Havana, 16 November 2022. The first mass and town council took place in the shade of a Ceiba tree in 1519, marking the foundation site of San Cristobal de La Habana (Havana), which celebrates its 503rd anniversary on Wednesday.
A few hours before November 16, the people of the Cuban capital, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, keep alive the traditional three times walk around that symbolic tree at the Greco-Roman temple known as “El Templete”, where they ask at the foot of its trunk for good luck and fortune for the city and its inhabitants.
The ceremony takes place in the site from where the village grew, according to the evidence by the then Havana governor, Francisco Cagigal, who also ordered a plaque to conserve the deed, perpetuated later by Francisco Dionisio Vives, with the construction of the building that is currently part of that foundation´s tradition.
The Templete, like other buildings in the historic district, speaks of the history and culture of an imperious city, of a particular beauty that stands the test of time with the program of the Office of the Historian of the City, conceived and promoted by the late Eusebio Leal Spengler.
Thanks to its restoration and conservation work, the oldest district of Cuba’s capital was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1982 and was designated a Wonder City of the Modern World in 2016.
Source: Prensa Latina