In Cuba in 1492 the Spanish expedition commanded by Christopher Columbus saw tobacco for the first time in the New World. The Taino Indians rolled and burnt some mysterious leaves, which they called Cohiba, in an unknown ceremony for the explorers.
The city of Habana was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas, becoming a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city.