Havana (/həˈvænə/; Spanish: La Habana [la aˈβana] (listen)) is the capital and largest city of Cuba. The heart of the La Habana Province, Havana is the country's main port and commercial center.[4] The city has a population of 2.3 million inhabitants,[5][4] and it spans a total of 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi)[2] – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.[5][6]

La Habana
San Cristóbal de la Habana
Capital city
City of Columns[1]
Location in Cuba
Havana (Caribbean)
Havana (Gulf of Mexico)
Coordinates: 23°08′12″N 82°21′32″W
ProvinceLa Habana
EstablishedNovember 16, 1519
  BodyGobierno Provincial de La Habana
  GovernorReinaldo García Zapata (PCC)
  Capital city728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi)
59 m (195 ft)
  Capital city2,383,517[2]
  Density2,924.2/km2 (7,574/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (UTC−05:00)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (UTC−04:00)
Postal code
Area code(+53) 07
ISO 3166 codeCU-03
Patron saintSan Cristóbal
HDI (2018)0.804[3]very high
Official nameOld Havana and its Fortification System
Criteriaiv, v
Designated1982 (6th session)
Reference no.204
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean

The city of Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas becoming a stopping point for Spanish galleons returning to Spain. Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of capital in 1592.[7] Walls as well as forts were built to protect the city.[8]

The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War.[9] The city is the center of the Cuban government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 100 diplomatic offices.[10] The governor is Reinaldo García Zapata of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).[11][12] In 2009, the city/province had the third highest income in the country.[13]

Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado and the newer suburban districts. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbors: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Antares. The Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.[14]

The city attracts over a million tourists annually;[15] the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists,[15] a 20% increase from 2005. Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.[16] The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments.[17] As typical of Cuba, Havana experiences a tropical climate.[18]

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