The Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem, Havana

The Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Belén) forms part of an 18th century Old Havana (Habana Vieja) religious complex dominated by a convent of the same name.

View from guest-house room including church tower on right

View from our guest-house room including the church tower and courtyard bordering Luz and Compostela streets on the right

Rocío and I could see the church from our guest-house room. Although closed to the public, when Rocío saw the courtyard door on Compostela Street ajar, she wanted to check it with her architect eyes. Under restoration, the friendly workers allowed us to explore the church’s interior and courtyard.

The church's ornamental façade

The church’s façade and adjoining tower

Part of the convent church's ornamental façade

Sculptures on the convent church’s ornamental façade

Elaborate tile-work on convent wall facing church courtyard

Elaborate tile-work on the convent wall facing the church courtyard; the image appears to feature Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and the three wise men; the Roman numerals (MCMXXV) state 1925.

A disused water feature in the church courtyard; perhaps originally used for washing feet

A disused water feature in the church courtyard; perhaps originally used for washing feet

The church of Our Lady of Bethlehem's domed ceiling

The Church of Our Lady of Bethlehem’s domed ceiling

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Belén foundations

Church foundations with water at the base

Religious wall painting pre-restoration

One of several religious wall paintings pre-restoration

Church interior under repair

Church interior under repair

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