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Habana’s Malecon
The Havana’s Malecon on the summer nights, gives us a gentle caress with the smooth breeze that comes from the sea, and it is also true that in those difficult times of storms and cold temperatures, it defends us from the brave sea. It has been like that since the first stone that was put by the beginning of the XX Century. Do you happen to know what the first name of the Malecon was?

“Gulf Avenue”, because it was constantly touched by the Gulf currents.

The story of the Malecon begins in 1819 with the growing of the City.

From the place that is Maceo’s Park now a days to the Almendares river, there was just a coast and a firm forest that was considered to be a natural wall by the Spanish authorities. It was called “Monte Vedado”.

It was like that for many years, but in 1859, the railway began to circulate from the areas near the harbour to the Almendares outlet. The Carmelo and Vedado neighborhoods were built by that time. Then, people thought about the rough conditions of the Havana’s seacoast and Don Francisco de Albear, the greatest engineer of those times, was given the project.

Albear conceived a complex but right solution for the work and the cost was 850 thousand pesos of the epoch, but the Spanish government did not give the money, so Albear project went to sleep for years.

During the North American intervention some projects were analyzed and the first part of the Malecon (from Prado to Crespo) was the start of a long and slow race to build the Malecon that we enjoy today.

In 1901 the shy work of the Malecon began and during the government of Gerardo Machado it was impelled by the famous urbanist Jean Forestier. To get to its 7 km, the Malecon passed through different stages of advances and recessions, changes and project transformations in different governments. The last part of it was built between 1950 and 1958.

After the first part, for which some public facilities were demolished, the construction kept on in 1921 to the entrance of Vedado. By the middle of the 30’s it reached G street, and during Carlos Prio mandate (1948-1952) it was taken to the Almendares outlet.

All these extensions meant changes in their initial fabulous projects, which at the end resulted into that long, necked and beloved wall that we enjoy today, from which a joker said “It is the largest bench in the world”.
Habana’s Malecon
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