|Throughout its history, Havana has always had a devoted following: romantic and fascinating, beautiful and irresistible.Today many celebrities are flocking to Old Havana, sometimes the courtyard bar of the Hotel Santa Isabel seems like another of those smart New York parties. Some, like Sir Paul McCartney or Francis Ford Coppola come on private missions of exploration.
Europeans first become acquainted with tobacco in 1492, on the occasion of Columbus first voyage to the Americas. Havana was a continuous target for corsair and pirates who pillaged and destroyed it on more then one occasion. In 1796 city fell into the hands of the British in spite of the heroic defense mounted by its inhabitants, who caused more than 1 800 deaths. The subject of British royalty remained here for a year. Spain , with a view to recovering Havana , handed all the Florida over the Britain . At that time Havana with its 30 000 inhabitants was a city larger than Boston, Philadelphia and New York. After the departure of the British, Spain was compelled to abolish many of the privileges that the Royal Treasury in Cuba had enjoyed, and allow free trade to take place.
The economic power of the incipient bourgeoisie revived social life in the city. With its squares and places, cafes, theaters and ball rooms, Havana grew in splendor on a daily basis. Much of the progress achieved by humanity reached Cuban capitol before many European cities. This was the steam engine, railways, gas light, and telegraph among others.It is said that the first telephone was invented here. Photography arrived practically at the same time as it was invented, also cinema and radio. Havana was the first city in Latina America to have television. The territorial occupation of the province of Havana began in the 16 th century.
It is here where the oldest train station in the world may be found, and it is still in use, together with the ruins of the wealthiest coffee plantation in Cuba, scene of a torrid romance between German owner and a Haitian woman. Havana is the birthplace of the pianist Antonio Maria Romeu, painters Eduardo Abela and Domingo Ramos, ballad singer Maria Teresa Vera and singer Silvio Rodriquez.
Havana's tradition have achieved national fame Charangas de Bejucal fiesta of music and color held once a year.
Such as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, come to work, but just get hooked and come back again. Sometimes, like Leonardo di Caprio, they come with an extensive entourage and take over entire hotels. Often they coming for a special events, the annual Latin American Film Festival always draws its complement of stars: Robert de Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ken Loach, Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren and Kevin Cosner have all visited in recent years.
A few months ago, Arthur Miler spent time in Havana when his play The Crucible was performed by a well-known Cuban Theatre Group. Recently, the Manic Street Preachers' concert had Havana in a frenzy of excitement. And then , of course , there are the star official visits the Pope, King Don Juan Carlos and Dona Sofia , Prince Albert of Monaco and Nelson Madela.