The basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Asis (Saint Francis of Assisi) were built in Havana, Cuba at the end of sixteenth century (1580–91) as the home of the Franciscan community, and were altered in the baroque style in 1730.
The church was used for their worship by the English during the year in which they ruled Havana. When it returned to Spanish rule, they chose not to use it as a church. It is now used for concerts. Attached to the Basilica is a bell tower (138-ft). Originally a statue of St. Francis of Assisi stood on the top of the bell tower but it was destroyed by a cyclone in 1846. Today a statue of Fray Junipero Serra with Juaneño, an Indian boy stand next to the basilica.
The cloister of the adjacent monastery which dates back to 1739 now houses a museum of sacred art. In front of the Basilica on the sidewalk stands a bronze life-size statue by Jose Villa Soberon of José María López Lledín known as El Caballero de Paris (1899–1985) who is buried inside the Basilica.
Old Havana (Spanish: La Habana Vieja) is the city-center (downtown) and one of the 15 municipalities (or boroughs) forming Havana, Cuba, it has the second highest population density in the city and contains the core of the original city of Havana. The positions of the original Havana city walls are the modern boundaries of Old Havana.
Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.