Robaina's plantation

Thursday 5 July 2018

Jardin Madre Teresa de Calcuta (Havana) A tranquil refuge in the otherwise bustling heart of Old Havana

                  I'd like to begin this post by saying this is the start to a series of posts describing in more detail the sites discussed in my previous post "Avenida del Puerto".
                  There's a peaceful, often overlooked refuge in the otherwise bustling heart of Old Havana. I myself have walked by it dozens of times before realizing it existed and I'm sure it's missed by the majority of tourists visiting Havana for a short term. The oasis I'm talking about is the Jardin Madre Teresa de Calcuta (Garden Mother Teresa of Calcutta) located behind the Minor Basilica of the Convent of San Francisco de Asís, on Avenida del Puerto. The main entrance to the Garden will be found to the side of Plaza de San Francisco beside (behind) the church but you can also enter from Calle Churraca at the other end. The garden, inaugurated in 1999, was meant to be a tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa of Calcutta. However, the site does more than honor Mother Teresa, it acts as a cemetery & Memorial for Cuban Intellectuals & artists both local and foreign, it contains several sculptural works and a small Greek Orthodox chapel which is open to visitors. The bronze statue of Mother Teresa of Calcutta sitting on a bench is the work of the master José Villa Soberón. Admission to the garden is free.
      The pics above of people entombed or memorialized within the garden include:
-Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring (Havana, August 23, 1889 - Havana, August 8, 1964), was a Cuban historian, the first historian of the city of Havana.
-Salvador Morales Pérez. (Havana, December 9, 1939 - Havana, November 10, 2012) Degree in history from the University of Havana in 1968, where he received his doctorate in 1999. He is a student of the national hero of Cuba José Martí.
-Nara Araújo Carruana (Havana, November 19, 1945 - Havana, January 14, 2009) PhD in Philological Sciences. Full Professor of the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Havana. Full Professor of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico City, Mexico.
-Lisandro Otero González (Havana, June 4, 1932 – Havana, January 3, 2008) was a Cuban novelist and journalist. Otero won Cuba's National Prize in Literature in 2002 & was director of the Cuban Academy of Language from October 2004 until his death.
-Pepe Rafart (Havana, 1946- Havana, July, 2009) Cuban artist whose pieces appear in important museums of the world.
                    Most of the others that are not included in the pictures above:
-Antonio Núñez Jiménez (April 20, 1923 – September 13, 1998) Cuban revolutionary and academic. Núñez was born in Alquízar, Havana Province.
-Carmen Montilla Tinoco (Táchira,Venezuela, August, 1944 -.Venezuela, October, 2004) Venezuelan artist, great friend of Cuba , contributed to the restoration process of the Historical Center of Havana.
-Octavio Cortázar (Havana, January, 19, 1935 - Madrid, February, 27, 2008) Cuban film director and screenwriter. He directed twelve films between 1961 and 2005.
-Marta Arjona Pérez (Havana, May 3, 1923 - 2006) Cuban artist.
-Julio García Espinosa (Havana, 5 September 1926 – Havana, 13 April 2016) Cuban film director and screenwriter. He directed fourteen films between 1955 and 1998.
-Alicia Perea Maza (Havana , May 24, 1934 - Havana , May 6 , 2015) pianist & piano teacher. She also worked as a composer, interpreter and cultural promoter. Founder of the National School of Art (1962), which she directed for 16 years, displaying an intense teaching job as a piano teacher.
                     Regardless of whether or not you're religious or if you know anyone buried or memorialized other than Mother Teresa, this is a wonderful place to take a break from the sun, sheltered among the arcades of the old church & the vegetation growing around it. A peaceful place away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. Keep it in mind if you're wandering around the area and looking for a time-out.

Plaza de San Francisco , Old Havana
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

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