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Church and Convent of Our Lady of Belen

Calle Compostela y Calle Luz | La Habana Vieja, Havana, Cuba
7/861-7283
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Ranked #95 of 115 Attractions in Havana
Owner description: Havana's first baroque church (1712-18) was originally conceived as a convalescent hospital. The founding Belenistas (members of the Order of... more » Owner description: Havana's first baroque church (1712-18) was originally conceived as a convalescent hospital. The founding Belenistas (members of the Order of Bethlehem) were replaced in 1842 by the Jesuits, who established a school here in 1856. The niche over the main door contains a nativity scene under a fluted conch shell. The figures in the niche are illuminated from behind by an amber reflector that throws extra light on the heads of the saints. (The lighting here is the work of electrical engineer Félix de Noval, who has illuminated many of Havana's monuments.) The convent's Arco de Belén, at the corner of Acosta and Compostela, has long been identified with the neighborhood's Jewish community, which after their 1492 expulsion from Spain became an important presence in Cuba as the Sephardic diaspora spread throughout the Mediterranean and the New World. COST: $2. Mon.-Sat. 9-5, Sun. 9-1. « less
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1 review from our community

Morton, IL
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14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

Took gifts to them, we were given a tour and the visited with the elderly and the children in the day care. The elderly sang a beautiful song for us, pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in our group. I wouldn't visit Havana without a stop here- what they are doing for the community is fantastic.

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