Havana anticipates its 500th birthday

Posted: 10-Nov-18 10:00

The Cuban capital of Havana is gearing up to celebrate its 500th anniversary next year. Twelve days of celebrations and observances are planned, along with numerous tours and cultural events. The city was founded in November of 1519 as part of the Spanish colonisation.

Havana anticipates its 500th birthday

Havana, the capital city of Cuba, will mark its 500th anniversary on November 16, 2019, with a series of cultural events and special attractions over a two-week period. The city is the third capital of Cuba, following Baracoa in 1511 and Santiago in 1515.

The city was founded on November 16, 1519, during the Spanish colonisation. Havana is now an eclectic hub of culture and history, attracting tourists from around the world. During the anniversary year, Havana is set to present a whole host of events featuring concerts, performances and parades that will celebrate the landmark anniversary during a 12-day celebration.

Colin Stewart, Chairman of the Latin American Tourist Association (LATA), said:

“In celebration of its 500th birthday in 2019, the vibrant city of Havana is undergoing a number of restoration projects due to be completed next year, which are expected to further boost tourism numbers and propel the city to the top of the agenda for UK visitors to Cuba.”

In 2019, the city will welcome the launch of seven new luxury hotels, as well as a diverse programme of cultural events, including live concerts and theatre performances honouring the history of Havana.

“It has been an exciting couple of years for Cuba and Havana. The lift of US travel restrictions, the development of tourism infrastructure and the launch of new airline routes from Europe, have firmly placed the destination on the Latin America tourism route. We look forward to continue to work with our LATA members to promote sustainable tourism to Havana and Cuba."

Explained Stewart. In addition to several tours of the city’s historic centre that will be offered with tourism partners and the Cuban government, the unveiling of several new and privately owned hotels will be added as part of the attraction. Several buildings in the city centre have been restored in preparation for next year’s events.

In May, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel was briefed on preparations for the anniversary. The president chaired a meeting of the government group tasked with supervising economic and social life in Havana, headed by the vice-president and economy minister, Ricardo Cabrisas, Granma reported and the events’ proceedings have been making significant progress towards this year’s special 500-year mark.

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