The Malecón in Havana is both a broad street and seawall along the north
shore of the city, west of the Havana Harbor entrance. The 5-mile (8
km) stretch is popular day and night – for cruising in a classic car,
for fishing, for wandering and for late-night rendezvous.
The road connects the Havana neighborhoods Vedado, Centro Habana (Central Havana) and La Habana Vieja (Old Havana).
In April, Scott and I walked along the Malecón east to west, from La
Habana Veija to Vedado, where we treated ourselves to the most
refreshing daiquiris and Cuban sandwiches at the Hotel Nacional. For the
video, I chose to edit in the chronological order of how the road was
built, from west to east.
Building of the Malecón began in 1901 to
protect the city from the waves and storms coming from the Straits of
Florida (part of the Gulf of Mexico). It was built in three stages: 1901
– 1902, 1902 – 1921 and 1949 – 1952.
The street Malecón (English: pier, jetty) is officially called Avenida de Maceo. José Antonio de la Caridad Maceo y Grajales
was second-in-command of the Cuban Army of Independence in the late
19th century. You can see a large statue dedicated to him about 23
seconds into the video.
While today most of the magnificent
buildings facing the seawall are rather dilapidated, the changes towards
more prosperity are starting to become visible. There are numerous
buildings that have already been restored and several restaurants and
casa particulars (private B&B) in this prime location.
what I understand, no private person can own an entire building in Cuba,
unless the whole building is a single-family residence. People can own
apartments (as of fairly recently). All the individual apartment owners
would have to come up with a plan to restore and renovate their building
together. The government does have larger restoration projects, which
have made it possible to see some of Havana’s century-old buildings
restored to glory. I am very curious to see how the country, the city of
Havana and particularly the Malecón will develop over the next few
years and decades.
I collected some footage (and photos) of the
Malecón at night. But I’m saving those for a future “Havana At Night”
video… Also there was more street art, which I’m saving for a future
video about Havana Street Art.
|Classic car driving along the Malecón in Havana, Cuba.|
In the next few days, I will upload a post with photos from along the Malecón right here on this blog.
Other videos from my Cuba trip in April: