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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Plaza de la Catedral

Plaza de la Catedral is located just a few blocks northwest of Plaza de Armas. 

It features the Catedral de la Habana, built in the Cuban Baroque style. Note the asymmetry of the two towers. It's free to tour the interior but 1 CUC to climb the tower. Dress appropriately--make sure your knees are covered.

Interior of the Catedral

Statue of Pope John Paul II, who visited in 1998. He was the first pope to visit Cuba.

The organ is surprisingly modest.

On the western side of the plaza is the Casa del Marques de Aguas Claras. This was a baroque palace completed in 1760. Today, it's a restaurant.

In the portico, you can have your fortune read by practitioners of Santeria. the most popular of Afro-Cuban religion. The religion spread to Cuba from West Africa with the importation of slaves. The Santerians dress in all white with a wooden bead necklace that represents their appointed orisha or god/goddess at the heart of their worship. There are over 400 orishas.

The Museo de Arte Colonial is next door. It's housed in the Casa de los Condes de Casa Bayonas. It features 19th century furniture and ornaments. Admission is 3 CUCs, photos 2 CUCs extra.

On the eastern side of the plaza is Palacio de Lombillo, built in 1741 as the home and office of a sugar plantation owner. Today, it's the Office of the City Historian and mainly closed to the public.

You can peek inside.

The building once served as a post office and there is a stone mask ornamental mailbox built into the wall.

Outside is a statue of Antonio Gades, a Spanish Flamenco dancer.

2017 03 06

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