Plaza del Cristo
Plaza del Cristo lies at the west end of Amargrua, between Lamparilla and Brasil, one block east of Avenida de Bélgica (Monserrate). It was here that Wormold, the vacuum-cleaner salesman turned secret agent, was “swallowed up among the pimps and lottery sellers of the Havana noon” in Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana. Wormold and his wayward daughter Millie lived at the fictional 37 Lamparilla.
The plaza is dominated by the tiny Iglesia de Santo Cristo Buen Vieja (Villegas, e/ Amargura y Lamparilla, tel. 07/863-1767, daily 9 a.m.–noon), dating from 1732, but with a Franciscan hermitage—called Humilladero chapel—dating from 1640. Buen Viaje was the final point of the Vía Crucis (the Procession of the Cross) held each Lenten Friday and beginning at the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asís.
The church, which was named for its popularity among sailors and travelers, who used to pray here for safe voyages, has an impressive cross-beamed wooden ceiling, and exquisite altars, including one to the Virgen de la Caridad showing three boatmen being saved from the tempest.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition