El Templete

Foundation of the Havana under shade of the magical Ceiba tree

The Templete is among the symbols of the city, one of the most beautiful and ancient traditions of the island, the determination of the area that originally occupied the Plaza and Villa of San Cristobal de La Habana since its founding on the north coast in 1519.

This small Greco-Roman temple erected in 1828, whose construction is due to Colonel Antonio María de la Torre y Cárdenas. Its inauguration was on March 19, 1828, in tribute to Queen Josefa Amalia, wife of Fernando VII with an interior design of three large canvases made by the French painter Jean Baptiste Vermay and representing an invocation to the first Mass, the first council, and a central canvas, which is interpreted as a staging of the act of blessing of the place and the mass of the bishop of Espada, in the presence of the Captain General, the aristocracy and high officials of the colonial government under the shade of Ceiba tree.

At present, the great majority of Habaneros believe that it conserves the magical powers of the original tree, so every day on November 16, “the day on which the city was founded,” hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to this place to walk around the city three times. Ceiba and put a coin to their roots while making a wish.

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