the pirates and corsairs, but also to exert more control over commerce with the West Indies, and to limit the extensive contrabando (black market) that had arisen due to the trade restrictions imposed by the Casa de Contratación of Seville (the crown-controlled trading house that held a monopoly on New World trade).

Ships from all over the New World carried products first to Havana, to be taken by the fleet to Spain. The thousands of ships gathered in the city's bay also fueled Havana's agriculture and manufacture, since they had to be supplied with food, water, and other products needed to traverse the ocean.

On December 20, 1592, King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City. Later on, the city would be officially designated as "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies" by the Spanish Crown. In the meantime, efforts to build or improve the defensive infrastructures of the city continued.

History: 17th century Havana expanded greatly in the 17th century. New buildings were constructed from the most abundant materials of the island, mainly wood, combining various Iberian architectural styles, as well as borrowing profusely from Canarian characteristics. During this period the city also built civic monuments and religious constructions. The convent of St Augustin, El Morro Castle, the chapel of the Humilladero, the fountain of Dorotea de la Luna in La Chorrera, the church of the Holy Angel, the hospital de San Lazaro, the monastery of Santa Teresa and the convent of San Felipe Neri were completed in this era.

In 1649 a fatal epidemic, brought from Cartagena in Colombia, affected a third of the population of Havana. On November 30, 1665, Queen Mariana of Austria, widow of King Philip IV of Spain, ratified the heraldic shield of Cuba, which took as its symbolic motifs the first three castles of Havana: the Real Fuerza, the Tres Santos Reyes Magos del Morro and San Salvador de la Punta. The shield also displayed a symbolic golden key to represent the title "Key to the Gulf". In 1674, the works for the City Walls were started, as part of the fortification efforts. They would be completed by 1740.

By the middle of the 18th century Havana had more than seventy thousand inhabitants, and was the third-largest city in the Americas, ranking behind Lima and Mexico City but ahead of Boston and New York City.

History: 18th century During the 18th century Havana was the most important of the Spanish ports because it had facilities where ships could be refitted and, by 1740, it had become Spain's largest and most active shipyard and only drydock in the New World.

The city was captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. The episode began on June 6, 1762, when at dawn, a British fleet, comprising more than 50 ships and a combined force of over 11,000 men of the Royal Navy and Army, sailed into Cuban waters and made an amphibious landing east of Havana. The British immediately opened up trade with their North American and Caribbean colonies, causing a rapid transformation of Cuban society. Less than a year after Havana was seized, the Peace of Paris was signed by the three warring powers thus ending the Seven Years' War. The treaty gave Britain Florida in exchange for the return of the city of Havana on to Spain.

After regaining the city, the Spanish transformed Havana into the most heavily fortified city in the Americas. Construction began on what was to become the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, the third biggest Spanish fortification in the New World after Castillo San Cristóbal (the biggest) and Castillo San Felipe del Morro both in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On January 15, 1796, the remains of Christopher Columbus were transported to the island from Santo Domingo. They rested here until 1898, when they were transferred to Seville's Cathedral, after Spain's loss of Cuba.

History: 19th century As trade between Caribbean and North American states increased in the early 19th century, Havana became a flourishing and fashionable city. Havana's theaters featured the most distinguished actors of the age, and prosperity among the burgeoning middle-class led to expensive new classical mansions being erected. During this period Havana became known as the Paris of the Antilles.

In 1837, the first railroad was constructed, a 51 km (32 mi) stretch between Havana and Bejucal, which was used for transporting sugar from the valley of Güines to the harbor. With this, Cuba became the fifth country in the world to have a railroad, and the first Spanish-speaking country. Throughout the century, Havana was enriched by the construction of additional cultural facilities, such as the Tacón Theatre, one of the most luxurious in the world. The fact that slavery was legal in Cuba until 1886 led to Southern American interest, including a plan by the Knights of the Golden Circle to create a 'Golden Circle' with a 1200 mile-radius centered on Havana. After the Confederate States of America were defeated in the American Civil War in 1865, many former slave-holders continued to run plantations by moving to Havana.

In 1863, the city walls were knocked down so that the metropolis could be enlarged. At the end of the 19th century, Havana witnessed the final moments of Spanish presence in the Americas.

The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War.

Republican period Cuba's first presidential period under Tomás Estrada Palma from 1902 to 1906 was considered to uphold the highest standards of administrative integrity in the history of the Republic of Cuba. Initially he was the President of the Cuban Republic in Arms during the Ten Years' War and again between May 20, 1902, and September 28, 1906. His collateral career as a New York City Area Educator and writer enabled Estrada Palma to create Pro-Cuban literature aimed at gaining sympathy, assistance, and publicity. He was eventually successful in garnering the attention of influential Americans. Estrada Palma was an early and persistent voice calling for the United States to intervene in Cuba on humanitarian grounds. He was the first President of Cuba. During his presidency, his major accomplishments include improving Cuba's infrastructure, communication, and public health. He is remembered in Cuba however for allowing the Platt Amendment to be enacted, which ensured American political and economic dominance over Cuba. While Cuba had the highest ratio of hospital beds to population in Latin America, around 80% of these beds were located in the city of Havana, there was only one rural hospital and it was equipped with only 10 beds. In 1951 the World Bank reported that between 80 and 90% of children in rural areas suffered from some form of intestinal parasites, in 1956 about 13% of the rural population had a history of typhoid and 14% at one point had tuberculosis. A study conducted in 1959 by public health authorities found that throughout the country around 72% of the population was afflicted with parasitism and in the rural areas this percentage was as high as 86.54%. Only 1 in 4 peasants were able to afford regularly eating meat, eggs and fish and chronic unemployment was at 25%. Cuba was a very unequal society with a mere 8% of landowners owning approximately 75% of the land, the bottom fifth of the population took in 2% of the national income meanwhile one-fifth of the population took in 58% of the national income this was one of the lowest rates for the bottom 20% in the world then and even now. Cuba was also under a lot of influence from the United States to the point where the U.S. controlled 80% of Cuba's trade. In 1959 around 40% of Cuban sugar land, almost all the cattle ranches, 90% of mines and 80% of the utilities were owned by American firms.

In 1958, Cuba was a relatively well-advanced country by Latin American standards, and in some cases by world standards. On the other hand, Cuba was affected by perhaps the largest labor union privileges in Latin America, including bans on dismissals and mechanization. They were obtained in large measure "at the cost of the unemployed and the peasants", leading to disparities. Between 1933 and 1958, Cuba extended economic regulations enormously, causing economic problems. Unemployment became a problem as graduates entering the workforce could not find jobs. The middle class, which was comparable to that of the United States, became increasingly dissatisfied with unemployment and political persecution. The labor unions supported Batista until the very end. Batista stayed in power until he was forced into exile in December 1958.

Revolution The Cuban Revolution had domestic and international repercussions. In particular, it transformed Cuba–United States relations, although efforts to improve diplomatic relations have gained momentum in recent years such as the Cuban thaw. In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro's government began a program of nationalization, centralization of the press and political consolidation that transformed Cuba's economy and civil society. The revolution also heralded an era of Cuban medical internationalism and Cuban intervention in foreign conflicts in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Several rebellions occurred in the six years following 1959, mainly in the Escambray Mountains, which were defeated by the revolutionary government. After the revolution of 1959, the new government under Fidel Castro began to improve social services, public housing, and official buildings. Nevertheless, after Castro's abrupt expropriation of all private property and industry (May 1959 onwards) under a strong communist model backed by the Soviet Union followed by the U.S. embargo, shortages that affected Cuba in general hit Havana especially hard. By 1966–68, the Cuban government had nationalized all privately owned business entities in Cuba, down to "certain kinds of small retail forms of commerce" as per law No. 1076.

An economic downturn occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Soviet subsidies ended, representing billions of dollars which the Soviet Union had given the Cuban government. Many believed the revolutionary government would soon collapse, as happened to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe.

After many years of economic struggle and prohibition, the socialist government has turned to tourism for revenue and has brought foreign investors to remodel the nationalized, former Manzana de Gomez building, and turn it into the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, a new 5-star hotel attempting to develop a new hospitality industry. In Old Havana, a number of streets and squares have been rehabilitated in an effort to rebuild for tourists. But Old Havana is a large city, and the restoration efforts concentrate in all on less than 10% of its area.

Geography: Location Havana lies on the northern coast of Cuba along the Straits of Florida, south of the Florida Keys, where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Atlantic Ocean. 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 Atarés. The Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.

There are low hills on which the city lies rise gently from the waters of the straits. A noteworthy elevation is the 200-foot-high (60-meter) limestone ridge that slopes up from the east and culminates in the heights of La Cabaña and El Morro, the sites of Spanish fortifications overlooking the eastern bay. Another notable rise is the hill to the west that is occupied by the University of Havana and the Castillo del Príncipe (Havana).

Districts The city is divided into 15 municipalities – or boroughs, which are further subdivided into 105 wards (consejos populares).

1 Playa: Santa Fe, Siboney, Cubanacán, Ampliación Almendares, Miramar, Sierra, Ceiba, Buena Vista.

2 Plaza de la Revolución: El Carmelo, Vedado-Malecón, Rampa, Príncipe, Plaza, Nuevo Vedado-Puentes Grandes, Colón-Nuevo Vedado, Vedado.

3 Centro Habana: Cayo Hueso, Pueblo Nuevo, Los Sitios, Dragones, Colón.

4 La Habana Vieja: Prado, Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Belén, San Isidro, Jesús María, Tallapiedra.

5 Regla: Guaicanimar, Loma Modelo, Casablanca.

6 La Habana del Este: Camilo Cienfuegos, Cojímar, Guiteras, Alturas de Alamar, Alamar Este, Guanabo, Campo Florido, Alamar-Playa.

7 Guanabacoa: Mañana-Habana Nueva, Villa I, Villa II, Chivas-Roble, Debeche-Nalon, Hata-Naranjo, Peñalver-Bacuranao, Minas-Barreras.

8 San Miguel del Padrón: Rocafort, Luyanó Moderno, Diezmero, San Francisco de Paula, Dolores-Veracruz, Jacomino.

9 Diez de Octubre: Luyanó, Jesús del Monte, Lawton, Vista Alegre, Goyle, Sevillano, La Víbora, Santos Suárez, Tamarindo.

10 Cerro: Latinoamericano, Pilar-Atares, Cerro, Las Cañas, El Canal, Palatino, Armada.

11 Marianao: CAI-Los Ángeles, Pocito-Palmas, Zamora-Cocosolo, Libertad, Pogoloti-Belén-Finlay, Santa Felicia.

12 La Lisa : Alturas de La Lisa, Balcón Arimao, El Cano-Valle Grande-Bello 26 y Morado, Punta Brava, Arroyo Arenas, San Agustín, Versalles-Coronela.

13 Boyeros: Santiago de Las Vegas, Nuevo Santiago, Boyeros, Wajay, Calabazar, Altahabana-Capdevila, Armada-Aldabó.

14 Arroyo Naranjo: Los Pinos, Poey, Víbora Park, Mantilla, Párraga, Calvario-Fraternidad, Guinera, Eléctrico, Managua, Callejas.

15 Cotorro: San Pedro-Centro Cotorro, Santa Maria del Rosario, Lotería, Cuatro Caminos, Magdalena-Torriente, Alberro.

Economy Havana has a diversified economy, with traditional sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, transportation and communications, and new or revived ones such as biotechnology and tourism.

The city's economy first developed on the basis of its location, which made it one of the early great trade centres in the New World. Sugar and a flourishing slave trade first brought riches to the city, and later, after independence, it became a renowned resort. Despite efforts by Fidel Castro's government to spread Cuba's industrial activity to all parts of the island, Havana remains the centre of much of the nation's industry.

The traditional sugar industry, upon which the island's economy has been based for three centuries, is centered elsewhere on the island and controls some three-fourths of the export economy. But light manufacturing facilities, meat-packing plants, and chemical and pharmaceutical operations are concentrated in Havana. Other food-processing industries are also important, along with shipbuilding, vehicle manufacturing, production of alcoholic beverages (particularly rum), textiles, and tobacco products, particularly the world-famous Habanos cigars. Although the harbors of Cienfuegos and Matanzas, in particular, have been developed under the revolutionary government, Havana remains Cuba's primary port facility; 50% of Cuban imports and exports pass through Havana. The port also supports a considerable fishing industry.

In 2000, nearly 89% of the city's officially recorded labor force worked for government-run agencies, institutions or enterprises. Havana, on average, has the country's highest incomes and human development indicators. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba re-emphasized tourism as a major industry leading to its recovery. Tourism is now Havana and Cuba's primary economic source.

Havana's economy is still in flux, despite Raul Castro's embrace of free enterprise in 2011. Though there was an uptick in small businesses in 2011, many have since gone out of business, due to lack of business and income on the part of the local residents, whose salaries average $20 per month.

Commerce and finance After the Revolution, Cuba's traditional capitalist free-enterprise system was replaced by a heavily socialised economic system. In Havana, Cuban-owned businesses and U.S.-owned businesses were nationalised and today most businesses operate solely under state control.

In Old Havana and throughout Vedado there are several small private businesses, such as shoe-repair shops or dressmaking facilities. Banking as well is also under state control, and the National Bank of Cuba, headquartered in Havana, is the control centre of the Cuban economy. Its branches in some cases occupy buildings that were in pre-revolutionary times the offices of Cuban or foreign banks.

In the late 1990s Vedado, located along the Atlantic waterfront, started to represent the principal commercial area. It was developed extensively between 1930 and 1960, when Havana developed as a major destination for U.S. tourists; high-rise hotels, casinos, restaurants, and upscale commercial establishments, many reflecting the art deco style.

Vedado is today Havana's financial district, the main banks, airline companies offices, shops, most businesses headquarters, numerous high-rise apartments and hotels, are located in the area. The University of Havana is located in Vedado.

Tourist Industry The city has long been a popular attraction for tourists. Between 1915 and 1930, Havana hosted more tourists than any other location in the Caribbean. The influx was due in large part to Cuba's proximity to the United States, where restrictive prohibition on alcohol and other pastimes stood in stark contrast to the island's traditionally relaxed attitude to leisure pursuits. A pamphlet published by E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee, WI, between 1921 and 1939 promoting tourism in Havana, Cuba, can be found in the University of Houston Digital Library, Havana, Cuba, The Summer Land of the World, Digital Collection.

With the deterioration of Cuba – United States relations and the imposition of the trade embargo on the island in 1961, tourism dropped drastically and did not return to anything close to its pre-revolution levels until 1989. The revolutionary government in general, and Fidel Castro in particular, opposed any considerable development of tourism. In 1982, the Cuban government passed a foreign investment code which opened a number of sectors to foreign capital.

Through the creation of firms open to such foreign investment (such as Cubanacan), Cuba began to attract capital for hotel development, managing to increase the number of tourists from 130,000 (in 1980) to 326,000 (by the end of that decade).

Havana has also been a popular health tourism destination for more than 20 years. Foreign patients travel to Cuba, Havana in particular, for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and orthopedics. Many patients are from Latin America, although medical treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, often known as night blindness, has attracted many patients from Europe and North America. Havana attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20% increase from 2005.

Poverty The years after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the city, and Cuba in general have suffered decades of economic deterioration, including Special Period of the 1990s. The national government does not have an official definition of poverty. The government researchers argue that "poverty" in most commonly accepted meanings does not really exist in Cuba, but rather that there is a sector of the population that can be described as "at risk" or "vulnerable" using internationally accepted measures.

The generic term "slum" is seldom used in Cuba, substandard housing is described: housing type, housing conditions, building materials, and settlement type. The National Housing Institute considers units in solares (a large inner-city mansion or older hotel or boarding house subdivided into rooms, sometimes with over 60 families) and shanty towns to be the "precarious housing stock" and tracks their number. Most slum units are concentrated in the inner-city municipalities of Old Havana and Centro Habana, as well as such neighborhoods as Atarés in Regla. People living in slums have access to the same education, health care, job opportunities and social security as those who live in formerly privileged neighborhoods. Shanty towns are scattered throughout the city except for in a few central areas.

Over 9% of Havana's population live in cuartería (solares, ciudadela), 3.3% in shanty towns, and 0.3% in refugee shelters. This does not include an estimate of the number of people living in housing in "fair" or "poor" condition because in many cases these units do not necessarily constitute slum housing but rather are basically sound dwellings needing repairs. According to Instituto Nacional de Vivienda (National Housing Institute) official figures, in 2001, 64% of Havana's 586,768 units were considered in "good" condition, up from 50% in 1990. Some 20% were in "fair" condition and 16% in "poor" condition. Partial or total building collapses are not uncommon, although the number had been cut in half by the end of the 1990s as the worst units disappeared and others were repaired. Buildings in Old Havana and Centro Habana are especially exposed to the elements: high humidity, the corrosive effects of salt spray from proximity to the coast, and occasional flooding. Most areas of the city, especially the highly populated districts, are in urban decay.

Transport: Air Havana is served by José Martí International Airport. The Airport lies about 11 km (7 mi) south of the city centre, in the municipality of Boyeros, and is the main hub for the country's flag carrier Cubana de Aviación. The airport is Cuba's main international and domestic gateway, it connects Havana with the rest of the Caribbean, North, Central and South America, Europe and one destination in Africa.

The city is also served by Playa Baracoa Airport which is small airport to the west of city used for some domestic flights, primarily Aerogaviota.

Transport: Rail Havana has a network of suburban, interurban and long-distance rail lines. The railways are nationalized and run by the FFCC (Ferrocarriles de Cuba – Railways of Cuba). The FFCC connects Havana with all the provinces of Cuba, and the Havana Suburban Railway serves the city. The main railway stations are: Central Rail Station, La Coubre Rail Station, Casablanca Station, and Estación de Tulipán.

In 2004 the annual passenger volume was some 11 million, but demand is estimated at two-and-a-half to three times this value, with the busiest route being between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, some 836 km (519 mi) apart by rail. In 2000 the Union de Ferrocarriles de Cuba bought French first class airconditioned coaches. New Chinese made and Russian made coaches for distance trains debuted in the 2010s, and some now serve suburban services.

In the 1980s there were plans for a Metro system in Havana similar to Moscow's, as a result of the Soviet Union influence in Cuba at the time. The studies of geology and finance made by Cuban, Czech and Soviet specialists were already well advanced in the 1980s. The Cuban press showed the construction project and the course route, linking municipalities and neighborhoods in the capital. In the late 1980s the project had already begun, each mile (1.6 km) of track was worth a million dollars at the time, but with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 the project was later dropped.

Interurban An interurban line, known as the Hershey Electric Railway, built in 1917 runs from Casablanca (across the harbor from Old Havana) to Hershey and on to Matanzas.

Tramway Havana operated a tram system until 1952, which began as a horsecar system, Ferro Carril Urbano de la Habana in 1858, merged with rival coach operator in 1863 as Empresa del Ferro-Carril Urbano y Omnibus de La Habana and later electrified in 1900 under new foreign owners as Havana Electric Railway Company. Ridership decline resulted in bankruptcy in 1950 with new owner Autobus Modernos SA abandoning the systems in favor of buses and the remaining cars were sold to Matanzas in 1952.

Transport: Road The city's road network is quite extensive, and has broad avenues, main streets and major access roads to the city such as the Autopista Nacional (A1), Carretera Central and Via Blanca. The road network has been under construction and growth since the Spanish era but is undergoing a major deterioration due to low maintenance. Motorways (autopistas) include: • A1 – Autopista Nacional, from Havana to Santa Clara and Sancti Spiritus, with additional short sections near Santiago and Guantanamo • A4 – Autopista Este-Oeste, from Havana to Pinar del Río • Via Blanca, to Matanzas and Varadero • Havana ring road (Spanish: Primer anillo), which starts at a tunnel under the entrance to Havana Harbor • Autopista del Mediodia, from Havana to San Antonio de los Baños • an autopista from Havana to Melena del Sur • an autopista from Havana to Mariel.

Education The University of Havana, located in the Vedado section of Havana, was established in 1728 and was regarded as a leading institution of higher learning in the Western Hemisphere. Soon after the Revolution, the university, as well as all other educational institutions, were nationalized. Since then several other universities have opened, like the Higher Learning Polytechnic Institute José Antonio Echeverría where the vast majority of today's Cuban engineers are taught.

The Cuban National Ballet School with 4,350 students is one of the largest ballet schools in the world and the most prestigious ballet school in Cuba.

Havana, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba 
<b>Havana, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba</b>
Image: Adobe Stock kmiragaya #274103344

Havana is rated Climate by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation.

Havana was ranked #144 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Havana has a population of over 2,131,000 people. Havana also forms the centre of the wider Havana Metro Area which has a population of over 3,200,015 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Havana see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Havana is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Music see: https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Havana has links with:

🇪🇸 Albacete, Spain 🇵🇹 Almada, Portugal 🇲🇽 Álvaro Obregón, Mexico 🇦🇩 Andorra la Vella, Andorra 🇹🇷 Ankara, Turkey 🇪🇸 Barcelona, Spain 🇨🇳 Beijing, China 🇧🇷 Belo Horizonte, Brazil 🇬🇼 Bissau, Guinea-Bissau 🇧🇷 Brasília, Brazil 🇨🇬 Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo 🇪🇸 Cadiz, Spain 🇧🇷 Campinas, Brazil 🇻🇪 Caracas, Venezuela 🇪🇸 Casarrubuelos, Spain 🇨🇳 Cheongwen, China 🇷🇴 Constanța, Romania 🇪🇸 Córdoba, Spain 🇪🇸 Coslada, Spain 🇫🇷 Créteil, France 🇲🇽 Cuautitlán Izcalli, Mexico 🇵🇪 Cusco, Perú 🇧🇷 Florianópolis, Brazil 🇮🇹 Genoa, Italy 🇪🇸 Gijón, Spain 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Glasgow, Scotland 🇲🇽 Guanajuato, Mexico 🇲🇽 Guanajuato City, Mexico 🇧🇷 Guarulhos, Brazil 🇬🇹 Guatemala City, Guatemala 🇲🇽 Irapuato, Mexico 🇮🇷 Isfahan, Iran 🇲🇽 Isla Mujeres, Mexico 🇫🇷 Ivry-sur-Seine, France 🇹🇷 İzmir, Turkey 🇧🇷 Jundiaí, Brazil 🇺🇦 Kyiv, Ukraine 🇧🇴 La Paz, Bolivia 🇪🇸 Leganés, Spain 🇲🇽 León, Mexico 🇵🇹 Lisbon, Portugal 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Liverpool, England 🇪🇸 Madrid, Spain 🇳🇮 Managua, Nicaragua 🇲🇽 Mexico City, Mexico 🇪🇸 Mieres, Spain 🇧🇾 Minsk, Belarus 🇺🇸 Mobile, USA 🇺🇾 Montevideo, Uruguay 🇲🇽 Morelia, Mexico 🇹🇷 Nilüfer, Turkey 🇩🇿 Oran, Algeria 🇪🇸 Ourense, Spain 🇪🇸 Reus, Spain 🇺🇸 Richmond, USA 🇧🇷 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 🇳🇱 Rotterdam, Netherlands 🇪🇸 Rubí, Spain 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg, Russia 🇧🇷 Salvador, Brazil 🇲🇽 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 🇪🇸 Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain 🇨🇷 Santa Ana, Costa Rica 🇪🇸 Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain 🇪🇸 Santa Fe, Spain 🇩🇴 Santiago de los Caballeros, The Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic 🇧🇷 Santos, Brazil 🇧🇷 São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil 🇧🇷 São Paulo, Brazil 🇧🇷 São Vicente, Brazil 🇪🇸 Seville, Spain 🇨🇳 Shunyi, China 🇵🇹 Sintra, Portugal 🇮🇷 Tehran, Iran 🇹🇷 Tepebaşı, Turkey 🇲🇽 Tepic, Mexico 🇲🇽 Tijuana, Mexico 🇪🇸 Toledo, Spain 🇪🇸 Torrelavega, Spain 🇨🇱 Valparaíso, Chile 🇲🇽 Veracruz, Mexico 🇧🇷 Vitória, Brazil 🇲🇽 Zapopan, Mexico

Havana is a member of the OWHC: Organization of World Heritage Cities with: 🇮🇱 Acre 🇳🇪 Agadez 🇮🇳 Ahmedabad 🇰🇿 Aktau 🇪🇸 Alcalá de Henares 🇸🇾 Aleppo 🇩🇿 Algiers 🇮🇳 Amber 🇮🇳 Amer 🇺🇸 Amsterdam 🇳🇱 Amsterdam 🇺🇸 Amsterdam 🇰🇷 Andong 🇵🇹 Angra do Heroísmo 🇱🇰 Anuradhapura 🇪🇸 Aranjuez 🇵🇪 Arequipa 🇩🇪 Augsburg 🇪🇸 Avila 🇪🇸 Baeza 🇮🇷 Bam 🇩🇪 Bamberg 🇸🇰 Banská Štiavnica 🇸🇰 Bardejov 🇬🇧 Bath 🇺🇸 Bath 🇳🇱 Beemster 🇧🇷 Belo Horizonte 🇹🇷 Bergama 🇳🇴 Bergen 🇳🇱 Bergen 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇩🇪 Berlin 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇺🇸 Berlin 🇨🇭 Bern 🇩🇪 Bernau bei Berlin 🇳🇵 Bhaktapur 🇷🇴 Biertan 🇰🇷 Boeun 🇷🇺 Bolgar 🇫🇷 Bordeaux 🇧🇷 Brasília 🇧🇧 Bridgetown 🇧🇪 Bruges 🇧🇪 Brussels 🇭🇺 Budapest 🇹🇷 Bursa 🇰🇷 Buyeo 🇪🇸 Cáceres 🇪🇬 Cairo 🇨🇺 Camaguey 🇲🇽 Campeche 🇫🇷 Carcassonne 🇨🇴 Cartagena 🇪🇸 Cartagena 🇨🇿 Český Krumlov 🇨🇳 Chengde 🇨🇻 Cidade Velha 🇵🇹 Coimbra 🇺🇾 Colonia del Sacramento 🇲🇽 Córdoba 🇦🇷 Córdoba 🇪🇸 Córdoba 🇻🇪 Coro 🇪🇸 Cuenca 🇪🇨 Cuenca 🇲🇽 Cuernavaca 🇵🇪 Cusco 🇸🇳 Dakar 🇸🇾 Damascus 🇮🇩 Denpasar 🇷🇺 Derbent 🇩🇪 Dessau 🇧🇷 Diamantina 🇹🇷 Diyarbakır 🇭🇷 Dubrovnik 🇨🇳 Dujiangyan 🇬🇧 Edinburgh 🇦🇲 Ejmiatsin 🇵🇹 Elvas 🇮🇶 Erbil 🇲🇦 Essaouira 🇵🇹 Évora 🇲🇦 Fez 🇫🇷 Fontainebleau 🇺🇾 Fray Bentos 🇱🇰 Galle 🇰🇾 George Town 🇲🇾 George Town 🇱🇾 Ghadames 🇩🇿 Ghardaïa 🇮🇩 Gianyar 🇰🇷 Gochang County 🇰🇷 Gongju 🇦🇲 Goris City 🇳🇮 Granada 🇪🇸 Granada 🇨🇮 Grand-Bassam 🇦🇹 Graz 🇪🇸 Guadalajara 🇲🇽 Guadalajara 🇲🇽 Guanajuato 🇵🇹 Guimarães 🇰🇷 Gwangju 🇰🇷 Gyeongju 🇰🇷 Haenam 🇩🇪 Hamburg 🇰🇷 Hapcheon County 🇪🇹 Harar Jugol 🇻🇳 Hoi An 🇻🇳 Huế 🇰🇷 Hwasun County 🇪🇸 Ibiza 🇦🇿 Icherisheher 🇰🇷 Iksan 🇹🇷 Istanbul 🇸🇦 Jeddah 🇺🇸 Jerusalem 🇮🇱 Jerusalem 🇰🇷 Jongno-Gu 🇹🇳 Kairouan 🇱🇰 Kandy 🇮🇩 Karangasem 🇸🇪 Karlskrona 🇳🇵 Kathmandu 🇷🇺 Kazan 🇺🇿 Khiva 🇩🇰 Kolding 🇹🇷 Konya 🇲🇪 Kotor 🇵🇱 Kraków 🇨🇿 Kutná Hora 🇯🇵 Kyōto 🇳🇵 Lalitpur 🇰🇪 Lamu 🇫🇷 Le Havre 🇫🇯 Levuka 🇨🇳 Lijiang 🇵🇪 Lima 🇱🇦 Luang Prabang 🇩🇪 Lübeck 🇨🇦 Lunenburg 🇱🇺 Luxembourg City 🇺🇦 Lviv 🇫🇷 Lyon 🇲🇴 Macau 🇲🇾 Malacca City 🇲🇦 Marrakesh 🇲🇦 Meknes 🇻🇪 Mérida 🇲🇽 Mérida 🇪🇸 Mérida 🇲🇽 Mexico City 🇵🇭 Miagao 🇮🇹 Modena 🇰🇪 Mombasa 🇫🇷 Mont-Saint-Michel 🇲🇽 Morelia 🇷🇺 Moscow 🇺🇸 Moscow 🇧🇦 Mostar 🇲🇿 Mozambique 🇧🇭 Muharraq 🇫🇷 Nancy 🇯🇵 Nara 🇩🇪 Naumburg 🇧🇬 Nessebar 🇳🇴 Notodden 🇲🇽 Oaxaca 🇲🇰 Ohrid 🇧🇷 Olinda 🇧🇷 Ouro Preto 🇺🇸 Oviedo 🇪🇸 Oviedo 🇮🇹 Padula 🇮🇹 Palazzolo Acreide 🇵🇦 Panama City 🇫🇷 Paris 🇺🇸 Paris 🇺🇸 Paris 🇬🇷 Patmos 🇺🇸 Philadelphia 🇵🇹 Porto 🇧🇴 Potosí 🇩🇪 Potsdam 🇺🇸 Potsdam 🇨🇿 Prague 🇫🇷 Provins 🇲🇽 Puebla 🇲🇲 Pyay 🇨🇦 Québec 🇩🇪 Quedlinburg 🇲🇽 Querétaro 🇪🇨 Quito 🇲🇦 Rabat 🇫🇮 Rauma 🇩🇪 Regensburg 🇬🇷 Rhodes 🇱🇻 Riga 🇵🇪 Rímac 🇧🇷 Rio de Janeiro 🇳🇱 Rotterdam 🇳🇴 Røros 🇹🇷 Safranbolu 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg 🇫🇷 Saint-Louis 🇪🇸 Salamanca 🇧🇷 Salvador 🇦🇹 Salzburg 🇺🇸 San Antonio 🇨🇱 San Antonio 🇮🇨 San Cristóbal de La Laguna 🇮🇹 San Gimignano 🇲🇽 San Miguel de Allende 🇲🇽 San Pablo Villa de Mitla 🇾🇪 Sanaa 🇨🇴 Santa Cruz de Mompox 🇪🇸 Santiago de Compostela 🇧🇷 São Luís 🇪🇸 Segovia 🇹🇷 Selçuk 🇰🇷 Seongbuk 🇾🇪 Shibam 🇷🇴 Sighișoara 🇸🇬 Singapore 🇵🇹 Sintra 🇹🇳 Sousse 🇭🇷 Split 🇧🇲 St George's 🇸🇪 Stockholm 🇩🇪 Stralsund 🇫🇷 Strasbourg 🇧🇴 Sucre 🇮🇩 Surakarta 🇰🇷 Suwon 🇷🇺 Suzdal 🇨🇳 Suzhou 🇪🇪 Tallinn 🇪🇸 Tarragona 🇮🇱 Tel Aviv 🇨🇿 Telč 🇬🇧 Telford 🇲🇦 Tétouan 🇲🇱 Timbuktu 🇳🇴 Tinn 🇲🇽 Tlacotalpan 🇧🇷 Toledo 🇺🇸 Toledo 🇵🇭 Toledo 🇪🇸 Toledo 🇵🇱 Toruń 🇨🇿 Třebíč 🇨🇺 Trinidad 🇭🇷 Trogir 🇭🇳 Trujillo 🇵🇪 Trujillo 🇹🇳 Tunis 🇰🇿 Turkistan 🇪🇸 Úbeda 🇲🇹 Valletta 🇨🇱 Valparaíso 🇻🇦 Vatican City 🇷🇺 Veliky Novgorod 🇺🇸 Vienna 🇺🇸 Vienna 🇦🇹 Vienna 🇵🇭 Vigan 🇱🇹 Vilnius 🇳🇴 Vinje 🇸🇪 Visby 🇵🇱 Warsaw 🇺🇸 Warsaw 🇨🇼 Willemstad 🇩🇪 Wismar 🇲🇽 Xochimilco 🇰🇷 Yangsan 🇷🇺 Yaroslavl 🇮🇷 Yazd 🇰🇷 Yeongju 🇦🇲 Yerevan 🇾🇪 Zabid 🇲🇽 Zacatecas 🇵🇱 Zamość 🇹🇿 Zanzibar City

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | Nomad

Antipodal to Havana is: 97.65,-23.133

Locations Near: Havana -82.35,23.1333

🇨🇺 Old Havana -82.358,23.136 d: 0.9  

🇨🇺 Plaza de la Revolución -82.399,23.124 d: 5.1  

🇨🇺 Cerro -82.383,23.083 d: 6.5  

🇨🇺 Arroyo Naranjo -82.348,23.066 d: 7.5  

🇨🇺 Alamar -82.283,23.15 d: 7.1  

🇨🇺 Marianao -82.433,23.083 d: 10.2  

🇨🇺 Playa -82.449,23.094 d: 11  

🇨🇺 Boyeros -82.4,23 d: 15.7  

🇨🇺 La Lisa -82.45,23.017 d: 16.5  

🇨🇺 Guanabacoa -82.5,23.2 d: 17  

Antipodal to: Havana 97.65,-23.133

🇮🇩 Jatinegara 106.167,-6.817 d: 17984.9  

🇮🇩 Sukabumi 106.926,-6.921 d: 17957.5  

🇮🇩 Bogor 106.797,-6.597 d: 17932  

🇮🇩 Singaparna 108.11,-7.35 d: 17934.3  

🇮🇩 Tasikmalaya 108.198,-7.316 d: 17926.1  

🇮🇩 Serang 106.15,-6.117 d: 17915.3  

🇮🇩 Padalarang 107.478,-6.844 d: 17920.8  

🇮🇩 Ciapus 106.467,-6.267 d: 17915.4  

🇮🇩 Cimahi 107.555,-6.871 d: 17919.3  

🇮🇩 Bandung 107.571,-6.877 d: 17919  

Bing Map

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