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Havana History, Cuba

Havana’s Early Colonization History

Although Havana was not immediately popular due to its lack of riches like the silver and gold that was being found in other areas of Latin America, it did become extremely wealthy due to its excellent port position.  Havana is located across from the Gulf of Mexico and it has access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.  This location was crucial at that time because Habana connected the New World to Europe.  The actual city of Havana was founded on August 25, 1515 by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar. 

The city’s name Habana is not exactly definite as to how it became to be known as that, but many like to believe that it was named after the daughter of an indigenous Chief that occupied the Cuban lands.  It is also rumored to be named after the particular Native American tribe, the Habaguanex. 

Cuba, at the beginning, served as only a drop off or waiting area while the Spanish moved from one land to another trying to conquer it.  As it developed into a major trading post, it became frequently attacked by pirates.  Due to a pirate invasion, a fortress was built in order to protect Havana.  This was a great idea because it later served not only for protection but also for controlling the trade in and out of the island.

The second idea, which actually boosted Cuba’s importance, was when the Spanish Crown decided to protect its goods by having a fleet of ships travel together across the ocean to Spain.  Therefore, all ships with products had to unite in Havana’s harbor and then leave as one.

Once it became officially known as a city in 1592, but King Philip II of Spain thought there was more of a focus to develop the city and concentrate on different infrastructures that could be built on the island which included a variety of churches fortresses castles etc.

On June 6 1762, Cuba was taken over by the British during the Seven Year War.  This change in power led to a change in the products flowing in and out because now Cuba was able to trade with the rest of the Caribbean and North America which were also ruled by the British Crown.  This led way to the introduction of different foods, goods and animals onto the island.  As the war came to a close with the Peace of Paris, the British exchanged Florida for Cuba.  The Spanish did not want to lose Cuba so they fortified the entire city and it was the largest in all of the Americas.

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  • WazlingErnest Hemingway Museum in Havana
    travel tip by Wazling posted more then 30 days ago
    To see how one of America's greatest writer lived and worked, you should definitely visit his house which was turned into a museum. The Ernest Hemingway Museum looks pretty much the same as int the time Hemingway lived there. Full of...
  • lindamuraMuseo de la Revolucion in Havana
    travel tip by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    To learn more of a country's history it is best to visit it's museums, because this way you can get more in touch with the facts, objects and people of a certain country. In the Museo de la Revolucion we had this experience. It is well...
  • asterixPlaza de la Revolucion in Havana
    travel tip by asterix posted more then 30 days ago
    One of the world's largest squares, the Plaza de la Revolucion is not so grand at first sight, being an enormous concrete place with no shade at all. On second glance we notice the notable buildings surrounding the square, such as the...
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  •$175Aeromexico flightAeromexico
    Miami, FL (MIA)  Havana, CU (HAV)
    11/11/2016 03:03 pm
    Havana, CU (HAV)  Miami, FL (MIA)
    11/13/2016 06:10 am
  •$349Avianca Airlines flightAvianca Airlines
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)  Havana, CU (HAV)
    03/11/2017 09:15 am
    Havana, CU (HAV)  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    03/19/2017 04:50 pm
  •$350Copa Air flightCopa Air
    Montreal, QC (YUL)  Havana, CU (HAV)
    04/02/2017 09:24 am
    Havana, CU (HAV)  Montreal, QC (YUL)
    04/08/2017 03:40 pm

Havana City Ratings

  • Rating67%
    City Rank247
  • History & Culture: rated for 10%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 10%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 100%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 100%
  • Food: rated for 100%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: rated for 100%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 40%
  • Must visit this place: not rated
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