As the name suggests, Old Havana or Habana Vieja is the oldest part of the city, founded by the Spanish in 1519 around the Bay of Havana. As an important link in the flow of treasure from the New World to the Old, the city was very rich and the streets and plazas were lined with grand Neoclassical and Baroque buildings. Many of those buildings still stand today, some beautifully restored, some crumbling. Spend at least a few hours here just wandering the narrow streets and people-watching in the many squares. Continue reading
Plaza de Armas
This is where Havana was founded, originally the governmental and ceremonial center of the city, where military exercises and parades were held. Today, you’ll see lots of book sellers, a shady park and the Hotel Ambros Mundos, where Hemingway lived for a while. The stately 18th-century Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, which now houses the Havana Museum, forms one side of the square and Castillo de la Real Fuerza fortress is nearby.
In the Christian world, today is Good Friday, marking the day Jesus was crucified. In Jerusalem, the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), also known as the Way of the Cross, is traditionally held to be the route Jesus walked from his judgement to his death and entombment. The Via Dolorosa winds through the Old City from the Church of the Flagellation to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Fourteen stations mark particular moments along the way, based on biblical and other traditions. The images below include some of the stations and other sites on the Via Dolorosa.
Thanks to Sallie Volotzky for many of these images.