Robaina's

Robaina's
Robaina's plantation

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Palacio de Los Capitanes Generales (Havana) The Statues

                  The building, located on the eastern side of the Plaza de Armas, is the former residence of the Governor's of Havana. It now houses the 'Museum of the City of Havana'. It was designed by architect & engineer Antonio Fernandez de Trebejos and Zaldivar, along with the Havana architect Pedro Medina. The construction of the building began in 1776 on the site where a heavily damaged Parroquial Mayor church was to be demolished, it was complete in 1792. Most of the construction material such as; brick, marble and wrought-iron was imported from; Malaga, Genoa & Bilboa, to ensure good quality. The building originally housed the governor's residence, a prison (closed in 1834), as well as being used as the meeting place for the city council. The last of the Colonial governors left the palace in 1898, after Cuban Independence. US military governors used the building between 1899 to 1902 and was the presidential palace of the Cuban Republic from 1902 until 1920. In 1968, after once again becoming the offices of the city council for some time, the palace became the City Museum.
              This thick walled, square building that has been built in the Cuban Baroque style has not been changed much since it's construction. The front of the building has an arcade with arches and local limestone has been used for the facade which you can see from all the fossils embedded into the stone. The small windows are all fronted by balconies on the facade as well as on the floor above with the much larger windows. But the most beautiful feature in my opinion is the huge open courtyard, commonplace for houses of this period. The rooms are filled with many interesting artifacts, there's even a 19th-century fire engine manufactured in London on display on the ground floor right next to several carriages of the period. The top floor contains the rooms of the governor's residence which have been preserved with much of the original furniture and decoration. Also upstairs, the Hall of Heroic Cuba which contains many objects and paintings from the different wars of independence as well as many of the flags important at that time. The building is also home to the 'Office of the City Historian' which is headed by Eusebio Leal and is responsible for the renovation work in Old Havana. The statue in the middle of the courtyard is that of Cristóbal Colón and was added in 1862, it was brought from Italy.
            There is much more to this building than meets the eye. I read that there are 40 different rooms containing memories of an extinct era and I have to say if there weren't 40, it was pretty close, it's certainly a long list. In my opinion the largest and most complete of all the city's museums. This spot is definitely worth a visit but go when you have some time to spare because there's way too much to see. The statues and busts that I've posted are only a fraction of the the ones you'll find scattered around the property. I've done my best to put names to the faces as many (most) of them didn't have names attached to them. Please feel free to correct me if I've made any mistakes.








Jose Marti....(January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) was a Cuban National Hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. During his life, he was a poet, essayist, journalist, revolutionary philosopher, translator, professor, publisher, Freemason, political theorist, and supporter of Henry George's economic reforms. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol for Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence.



Christopher Columbus....The island of Cuba was discovered October 28 of 1492 after the disembarked of La Pinta, La Niña and La Santa María, the first three european ships under the command of the admiral Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) during his first trip toward the New World. 



Simon Bolivar....(July 24, 1783 - December 17, 1830), Simon Bolivar and also colloquially as El Libertador, [3] was a Venezuelan military and political leader who played a leading role in the establishment of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru , and Panama as sovereign states, independent of Spanish rule.





Bartolomé Masó Y Márquez (right)...Born on a farm near Yara, Manzanillo, Oriente, on December 21, 1830. Major General of the Liberation Army. One of the participants in the preparatory meeting of the war at the Ingenio Rosario. Second chief of the liberating forces.


José Guillermo Moncada....(June 25, 1841 - April 5, 1895), Was one of the 29 Cuban generals of the Liberation Army who participated in the War of Independence of this Caribbean country, in addition to have participated in the two previous wars.






Calixto García Iñiguez....(August 4, 1839 – December 11, 1898) was a general in three Cuban uprisings, part of the Cuban War for Independence: Ten Years' War, the Little War and the War of 1895, itself sometimes called the Cuban War for Independence, which bled into the Spanish–American War, ultimately resulting in national independence for Cuba.


Salvador Cisneros Betancourt....(February 10, 1828 – February 28, 1914), Cuban politician who became president of the Republic of Cuba in Arms from 1873 to 1875 .





Carlos Manuel de Céspedes....(April 18, 1819 – February 27, 1874) was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War.



Antonio Maceo Grajales....(June 14, 1845 – December 7, 1896) was second-in-command of the Cuban Army of Independence. Maceo was one of the most noteworthy guerrilla leaders in 19th century Latin America.


Máximo Gómez.....(November 18, 1836 – June 17, 1905) was a Major General in Cuba's Ten Years' War (1868–1878) against Spain. He was also Cuba's military commander in it's War of Independence (1895–1898).





 Francisco Carrillo....Major General of the Cuban Liberation Army. Combatant of the three wars for the independence of Cuba. He was an active collaborator of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and one of the main organizers of the 1895 War in Cuba. He survived the war and had an active political life in the Neocolonial Republic.


Friday, 29 December 2017

Zaida del Rio (Cuban artist) Havana

                       Zaida was born in Guadalupe, Las Villas, Cuba, on June 3, 1954. She's a painter, drawer, illustrator, engraver, ceramic decorator, mural painter and poet. She is one of Cuba’s most respected living female artists today. She began her artistic studies at the Provincial Art School of Cienfuegos in 1960. She then entered the National School of Art (ENA) in Havana (1971-1974), Superior Institute of Art (ISA) Havana (1982-1987) and the Fine Arts School (L'Ecole des Beaux Arts) in Paris, France (1988-1989). Between 1976 and 1988 she exhibited more than 18 times in Villa Clara, Cienfuegos and Havana. She's had a time where she taught engraving at the Santa Clara Vocational School of Arts and years later she worked as a drawing teacher at the Art Elementary School. She's a member of Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and International Association of Plastic Artists (AIAP). She has made more than 30 solo and group exhibitions in Brazil, Cuba, Spain, United States, France, Italy, Japan, Martinique and Mexico. Her works have been present in all editions of Havana Biennial. Her artwork can be found in the collections of National Museum of Fine Art, Havana, Cuba; Salón Internacional de Gráfica. Roma, Italia; National Museum of Fine Art, Cuenca, Ecuador; Guayasamín Foundation, Cuenca, Ecuador; UNESCO, México, D.F.; Museo de la Cerámica, La Habana, Cuba; Museo de la Danza, Cuba; Museo Mapri, Pinar del Río, Cuba; Museo de Santa Clara, Villa Clara,Cuba; Casa de las Américas, La Habana, Cuba; Chateau Lormont, Bordeaux, Francia.
                     It's safe to say that she's famous on and off the island. She's not everyone's cup of tea, I have found people who both like her art and people that don't. I myself enjoy it, it's whimsical and I love her use of colours. She's not difficult to find in Havana, that is, her studio is not difficult to find. Above the restaurant 'La Mina' on Calle Obispo is an artists loft where a number of them have their studios, Zaida's is one of them. Be aware that fame demands high prices and you'll find that Zaida's art will not be cheap.


Casa de Los Artistas
Open: 10:30am-4:30pm Mon-Sat
Admission: Free
Oficios #6, e/ Obispo y Obrapía,
Habana Vieja
(Above La Mina Restaurant)







Amanecer En La Habana (1997)




Cultivo una Rosa Blanca (2013)


Dos Mundos (2008)


Paz (2008)





Mantra (2009)







Cosecha La Habana (2014)



Diamond Way (2008)


Aurora Boreal


Ofrenda (2015)


(2006)


(2008)



La Veguera (2010)