We have reached Friday, time flyes. We have catched a plane from Guatemala City to touchdown in the airport José Martí of Havana. We will visit the most important museums around Cuba, not only the ones in the capital, also we will go to Varadero, Sacti Espiritu and Trinidad – no time for more than that, enough maybe. Cuba is a beautiful country to be discovered, mostly the unknown treasures, hidden places, to erase our feeling of what we will find will enthuse us much than its wonderful beaches. Everything is going to go well, for sure, there is no doubt that it is a wonderful country. Only in Havana we are going to find 51 museums, we will choose the most notable, according to our own criteria, anyway it is going to be complicated and lengthy – we will have time to take a roncito in the Bodeguita, that pay tribute to our admired Hemingway-. If you want you can say if we have chosen well, this is a forum and everyone has the word. Now we leave because our journey has already begun. EVE wants you to enjoy it much.
Comment that in Cuba there is a network of museums referred to EcuRed – museums do not have their own website, you have to refer to this general portal of Cuban museums, – and which defines itself as a network of institutions non-profit with a dynamic, evolving cultural mechanism and permanently at the service of society. Through them is preserved, investigates and reveals the heritage material and intangible, movable and immovable of various groups and their environment. It has come to us phenomenal by that have gathered a lot of information thanks to them. Our appreciation goes from here. Here we go.
1. Museo Nacional de las Bellas Artes / La Habana
The National Museum of fine arts of Cuba is an exciting art museum which is housed in two buildings located next to the famous Paseo de Martí, in the Centre of Havana. It is intended to restore, conserve and promote the works that form part of the plastic patrimony of Cuba, and is equipped with 24 rooms displaying old art collections, art dedicated to teachers of all time, and rooms with temporary exhibitions. This building is currently is one of the two that make up the National Museum of Cuba (the other is the center of art Gallego, in Central Park). The exhibition focuses primarily on Cuban art and has 7,600 m2 distributed in 8 thematic areas and 24 rooms. It sets out more than 1,200 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings from artists, from the 16th century to the contemporary era. (Source and photo: visitarcuba.org / minube.com)
2. Museo Nacional de Historia de las Ciencias Carlos J. Finlay / La Habana
Cuban institution affiliated to the Ministry of science, technology and environment, reports and studies the heritage of the Cuban scientific movement. The historical Foundation of the origin of the National Museum of history of Sciences “Carlos J. Finlay”, dates from the period in that, on June 13, 1962, was created by the then Commission national of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, the historical Museum of medical sciences “Carlos J. Finlay”, in commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Cuban Sage that bears his name and in order toto transform facilities and library of the former Academy of medical sciences, physical and natural in Havana, in a historical Museum. 26 of January, 1999, through the resolution No. 94, issued by the Ministry of economy and planning, was authorized the creation of the budgeted unit called the National Museum of history of Sciences “Carlos J. Finlay”, subordinated to the Ministry of science, technology and environment. In the year 2011, personal specialized entities of the Office of the historian of the city Havana, undertook a comprehensive rehabilitation of the building of the Museum. It has independent legal personality, and heritage running structurally attached to the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. It has a wealth that includes the own building with its original furniture, once headquarters of the Academy of Medical, physical and natural de La Habana, where exchanged personalities as Carlos J. Finlay, the civil engineer Francisco de Albear and naturalistaFelipe Poey and the medical Nicolás José Gutiérrez. There are the remains of Tomás Romay, valuable bibliographic and documentary funds, instruments and personal belongings of prominent men of science and pharmacy room. (Source and photo: EVE).
3. Museo de la Historia Naval / Cienfuegos
Old Naval South Marina district of Guerra Cuban and dedicated to the history of the sailors. It was the site where the revolutionary marine and civil uprising took place on September 5, 1957. Declared a national monument in 1987. The Cienfuegos Naval Historical Museum is the only one of its kind in Cuba, and is located on Cayo Loco, on the banks of the Bay of Jagua, in what was once the Southern Naval district. Eclectic style, with Renaissance influence, it has a property of input of two levels, with a pedestrian and vehicular passage, as well as two buildings with two floors, in the shape of a horseshoe, with a central courtyard; in the areas of access, the Architect Daniel Taboada and the sculptor Evelio Lecour dedicated, in 1977, a monument to the fallen in the heroic exploits of September 5. Its historical value is given by the fact that there took place the uprising of September 5, 1957, against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and Lieutenant Dionisio San Román to the front, whose history is collected in detail in one of the rooms. Another of its space is dedicated to the natural history on the formation of the Earth, rocks, marine fossils, and several collections of different species of fauna and flora of the habitat. Has lounges that are issues related to the environment and ancient instruments, the replica of the bridge navigation of command of a boat, and the various international systems of marine signals. In addition, also displayed samples testimonial of the evolution and development of the different institutions related to maritime activities from January 1, 1959. A varied sample of contemporary art with the marine-themed as Center; mainly of plastic works by artists from the territory, can be admired in one of the rooms. (Source: EVE / photo: EVE file).
4. Castillo Museo de Jagua / Bahía de Cienfuegos
The ancient fortress of the Castillo de Jagua who guards the entrance of the Bay of Cienfuegos from 1745, considered the third strength of the country, is today a national monument and one of the symbols that identify this southern city. His full name is our Lady of the Angeles de Jagua, unique Creole Spanish Saints symbiosis and the Aboriginal Word, that it is extinct language, left his mark on many patronyms premises, as is the case with this solid stone construction. It is the only Spanish military fortification that lingers in the five provinces of the center of the island. The Jagua Castle was designed by military engineer José Tantote; It is a cubic structure with two levels, a drawbridge and a vaulted garita. All in the style of Sebastian Le Pestre, French engineer who implemented its own system of fortifications, establishing the relationship between the landscape, topography and geometric shapes. Its construction was carried out on a rock on the western shore of the Strait Canyon that gives access to the Bay and its vaulted fluency harmoniously in the landscape. This French engineer at the service of the Spanish Crown built the military fort at the entrance of the Bay of Jagua, in order to avoid the penetration of privateers and pirates, who are conducive to smuggling trade and the extraction of wealth by the coastal area of the Island. Within the walled enclosure, which is accessed through a wooden drawbridge, hundreds of people visit each year the cells, the Chapel, the inner courtyard with its cistern and esplanades, where even a battery of cannons pointing to the waters of the Caribbean Sea. (Source and photo: dcubanos.com).
5. Museo Nacional de la Música / La Habana Vieja
The rich history of the Cuban and universal music is the Supreme reason for its creation. Its collections are folk musical instruments, scores of key parts of the country, music machines, works of art, rare instruments. This museum has been formed, little by little, since its inception, an interesting heritage collection through generous donations of books, documents and music instruments that are highly admired by the public that visits it. The first donation was received in the year 1971 in the Hall of the screens of the Colonial Museum. It was up to the two guitars and different decorations awarded in the course of his life to the Cuban trovadora María Teresa Vera, which they were depositdas at the Museum by his family and his inseparable companion Lorenzo Hierrezuelo. The rescue of cultural heritage of musical type, recording, editing and photography of these, Cuban composers and musicians research, education and dissemination of music through courses, seminars, lectures, conferences and visits aimed at the dissemination of the cultural heritage are the objectives and activities of the National Museum of music. Valuable scores of Cuban music which is home to the Museum, including the libretto for the opera the Castaway, of Eduardo Sánchez de Fuentes, Gonzalo Roig, Alejandro García Caturla and Amadeo Roldán original scores, the piano the unforgettable snowball and dozens of musical instruments from Cuba and Latin America, music, old phonographs, metal disks and pasta boxes, as well as numerous cassettes showing with pride and joy sound the institution generating noble and human works. In the building, the room Fernando Ortiz is widely accepted because its funds go almost to the prehistory of the musical development of the island, with relevant samples of African cultures that influenced the formation of the nationality and the Creole idiosyncrasy. In general, in view of the visitor are collections that provide a wealth of information about the transformations of the music and the musical instruments in Cuba, that is why it is stated that the music Museum contains a large part of the history of Cuban music which is constantly enriched with new grants and in-depth studies and research that prestigious figures of the arts and Sciences to carry out with the experiences of the Cuban people, a musical town par excellence. (Source and photo: EVE).
6. Museo del Arte Colonial / La Habana
The Museum of Colonial art is housed in the oldest building in old Havana, the Palace of the counts of Casa Bayona, a mansion rebuilt in 1720 by the Governor of Cuba don Luis Chachón, which highlights its beautiful courtyard of classic style and the beautiful wooden coffered ceilings. This Palace enjoys an enviable location facing the Cathedral of San Cristóbal of Havana. This small museum houses an exhibition of colonial furniture and decorative art, among which stand out pieces of porcelain with scenes of colonial Cuba, as well as various sets of colonial kitchens and a fantastic collection of ornamental flowers. (Source and photo: visitarcuba.org).
7. Museo del Automóvil / La Habana
An exhibition of classic cars you can enjoy in this unique place, including the Cadillac used by Ernesto Che Guevara when he lived in Havana. The tank car is divided into two exhibition rooms, shared by the entire collection made up of 30 cars ride, two trucks, a funeral cart, a military special vehicle, seven motorcycles, a semaphore, three pumps of fuel and two didactic imitation in which visitors may be mounted to drive, “virtually” by all Havana the oldest vehicle in the collection dates back to 1905 and the “newer” comes from 1989. Most of them are from North America, although some vehicles are made in Italy, Spain, Germany and Great Britain. This collection can be notable for several reasons: valuable pieces due to their technological importance (1930 V16 Cadillac), its importance in the history of the car (Ford T 1918), with its peculiarity (Baby Lincoln 1930) or due to which they belonged or were used by a relevant personality culture or politics (1930 FIAT, owned by Flor Loynaz; Oldsmobile of 1959, used by the Commander Camilo Cienfuegos). We then delight in the boundaries of a museum that is similar in all of Cuba, where two reasons for the singular history of automobiles are perfectly integrated: uncertain from the first to last they rolled by Havana in times of revolution with “borderline” purchasing people bought cars until the year 1989. Remember that all of the city – even the country, will not see, for now, car latest models to the “newer” that exists on the island. It is simple to get to the Automobile Museum: it is located between the street Justiz and pious works, more exactly in the direction 13 trades in old Havana. (Source: the quehayqueverencuba.com).
8. Museo de la Revolución / La Habana
The revolution Museum is housed in the former Presidential Palace, built between 1913 and 1920, and used by several Presidents of Cuba, the last of which Fulgencio Batista. The famed Tiffany completo New York decorated inside. It displays an exhibition of photographs, weapons and propaganda documents of the Cuban revolution of 1959 at the Museum of the revolution, in the former presidential palace situated in the old part. You can see the yacht that brought Castro from his exile, back home as well as the ceiling painted in the Hall of mirrors. The Museum is considered one of the most important in Cuba and has been declared a national monument; It opened in 1988. The exhibition consists of 38 rooms which displays 700 objects from diverse cultures related to the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro against the Batista regime. You can see documents, photos, videos, a sculpture to the natural size of the Che, flags, weapons and military costumes More curious is “the corner of the idiots”, with cartoons and “ironic” texts to Batista, Ronald Reagan or George Bush: A Fulgencio Batista: “Thank you cretin for helping us to make the revolution”; Ronald Reagan: “Thank you cretin for helping us strengthen the revolution”; “George Bush: thank you cretin for helping to consolidate the revolution”. (Source: EVE / Minube / photo: EVE file). In addition to the Museum you can see a wide collection of paintings and sculptures by some of the most important Cuban artists, that are part of the decoration of the Palace.
9. Museo Castillo del Morro San Pedro de la Roca / Santiago de Cuba
Institution that holds traces of the defensive system of Santiago de Cuba, emerged by a historical necessity in the 16th century. as well as stories and legends that have sealing times. It is visited daily by the national and international public who can tour its halls of permanent exhibition. The main exponent of the Museum, is the building where it is located, whose architectural elements, they are imaginary rooms and show us the constructive work of several generations. On July 23, 1978 was inaugurated under the name of Museum of piracy, stage in which are exposed only aspects related to piracy. In 1997, it changed its name to the Museum Castle of the Morro San Pedro de la Roca, with a motivating theme encompassing historical aspects related to environment where and as part of Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American history. It has a novel and attractive installation. On December 6, 1997 the building where the Museum is located is integrated into world heritage together with other components of the site historic castle of San Pedro of the rock of Santiago de Cuba. Visitors discover the fascinating world of the corso and piracy, from its origins and as a historic event that led to the metropolis fortify their cities in Latin America and command to build a majestic defence system to protect the conquered domains. They are the concepts of pirate, privateer, Buccaneer and filibuster, as well as images of different types of flags that identify ships of these cruel and bloodthirsty individuals, is also an overview of leading Corsairs and pirates who roamed the Caribbean Sea in the 16th and 17TH centuries. It displays a collection of antique weapons. (Source and photo: EVE).
10. Museo Casa Simoni / Camagüey
House built in 1848, by the doctor José Ramon Simoni Ricardo in its fifth Tinima. It is the only suburban mansion of Camagüey which survives with its period features. Neoclassical style. I witnessed one of the greatest loves of his time: Amalia Simoni and Ignacio Agramonte. It houses the House of the woman of Camaguey (since 1991). It is headquarters of the Chair of women and the family of the University of Camagüey. Right at the gates of the city controls since 1848, the most impressive Port au Prince of 19th-century mansion, admired since then by the refined taste of its construction and the worth of those who lived. Dr. Simoni always ready to come to the aid of those in need and his own family, was able to consolidate his dedicated wife Doña Manuela Argilagos family harmony which led to excellent education which their descendants enjoyed. Towards the end of the year 1848, in peripheral areas of the ancient villa of Santa Maria of the of the Port-au-Prince – current Camagüey city – was erected a building in accordance with the indications of the wealthy doctor Ramón Simoni, one of the more devout and respected sons of the territory. The fifth house was called “Tinima”, by crossing the River with that name, a section of the ground. Amalia Margarita Simoni Argilagos, the eldest daughter of this happy marriage would be years late, the wife of the admired major General Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz. Witnessed precisely this old house dreams forged by the desire of freedom and happiness that would accompany the young couple to the unfortunate end of their marriage. Dr. Simoni moved to that site to his daughter Amalia, when he was 6 years old. There spent his adolescence until the happy marriage with the lawyer Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz. Both resided in place until the arrival – one month after the marriage – the message that alerted to future liberation leader: should be safe because the Spanish authorities would go in their search, given its connoted pro-independence activities within the village. (Source and photo: EcuRed).
11. Museo Romántico / Trinidad
The romantic Museum, formerly Brunet Palace, is located in the heart of the historic centre of the city of Trinidad, next to the Plaza Mayor. This mansion, owned by one of the richest families of colonial, the counts of House Brunet, was completed in the year 1808 and at present is one of the most visited architectural jewels in Cuba, guardian of abundant relics of the culture of the refined Trinitarian “sugartocracy”. Started to build in the 18th century, the House No. 52 of calle Cristo belonged to several illustrious families of the city. The ground dates back to 1740 and is known as the Silva y Álvarez Travieso family until 1807, when it is purchased by José Mariano Borrel and Padron, who commanded to build the plant high in 1808. Inherited by his daughter, Angela Borrell and Lemus, was inhabited by his family until 1857, year in which leave to Spain. The building had various uses until it was acquired by the Association Pro Trinity in 1945, and partially restored, served as headquarters of this Association until the year 1964, when begin capital repairs works, to finally be turned into a museum. The Brunet Palace, opened on May 26, 1974, as a romantic Museum was the first building of the village acquired this institutional character. Boasts one of the most valuable collections of decorative arts in Cuba and recreates with authenticity the 19th-century atmosphere of the city. The Brunet Palace, together with the houses of Iznaga, Becher, Cantero and Borrell, comprise a set of dwellings that oral tradition has given the rank of “palaces” by the magnificence of its ornament and grave goods, as well as the magnitude of its architectural scale in relation to the Trinitarian housing half. It is an example of the domestic architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the opinion of historians the great landowners vying with the structure that printed it to their mansions and spent large amounts of money to erect buildings that highlighted the courtyard, walls or floors. The Palace of the Count Brunet is distinguished by the Andalusian patio, which at that time was considered to be the most beautiful in the Caribbean country. The House retains in the architecture of the ground floor features of mudejar style and in the upper, architectural lines correspond to the neoclassical. They are the facade of large arches on pillars that give shape to the portal, the marble floor, the balcony flown with decorated iron grating. (Source and photo: EcuRed).
12. Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Los Bandidos / Sancti Spíritus
Perhaps one of the most recognizable buildings in Trinidad is the Bell Tower of yellow cake, which in reality are the ruins of the former convent of St. Francis of Assisi. Since 1986, the building houses a museum with photos, maps, weapons, and other objects related to the struggle against the counter-revolutionary gangs that took a leaf from book of Fidel and operated illegally in the Sierra del Escambray between 1960 and 1965. The fuselage of the plane U-2 shot down over Cuba spy is also on the screen. You can climb the tower to enjoy very good views. (Source and photo: Lonely Planet).
13. Museo Arqueólogico Guamuhaya / Trinidad
Guamuhaya archaeological museum. Located next to the major Plaza of Trinidad, it is located in a building from the 18th century, historically known as the Padrón House. Founded on May 15, 1976, it offers visitors a panorama of prehistoric Cuba, from pre-Columbian times up to the conquest. According to architect Joaquín E. Weiss writes in his book the Cuban colonial architecture, this House was present at the baron Alejandro de Humboldt, who attended a gathering in which all high sugar and bourgeois aristocracy of Trinity were gathered together here in the early 19th century. This building suffered an interesting process of adaptation to the process variable of nesting occurred in the urban spaces of the area where it is located. Its main façade originally gave to calle Real of the Jigüe, in accordance to the hierarchy that had that path until the beginning of the 18th century. In the following century, when the old church square is Plaza Mayor, after a process of reorganization of public spaces and urban layout, House turns its face towards her and is remodeled entirely by its owner at that time, Doña Ángela Borrell and Padrón, amending and significantly enhances the ancient dwelling of Juan Marín; a neoclassic cutting portal is added, and its interior walls are pictorial treatment. (Source and photo: EcuREd).
14. Museo Municipal de Historia / Varadero
Like almost everything that has to do with tourism in the tourist town of Cuba, the Municipal Museum of history of Varadero is relatively recent, it has barely three decades old.
Opened in 1981, it allows us to see some important details, not only of the history of the Cuban city, also of the paths by which he spent the past of the island. The Municipal Museum of history of Varadero is housed in a building from the beginning of the 20th century. Its construction was held from 1919, following the route of the mansions of the old colonial plantations of Cuba. Their two-storey wood transports us to another time and, as inside the Museum, you will find the furniture of the time; the first cartographic signs of 16th century, that teach us the original Hicacos Peninsula; official documents; reproductions of indigenous petroglyphs found in caves in the region. (Photo: deivangarciaysusamigos.blogspot.com / content source: blog.belivehotels.com).
In the Mundi Agendas for the coming week, we will go to San Salvador to gossip a bit as they are of Museum infrastructure there. Until then, happy weekend a tod@s!
BIBLIOGRAPHY (in Spanish):
RICHARD GOTT, E.J.
Ediciones AKAL, 2007
CUBA LINDA Y PERDIDA
DE LA BANDERA, María del Carmen
Ediciones ANAYA, 2013
HISTORIA MÍNIMA DE CUBA
Ediciones TURNER, 2013
CUENTOS DE CUBA ESPAÑOLA
Ediciones CLAN, 2009
CUBA. CUADERNO DE VIAJE (acuarelas)
Edicions DE PONENT, 2009
CUBA Y SUS SONES
GALAN SARIOL, Natalio y CABRERA INFANTE, Guillermo
Ediciones PRE-TEXTOS, 1997
Main Photo: SVEN DREESBACH