Havana is the capital city, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city is one of the 14 Cuban provinces. The city/province has 2.1 million inhabitants, and the urban area over 2.6 million, making Havana the largest city in both Cuba and the Caribbean region. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guasabacoa, and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.

Nowadays Havana is the center of the Cuban government, and various ministries and headquarters of businesses are based there. Havana, by far the leading cultural centre of the island, offers a wide variety of features that range from museums, palaces, public squares, avenues, churches, fortresses (including the largest fortified complex in the Americas dating from the 16th through 18th centuries), ballet and from art and musical festivals to exhibitions of technology. The restoration of Old Havana offered a number of new attractions, including a museum to house relics of the Cuban revolution. The government placed special emphasis on cultural activities, many of which are free or involve only a minimal charge.

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