Old Havana, (La Habana Vieja in Spanish), contains the core of the original city of Havana and is the richest colonial set of Latin America. Havana Vieja was founded by the Spanish in 1519 in the natural harbour of the Bay of Havana. It became a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. The city was built in baroque and neoclassic style. Many buildings have fallen in ruin during the communist period in the later half of the 20th century, but a number are being restored. The narrow streets of old Havana contain many buildings, accounting for perhaps as many as one-third of the buildings found in Old Havana. Havana achieved being the Latin American city with the biggest middle class per-capita simultaneously accompanied by gambling and corruption where gangsters and stars were known to mix socially. During this era Havana was usually producing more revenue than Las Vegas. A gallery of black and white portraits from the era still adorns the walls of the bar of the National Hotel, including pictures of Frank Sinatra with Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper. One of the most well-known was the American author Ernest Hemingway, who quoted “in terms of beauty, only Venice and Paris surpassed Havana”, Hemingway wrote several of his famous novels in Cuba and lived there the last 22 years of his life. This black and white art print is available as canvas wall art, poster print or acrylic art. Photography by John Woodworth.
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