Havana was founded in 1519 by the Spanish. By the 17th
century, it had become one of the Caribbean's main centres for
ship-building. Although it is today a sprawling metropolis of 2 million
inhabitants, its old centre retains an interesting mix of Baroque and
neoclassical monuments, and a homogeneous ensemble of private houses
with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards.