Cubans have enjoyed tobacco for over 4,000 years. Spaniards became enthralled with smoking after Christopher Columbus returned to Barcelona in 1493 with the unique crop among his cargo. By the end of the 16th century, Seville became the world’s tobacco capital. In 1717, King Philip V declared a monopoly on Cuban grown tobacco. When this royal degree called Estanco del Tabaco was lifted in 1817, it sparked a boom in cigar factories: over 1,300 were created in Havana during the next 50 years. One of them was Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás, founded by Spaniard Jaime Partagás in 1845. Among the brands of habanos they produce are Cohibas and Montecristos. Cigar aficionados will love the building’s aroma and watching the talented cigar makers during the tour.