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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came looking for crumbling historic buildings and the Cuban resilience to the US embargo. But the Cuba I saw had plenty of tourists, spruced up buildings, and a party atmosphere. People were having a great time under the blue skies.

Havana flourished as the largest natural port in the Caribbean. It helped bridge between Spain and the New World's trade routes, with the Spanish fleet stopping here amassing their numbers before heading back to Europe. Its recent history is quite muted, suffering from the embargo and trying to rely on other friends for tourism dollars. Many Canadians and Europeans were in town, taking advantage of cheap package holidays for a winter escape.





































































More photos on my website : http://www.globalphotos.org/havana.htm
 

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Wow... I realized Havana was one of the oldest cities in the continent, but I didn't realize it really wasn't a "colonial" city, but a regal capital that wouldn't look out of place in Old Europe.
 

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Several beautiful pharmacies dot the streets, with 2 on Obispo, the city's main shopping street. Drogueria Johnson was founded in 1886 and moved to the present location on Obispo in 1914. What we see today is a restoration after a devastating fire in 2006.







Not that far away is the next beautiful pharmacy in traditional decor. Farmacia Taquechel was founded in 1898 and was restored in 1996.







Museo de la Farmacia Habanera occupies the old Farmacia La Reunion, which was founded in 1853 but closed when the revolution came.

















 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Plaza de la Revolucion was designed in the 1920s to impress, just like Paris' Place de l'Etoile, with avenues radiating out from here. Unfortunately, the grandeur is tarnished by the ugly 1950's style government buildings around it.







The Memorial a Jose Marti is the city's tallest structure. Standing at 138.5m tall, you first need to find an entrance to the ramp up, pay your way, then pay again for the observation deck elevator. Admission prices are very affordable, and it is definitely worth paying your way up for the view.





No need to climb a long flight of stairs, and the observation deck has some air conditioning. Looking east, the city actually is not that high-rise or dense.





The historic centre is to the northeast. You can make out Capitolio to the left.



To the north, the beautiful blue ocean awaits.









More residential areas followed from the other windows.







 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
West of the historic centre and Vedado, Miramar is a diplomatic area with beautiful mansions and leafy streets that was home to the wealthy and foreigners before the revolution. Tourists often come here for the Tropicana cabaret, but it is worth a stop here just to explore the streets, greenery, and serenity.

























More : https://www.globalphotos.org/havana03.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Capitolio's dome looks just like its counterpart in Washington DC. Too bad I could only enjoy this massive structure's exterior only as the building is under renovation. The government no longer meets here, as after the revolution, it became a ministry building.



Across the street to the north is the beautiful Grand Teatro, which dates from the 19th century.







Other nice structures also line the Paseo de Marti fronting both buildings.











More on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/havana.htm
 
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