Topics: Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
The city of Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent , becoming a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592.  Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city.  The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War. 
Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana , Vedado and the newer suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban government , and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.  The current mayor is Marta Hernández of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).  In 2009, the city/province had the third highest income in the country. 
The city attracts over a million tourists annually;  the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists,  a 20% increase from 2005. Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.  The city is also noted for its history , culture, architecture and monuments.  As typical of Cuba, Havana also features a tropical climate.