Robaina's plantation

Monday 30 April 2018

Casa Victor Hugo (Havana) Habana Vieja

                Victor Hugo (born Feb. 1802 – died May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist who never set foot on Cuban soil, yet, he has a museum named after him in Havana.....why? The museum in question is the Casa Victor Hugo located on Calle O'Reilly N° 311 founded in took 3 years for the restoration that started in 2002. The financing was provided by the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana and the French Association Cuba Cooperation. The building itself, which was built in 1754, was once owned by the family of scientist Felipe Poey who was born onto French and Spanish parents....he founded the Museum of Natural History of Havana in 1839 and was a president of the anthropological Society as well. Throughout the builing's history it had housed different utilities such as Banks and Insurance Companies. As far as Victor Hugo's connection to Cuba goes, he always supported the independence of Cubans (always defending the poor and oppressed) being a spokesman for their struggles during their war with Spain.
                Besides being a museum, the house works as a cultural center dedicated to promoting French culture and language in Havana, a way of reestablishing relationships with the country. Some of the activities that go on here are: exhibits, conferences, concerts & screening of documentaries & French films. It's an institution that studies the French language, culture and customs with a library containing French literature highlighting the works of the famous Victor Hugo. Besides the projection room that shows French films there are also exhibit rooms with contemporary art and heritage from the different French regions. Some of the things that are part of the permanent exhibition; a reproduction of the death mask of Victor Hugo, documents, objects associated with French pharmacy and medicine found by archaeologists, wall paintings and fragments of Catalan tiles from the 18th century & Valencia from the 19th.
               When the house was inaugurated by the Historian of the City, Eusebio Leal Spengler, in attendance were: Roger Grevoul, president of the Cuba Cooperation Association; Marie-France Pagmier, Ambassador of France: Ricardo Alarcón, President of the National Assembly of People's Power, and Abel Prieto, Minister of Culture as well as Marie and Laura Hugo, great-great-granddaughters of the French writer. This institution has served to unite the bonds of friendship between Cuba and France.

Casa Victor Hugo
Calle O'Reilly  N° 311
e/ Habana y Aguiar
Habana Vieja

Free Addmition

Reproduction of the death mask of Victor Hugo

Soil from the garden of Hugo's birth home

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Partagas Factory (Havana) March 2018

                       Let me start by saying that the picture of the front of the Partagas factory below is not where the factory is located today. Due to structural deterioration they had to move daily operations to a different location for the safety of the workers. However, the pictures of the inside of the factory were taken at it's current location at Calle San Carlos #812 e/ Peñalver y Sitio in Centro Habana on my trip last March. The Partagas Cigar Shop is still located on the ground floor of the original factory and is still giving it's customers excellent service and providing not just the Partagas cigar brand but most other brands as well depending on availability at the time. We all know Partagas as a premium brand that's liked by most aficionados and loved by many but there is a lot more to it than a name on band they put on a good tasting cigar and a on a sign of a famous cigar shop....there actually was someone named Partagas. I was given a little tidbit by someone in the industry.....the Partagas factory has surpassed the H.Upmann factory for quality of product leaving it's doors (according to his opinion). That doesn't mean that good cigars aren't rolled in other Cuban cigar factories, it just means that at this moment in time Partagas may have more experienced rollers than others.