HAVANA'S TOP 5 MUSEUMS
TOP 5 MUSEUMS IN HAVANA, CUBA
Any of these would make a great addition to a Cuba Tour 2018!
1. Cuba’s Museo de Bellas Artes has two branches which are just a few blocks apart in Old Havana. The national branch of Cuba’s Museum of Beautiful Arts is filled with works by artists that are not usually seen outside of the island, including Rene Portocarrero, Eduardo Abela, Miguel Melero, Guillermo Collazo, Leopoldo Romañach, Roberto Diago, Wilfredo Lam, and Samuel Feijoo to mention just a few. The building itself is beautiful, and sits directly behind Cuba’s former presidential palace, which today houses the Museum of the Revolution.
2. Museum of the Cuban Revolution walks you through the period from 1952 to 1962 when Fidel Castro and his band of merry-men were causing havoc on the island starting with their attacks on July 26th, 1953 on the military barracks of Moncada and Carlo Manuel de Cespedes in Oriente Province. Though both attacks were tactical failures, they are venerated today as the starting point of the Cuban revolution. Notice the bullet halls on the outside walls of the museum which are testament to the volatile history of the island, and a failed 1957 coup d’état by the Student Revolutionary Directorate.
3. The obelisk that sits in the center of Havana’s Revolutionary plaza houses a small but very comprehensive museum dedicated to Cuban poet and independence movement organizer Jose Marti. It highlights his travels planning for Cuba’s second war o independence and his political views as seen by today’s Cuban government. Besides the home where he was born in Old Havana, it is principal institution that is dedicated to Jose Marti.
4. Havana’s Rum Museum is a stroll through the history of one of Cuba’s most important commercial products. The museum includes a scale model of a sugar processing plant and many interesting artifacts associated with the production of sugar cane and its refining into rum. It’s in a great location, right along the malecon and just steps from Havana’s cruise ship terminal.
5. The city of Havana itself is a museum that showcases the giant leaps made in the past seventy years by the Cuban revolution. Beautiful buildings and entire neighborhoods that were in pristine condition in 1959 are now falling apart. Cars that were the latest models in the 1940s and 1950s are still on the road, with diesel engines that in most cases belch huge clouds of smoke and sound like crazed tractor motors. Colonial buildings that had withstood four-hundred years of use and weather, have succumbed to neglect and have collapsed or are fenced off because they are on the verge of collapsing. Walk around Havana and you will see that the city is a living museum. A great walk that will take you through several centuries of construction and a half-century of neglect begins at the Paseo del Prado where it intersects with the malecon, walk along Prado past the Cuban capitol and turn right at the capitol building headed towards central Havana.
Admittance to these museums ranges from $5 CUC to $8 CUC for foreigners.
By Frank Gonzalez