© Olivier Saillant
EL PASEO DEL PRADO
The Paseo del Prado, the emblematic avenue running through Havana from the city's historic 16th century district to its modern heart, is the venue for the Cruise 2016/17 collection show.
The boulevard, whose name means “meadow walk” in Spanish, was originally laid out in the 18th century and was redesigned by the French landscape architect Nicolas Forestier in 1928. Eight spectacular bronze lions stand guard on every street corner all the way to the sea front. They were the work of two sculptors, Jean Puiforcat – another Frenchman – and Juan Comas, an expert in bronze casting. The locals in Havana have always enjoyed strolling in the shade of the ancient trees along the central walkway. The colonial-era buildings, cinemas, theaters and colonnaded mansions along the Prado are reminiscent of the Baroque and neo-Classical style of European capitals such as Madrid, Paris and Vienna.
While many buildings show signs of aging, UNESCO has placed Old Havana on its list of world heritage sites, preserving its authenticity for generations to come.