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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 1,220 Properties near Havana Cathedral
Hotel Nacional de Cuba $167
Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza, Havana
     
    4.0
    of 5, from 724 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in El Vedado, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Malecon and University of Havana. Great Theatre of Havana and Museum of the Revolution are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Iberostar Parque Central $350
    Iberostar Parque Central

    Iberostar Parque Central

    Neptuno e/ Prado y Zulueta, Habana Vieja, Havana
       
      3.8
      of 5, from 118 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Old Havana, this luxury hotel is steps from Paseo de Marti, Great Theatre of Havana, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

      Noa's right next to Bodeguita del Medio $48
      Noa's right next to Bodeguita del Medio

      Noa's right next to Bodeguita del Medio

      Empedrado No. 211 Apto 24 Piso 1, Entre Cuba y San Ignacio, Havana, Havana
         
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of La Bodeguita del Medio and Plaza Vieja. Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam and Havana Cathedral are also within 5 minutes.

        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25
        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25

        Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 25

        Calle Empedrado No. 211, entre Cuba y San Ignacio, Habana Vieja, La Habana
           
          5.0
          of 5, from 1 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Havana Cathedral and Plaza Vieja. Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam and Cathedral Square are also within 5 minutes.

          Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski LA Habana $516
          Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski LA Habana

          Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski LA Habana

          CALLE SAN RAFAEL (ENTRE MONSERRATE Y, ZULUETA), Havana, Havana
             
            4.2
            of 5, from 12 reviews
            5.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Old Havana, this luxury property is within a 15-minute walk of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Plaza Vieja. Great Theatre of Havana and Paseo de Marti are also within 10 minutes.

            Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29
            Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29

            Beautiful apartment - Marivelas 29

            Calle Empedrado No. 211, entre Cuba y San Ignacio, Habana Vieja, La Habana
               
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Located in Old Havana, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Havana Cathedral and Plaza Vieja. Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam and Cathedral Square are also within 5 minutes.

              Casa Pedro-María $65
              Casa Pedro-María

              Casa Pedro-María

              209 Chacon, (Between Aguacate and Compostela), Havana
                 
                5.0
                of 5, from 1 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Old Havana, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of La Bodeguita del Medio and Plaza Vieja. Centro de Arte Contemporneo Wifredo Lam and Havana Cathedral are also within 5 minutes.

                Hostal Habana Vieja 55 $100
                Hostal Habana Vieja 55

                Hostal Habana Vieja 55

                Pena Pobre 55, entre Aguiar y Habana, Havana
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 88 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Old Havana, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Armas, Maritime Museum, and National Museum of Natural History. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and University of Havana are also within 3 mi (5 km).