Huella católica en las calles habaneras

San Nicolás

Hay en La Habana una calle que comienza y termina en el mar. Luego de desbordarse la ciudad de su marco amurallado fue la más larga de extramuros durante muchos años. San Cayetano fue el primer nombre por el que se le conoció y posteriormente se le nombró la del Caño. Debe su nombre actual a una de las dos iglesias que existen en su traza, la de San Nicolás de Bari y San Judas Tadeo. Esta se comenzó a construir en 1798 y le dio también nombre a un importante barrio intermedio ya desaparecido.
San Nicolás atraviesa varios barrios históricos de la ciudad: a San Leopoldo, al barrio chino, Los Sitios y a Jesús María. Entre ellos serpentea desde Malecón hasta la calle Diaria. Tiene veintisiete cuadras. Esta calle era el corazón del Barrio Árabe de La Habana, en el que se asentó una importante masa de inmigrantes de origen maronita que aportó mucho al desarrollo de la parroquia, haciendo de ella su centro religioso. Aún se conserva en el sitio una capilla dedicada a san Marón.
El 16 de diciembre de 1927 se le cambió el nombre, según acuerdo 262 del Ayuntamiento de la Ciudad y se le nombró oficialmente General Alemán, nombre de un veterano de la guerra de independencia que llegó a ser secretario del despacho del presidente Machado. Muchas voces populares se levantaron contra tal determinación. Fue tanta la presión popular que se determinó restituirle el nombre de San Nicolás que aún conserva. / por L.N.A. Ω

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