Havana Cathedral

Renowned for its beauty, the 18th-century Havana Cathedral (Catedral de la Habana) has been called "music cast into stone."

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History of Havana Cathedral

Construction on the church was started by the Jesuits in 1748, who weren't around to see it finished in 1777 — King Carlos III of Spain expelled them from Cuba in 1767.

It was consecreated as Havana Cathedral in 1789, and some of Christopher Columbus' remains were kept here between 1796 and 1898. (They are now in Seville Cathedral, Spain.)

What to See at Havana Cathedral

The cathedral's Baroque facade is simultaneously intimate and imposing, and one of the two towers is visibly larger, creating a pleasing asymmetry.

The two bells in the taller, thicker tower are said to have been cast with gold and silver mixed into the bronze, giving them their sweet tone.

As with many churches in the city, the building material of Havana Cathedral includes coral, cut and hauled from the edge of the sea by slaves. Look carefully and you'll see fossils of marine flora and fauna in the stone of the cathedral.

Inside, there are copies of paintings by Rubens and Murillo on the altars and frescoes by Italian artist Giuseppe Perovanni at the top end of the choir. A fine sculpture of Saint Christopher, patron saint of Havana, dates from 1632 and was made by Martín Andújar in Seville.

Quick Facts on Havana Cathedral

Site Information
Names:Catedral de la Habana · Havana Cathedral
Categories:cathedrals
Styles:Spanish Colonial
Dates:1748-77
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:23.141347° N, 82.351949° W
Address:Havana, Cuba
Lodging:View hotels near Havana Cathedral
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Fodor's Exploring Cuba, 3rd ed.
  2. La Catedral - Wcities.com

More Information

Map of Havana Cathedral

Below is a location map and aerial view of Havana Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.