Incredible Historical Photos Of Old Havana From The 1900s

Havana is the Capital city of Cuba, founded in the early 16th century by Spanish colonists. The city grew rapidly in the early 19th century when the trade between the Caribbean and North American states rose significantly. The first railroad was constructed in 1837 between Havana and Bejucal. In 1902, Havana became independent for the first time in its history.

During the Prohibition era in the U.S., a large number of wealthy American businessmen arrived in Havana to take advantage of Cuba’s liberal drinking laws. Numerous luxury hotels, casinos, and nightclubs were constructed during the 1930s to serve Havana’s burgeoning tourist industry. Havana became a foreign capital of appeal and various activities ranging from marinas, grand Prix car racing, musical shows, and parks.

These fantastic historical photos of old Havana show streets, landmarks, buildings, and everyday life at the turn of the 20th century.

#5 Central Park and the Gran Hotel Inglaterra, Havana, 1905

#6 Harbor and Muelle Luz (Light Pier), Havana, Cuba, circa 1904

#8 Vendors’ stalls in the Mercado Tocon, Havana, 1904

#10 Muelle Tallapiedras (Tallapiedra wharf), Havana, Cuba, circa 1904

#15 The wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, which exploded and sank mysteriously, 1900

#17 A view from O’Reilly Street, looking down San Ignacio Street toward the Cathedral, Havana, 1900

#19 An avenue of palms on the outskirts of Havana, 1903

#27 A view looking north down the Paseo del Prado, Havana, 1900

#33 The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception and the Plaza de la Catedral, 1900

#35 Fruit wagons unload outside a market, Havana, 1900

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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  1. Can anyone tell me if there were any major photography studios in Cuba at that time? As a child, I remember seeing a portrait of my grandmother’s family taken in Cuba when she was a baby. In the black and white photo of my grandmother’s sister, I remember her blue eyes. Seeing it again would be amazing.