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Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Gran Teatro de La Habana was originally built in 1838 then torn down and rebuilt in 1915 with a recent revamp in 2004.  With its 1,500 seats it is the home of the national ballet company and other performing arts productions.  Photo: Michael Shess, Pillar to Post, 2015

Editor’s note: On a daily basis from June 1 thru June 30, 2015 Pillar to Post online magazine is featuring articles, photos and insights resulting from a recent group tour, an adventure we dubbed: the April 23 Brigade’s Tour of Cuba 2015. 

The temptation is to only focus on the great faces of the Cuban people, where they live, what they drive and what they eat.  I hope we’ve done that in this Cuban series by Pillar to Post daily online magazine.  But as we wind down our coverage, we include a small sampling of classic architecture captured by photographic team.

El Capitolio opened in 1929 as the seat of Cuba’s national government. After Castro it became the National Library of Science an Technology.
It is undergoing restoration to once again be the seat of government.
Photo: Bruce Henderson, 2015
Museum of the Revolution was once the Presidential palace BC (before Castro).  Neo Classical touches by architects Carlos Maruri and Paul Belau

La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana, Plaza de la Catedral, Old Havana, is one of 11 Roman Catholic cathedrals in Cuba.  Completed in 1777 it is still in use. 
Photo: Phyllis Shess

We interrupt our cultural tour of classic Cuban architecture for a stop at Restaurant Floridita in Old Havana, a bar that is reputed to be author Ernest Hemingway’s favorite source for Daiquiri’s 

Since 1638, Plaza San Francisco has been the Plaza Mayor for Havana’s waterfront trade.  Photo: Gary Payne

Trinidad, Cuba is on the south Caribbean coast and it has recently celebrated its 500th anniversary.  For its eternal beauty, this entire small city of light, is a World Heritage site.  Photo: Michael Shess

Hotel Nacional de Cuba had its grand opening at the end of 1930.  It is a World Heritage site.  It was built on an old fort that dated back to 1797.
Photo: Michael Shess
Before returning to the April 23 Brigade’s Tour of Cuba 2015, we will pause for one day to discuss two 800-pound gorilla’s in the living room of every Cuban:

--Cuba in the Red.  Understanding the failing Cuban economic model, an in-depth report that answers a lot of questions.  Bear with me on this.  It’s a lengthy essay by the Council on Foreign Affairs and is solid background into to have on hand as we continue visiting Cuba.

--Quiet Man in Havana.  The under-the-radar politico that is being groomed to take over the country after the Castros.

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