Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana

sights / Religious

Catedral de San Cristóbal de la Habana information

Location
Havana , Cuba
Address
cnr San Ignacio & Empedrado
Opening hours
9am-4pm Mon-Sat
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Dominated by two unequal towers and framed by a theatrical baroque facade designed by Italian architect Francesco Borromini, Havana's incredible cathedral was once described by novelist Alejo Carpentier as 'music set in stone.' The Jesuits began construction of the church in 1748 and work continued despite their expulsion in 1767.

When the building was finished in 1787, the diocese of Havana was created and the church became a cathedral – one of the oldest in the Americas. The remains of Columbus were brought here from Santo Domingo in 1795 and interred until 1898, when they were moved to Seville Cathedral in Spain.

A curiosity of the cathedral is its interior, which is classical rather than baroque and relatively austere. Frescoes above the altar date from the late 1700s and the paintings that adorn the walls are copies of originals by Murillo and Rubens. You can climb one of the towers for CUC$1.