Parque de los Enamorados

sights / Parks & gardens

Parque de los Enamorados information

Downtown Havana , Cuba
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Preserved in Parque de los Enamorados (Lovers' Park), surrounded by streams of speeding traffic, lies a surviving section of the colonial Cárcel or Tacón Prison, built in 1838, where many Cuban patriots including José Martí were imprisoned.

A brutal place that sent unfortunate prisoners off to perform hard labor in the nearby San Lázaro quarry, the prison was finally demolished in 1939 with this park dedicated to the memory of those who had suffered so horribly within its walls. Two tiny cells and an equally minute chapel are all that remain. The beautiful wedding-cake-like building (art nouveau with a dash of eclecticism) behind the park, flying the Spanish flag, is the old Palacio Velasco (1912), now the Spanish embassy.

Beyond that, on a traffic island, is the Memorial a los Estudiantes de Medicina , a fragment of wall encased in marble marking the spot where eight Cuban medical students were shot by the Spanish in 1871 as a reprisal for allegedly desecrating the tomb of a Spanish journalist.