Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Havana (San Cristobal de la Habana), the capital of Cuba, is on the north-western coast of the island. It was founded by Diego Velasquez in 1515, but originally stood four miles off on the opposite shore. It has suffered much at the hands of buccaneers, but after the seventeenth century, when it had become the centre of the Spanish West Indian trade, became more secure. It was captured by the English in 1762, but redeemed at the peace. The modern part of the town lying to the west is well built, but the older part is made up in narrow and dirty streets. The cathedral, built of 1724, contains the bones of Columbus. Among the institutions are a hospital, which includes orphan and lunatic asylums and a poorhouse, and is called "Beneficencia;" a university, an arsenal, cadet and technical schools, and several theatres.

Havana has a magnificent harbour defended by fortifications, and exports immense quantities of cigars and sugar, besides molasses, rum, and honey. The chief export trade is with the United States. Rice, flour, cod-fish, coal, are the chief imports. The place used to be known as "The Havannahs."