La Habana Vieja (Old Town) was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Founded by the Spaniards in 1519 in the natural harbor of the Havana Bay soon became a stopping point for Spanish galleons laden with treasure at the crossing between the New World and the Old World. In the 17th century it was one of the main shipbuilding centers. The city was built in baroque and neoclassic style. Many buildings fell into ruin in the second half of the 20th century, but the government have managed to restore a large number of them thanks to the enormous efforts that has been done to preserve and to restore Old Havana, through the impetus of the Office Historian of the City, directed by Eusebio Leal. Alejo Carpentier called it the "City of Columns".
La Habana Vieja was destroyed and burned by the French corsair Jacques de Sores. The city was devastated and burned. Since the incident, the Spaniards brought the soldiers and began to build fortresses and walls to protect the city. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza was the first fortress built; its construction began in 1558 and was overseen by engineer Bartolomé Sanchez.
There are many interesting places such as Havana Malecon, the avenue that runs along the north shore of Havana, from Habana Vieja to the Almendares River. Castle Los Tres Reyes del Morro, the fortress of La Cabaña, located on the east side of Havana Bay is the most impressive fortress of the Spanish colony. Every night at 21:00, some soldiers dressed in costumes of the time running the ceremony "El Cañonazo de las 9.00pm" which was done every day to warn of closing doors in the wall which surrounded the city. La Fortaleza San Salvador de la Punta, on the opposite bank of El Morro Castle. La Plaza de Armas is the main tourist resort. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza, which closes the Plaza de Armas.
In Plaza de la Catedral, the Cathedral of San Cristóbal, the most prominent building is one of the most beautiful and sober American Baroque churches.
The National Capitol, Central Park, Gallego Center, (Neo-Baroque style was established as a social club of the Galician emigrants between 1907 and 1914), El Gran Teatro de La Habana, best known as the home of the famous National Ballet Cuba and its founder Alicia Alonso. The Museo de la Revolución, located in the former Presidential Palace, the Basilica San Francisco de la Habana, the whole church and convent of San Francisco de Asis, dating from 1608, and rebuilt in 1737.