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When Havana was still protected by walls. Where wastebasket of the Rincon was placed before. Next to Havana bay. Alameda de Paula was the first promenade that had the capital of Cuba. Inaugurated in 1777 and baptized with the name of Paula to be near the church with the same denomination. It was the work of the same architect of other Havana works like the Government House, the Plaza de Armas and the Principal Theater.

It began as an embankment with two rows of poplars and a few banks. Over the years it was paved with cobblestones and was added a fountain and stone seats. In 1841 several lamps were added and the pavement, the seats and the stairs were again improved.

This beautiful “maritime balcony” gave life to Villa de San Cristobal de La Habana. It was described as “favorite place chosen by the Havana people”. Lacking recreational sites back then, this promenade became Havana’s main social and cultural space. In the surroundings the wealthiest families built their ostentatious palaces. With the years the preference of Havanan people was changing toward Prado promenade.

Alameda de Paula is a historical relic that survives time. Despite the changes that have taken place, it still retains the charms of its gates, lampposts and the fresh sea. Church of Paula has been converted into a chapel of contemporary Cuban sacred art and an old music concert hall. Alameda and Church of Paula have been united by an esplanade that stimulates the walk of the interested ones and facilitates the road circulation.

For visit: Avenida del Puerto (San Pedro) street, from San Isidro street until Luz street, Habana Vieja, La Habana (“23.13149, -82.34835”). Free access daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez