The Zanja Real of Havana !!!

I was looking again at my blog and realise have wonderful old pictures on sites not really develop and they should stand alone, I went into my Havana and found me pictures from my last trip there in 2012 that needed to have a post of their own, Family memories flashing ; here is my new take on Zanja Real or royal ditch (aqueduct)  of Havana ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Zanja Real was the first aqueduct built in Cuba began construction in 1565 and finished in 1592. This canal ensured the water supply of Havana for almost two and a half centuries (1592-1835). It brought the waters of the Chorrera River , today Almendares to Plaza de la Ciénaga, now Plaza de la Catedral ,It was a sort of wide ditch that usually carried non-potable water during the rainy season and would have to be constantly repaired , After 1835 they built the Fernando VII aqueduct, and then the Albear aqueduct.

havana Zanja Real Feb12

The Zanja Real was a channel dug into the ground through a winding path of almost 13 km from the Almendares River. The sources that supplied the water from the Zanja Real were four at the beginning of the 17C ; the one located in front of the Casas del Cabildo (the later Plaza de San Francisco), the one located in the surroundings of El Molinillo de San Pedro, from where it extends the current Calle Luz and a third in Callejón del Chorro. All three were built in the 1590s. The fourth was built in the 17C in Plaza Nueva (now Plaza Vieja). In 1634 a farm was built, next to the Foundry, where La Maestranza was later built (royal horse bastion 1709 ,today park and hotel).

The first section of the Zanja Real that was buried was that of Calle Amargura, which was provided with a cistern located on the outskirts of Havana, behind the Convent of San Agustín. In 1606 it was ordered to bury the section of the Zanja as it passed through the streets of San Ignacio and Teniente Rey, and it was supplied by the cistern located in the Plaza Nueva, now Plaza Vieja. The first public fountain in Havana was inaugurated when the Marquis de Casa Torre was Captain General, in 1708. The humble fountain in Plaza Nueva was replaced by a more monumental one in 1836, which served as inspiration for the current one, in Plaza Vieja. The fountain in the Plaza de San Francisco was inaugurated in 1714, and was erected in front of the Casas del Cabildo; a later and more ostentatious fountain was built from 1746 to 1754., These first three related fountains would be followed between 1740 and 1755 by the fountain in the square of the Convent of the Order of Our Lady of Belen ,and the fountain in the courtyard of the Convent of Santa Clara de Asís in 1752.

Later, by royal decree, the works of the Ferdinand VII Aqueduct were approved, which started from the Almendares River, through the Ciénaga, the Cerro and the Calzada de Jesús del Monte, to the Puerta de Tierra, in Monserrate and Muralla streets, and from there to the intramural site outside the City walls. Exactly, three centuries after the Zanja Real, in 1893 the Albear Aqueduct was put into operation, which currently supplies some of the water that supplies Havana, and La Zanja Real was definitively abandoned. The excavations of the Zanja Real or royal sewers now open and shown above ground to tourists. 

Some post for information on the current sites but my notes are from my library of different outlook , more the true history of my  Havana.

The official today Cuba tourist board on Havana :

The official today Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana

There you go folks, another nostalgic spot in my life and happy to be able to share it with the world. Havana goes deep with me, even if now is a distant star flicking for survival, I believe you should know these places and eventually visit in better freer times , Again, hope you enjoy the post on the Zanja Real of Havana or La Habana as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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