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Havana Cathedral

Decorated with exquisite frescoes, this 18th-century religious monument is one of several Baroque masterpieces that frame the resplendent Cathedral Square.

Havana Cathedral (Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana) is a marvelous example of Baroque architecture and one of Havana’s finest churches. Visit the cathedral to observe its extravagant design and spot frescoes by notable artists. Jesuits started work on Havana Cathedral in 1748. It was eventually completed in 1777. Curiously, Christopher Columbus’ remains were kept in the cathedral between 1796 and 1898, before being taken to Seville Cathedral. 

Stand in Cathedral Square and look up at the church’s Baroque exterior. It features pediments and curving aspects that flow into pilasters topped by capitals. Note the asymmetrical bell towers that frame the façade. They were constructed specifically to encourage rainfall to run into the streets around the square, which itself stands on a former swamp.

The cathedral’s architects used coral for much of the building material. It’s possible to see fossilized marine fauna and flora in the stone walls.

Walk through the thick wooden door to discover an austere interior. It has rows of thick columns and a floor of black and white marble tiles. Look for replicas of paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo located in the chapels. Behind the altar are frescoes by Giuseppe Perovanni. See a 17th-century statue of St. Christopher by Martin Andújar.

Climb to the top of one of the towers and enjoy views of the square and Canal de Entrada. Spot other notable landmarks such as the Casa del Conde de Casa Bayona and Palacio del Conde de Lombillo. Admire the vivid colors of the market vendors, many of whom dress in traditional Cuban clothing.

Situated on Cathedral Square, this attraction is in the heart of the Old Havana neighborhood. It’s quick and easy to get here by foot from other major attractions. Among these are the Museum of the Revolution, Plaza de Armas and Plaza Vieja.

Havana Cathedral is open daily and admission is free. A nominal fee is applicable if you want to climb the tower.


Guide to Exploring around Havana Cathedral


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Lodging Near Havana Cathedral

See all 1,112 Properties near Havana Cathedral
Hotel Nacional de Cuba $203
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza, Havana
     
    3.9
    of 5, from 563 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in El Vedado, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine, Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center, and Napoleonic Museum. University of Havana and Antonio Maceo Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Iberostar Parque Central $388
    Iberostar Parque Central

    Iberostar Parque Central

    Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta, Havana
       
      3.8
      of 5, from 96 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Old Havana, this luxury hotel is steps from Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Paseo de Marti. Great Theatre of Havana and Museum of the Revolution are also within 10 minutes.

      Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25
      Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25

      Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25

      Calle Empedrado No. 211, Habana Vieja
         
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is steps from Havana Cathedral, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Cathedral Square.

        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29
        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29

        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29

        Calle Empedrado No. 211, Habana Vieja
           
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is steps from Havana Cathedral, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Cathedral Square.

          Noa Apartment $57
          Noa Apartment

          Noa Apartment

          Empedrado, 211, Apto. 24, Havana
             
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is steps from La Bodeguita del Medio, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Havana Cathedral.

            Bellamar Apartment
            Bellamar Apartment

            Bellamar Apartment

            Sol No.20 apto 204 entre Oficios y San, La Habana
               
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is steps from La Bodeguita del Medio, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Havana Cathedral.

              Casa de Guillermina y Roberto
              Casa de Guillermina y Roberto

              Casa de Guillermina y Roberto

              Calle 23 # 668 1er piso, e/ D y E,, La Habana
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Old Havana, this cottage is steps from La Bodeguita del Medio, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Havana Cathedral.

                Casa de Vivi
                Casa de Vivi

                Casa de Vivi

                Calle norte # 13, e/ 35 y 35, Nuevo, La Habana
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Old Havana, this cottage is steps from La Bodeguita del Medio, Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam, and Havana Cathedral.