Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 1 November 2011

La Catedral de San Cristobal (Habana Vieja) Havana

                    Sitting prominantly in the square thats named after it, 'Plaza de La Catedral', this beautiful example of baroque architecture began as 'Catedral de La Virgen Maria de La Concepcion Inmaculada de La Habana', wow, that's a lot to remember. After dedicating the church to Christopher Columbus it was referred to as 'La Catedral de San Cristobal' and is known as that today.
                     The church was constructed by Jesuits (1748-77) on the site of another church. The two bells in the taller tower are said to have been made from gold, silver & bronze & emit a different sound because of it. Like many churches in Havana, the building material (blocks) includes coral. These blocks were collected by the edge of the ocean by slaves & cut into blocks. You can see the fossils embedded in the stone.
                     In 1793 the church was elevated to a cathedral. The baroque interior is gone, having been changed in the 19th century but the facade remains the same. Copies of paintings by Rubens & Murillo appear on the altars as well as frescoes by Giuseppe Perovanni.
                     Admission is free. Open every day but the hours can change. Mass was 3 days a week.

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