Havana’s 500th Anniversary: Rutas y Andares in the Greatest Birthday

This is how we’re living it in the capital, a huge birthday that began since the first day of 2019 to celebrate the 500 years of our wonder city.

And, of course, the “Rutas y Andares” (Routes and Wanderings) program of the City Historian’s Office also brings special proposals.

The hidden treasure? Well, actually it is neither so hidden nor so secret: the families that make ten routes and wanderings, workshops or combinations of all modalities, will receive guided tours of the National Capitol Building, shows at Marti Theater and the accreditation as “Rutas y Andares” Family, with free access during a year to museums, concerts and other cultural events.

And it won’t be difficult to love the project, which keeps a growing range of proposals to tour Old Havana throughout the summer, actually the families begin to win since they decide to enjoy and learn: the perfect combination.

On Wednesday, June 3, at 10:00 am, visitors will gather at El Templete to begin the first “Wandering” through Havana’s Musical Heritage. The Director of Cultural Management of the City Historian’s Office, Katia Cárdenas, also announced that history museums would bring visitors closer to the monuments and spaces that marked the foundational ceremonies of the old village of San Cristobal de La Habana, to unravel rituals and symbols that accompany this city for 500 years.

How was art made and lived in Colonial Havana? The cultural practices of this city that we figure out with umbrellas and that we can’t wrap our heads around them with so much dress clothing and coats on in this current hot weather will be unveiled by art museums, which will also guide us through the cultural life of Havana’s republican society.

The Hispanic American Culture Center will open a space for the visitors to meet Havana’s most interesting writers and poets, maybe the first ones enchanted by this creative little witch known as Havana. On the other hand, the ethnographic museums propose “Route” Migrations, religiosity and traces that allows them go to the roots, which we live on.

The institutions that preserve the pharmaceutical heritage will recall for the walkers the work of the old drugstores of the city, with the exhibition of the old instruments used in them.

A special route will reach the main fortresses of the city. There will also be tours and visits to public buildings and places where visitors can appreciate Havana’s architectural evolution and, of course, recently restored works in the historic core.

According to the director of Cultural Management, there are 8 walks, 4 wanderings, 136 virtual wanderings and 169 summer workshops. Meanwhile, Adriana Díaz, specialist from the Cultural Management Center, especially invited walkers to the children’s route “By the hands of heritage children guides, which will visit the Palacio del Segundo Cabo and the now renovated National Capitol Building, as well as what they’ve called children guides of the natural heritage that will tour the Quinta de los Molinos.

Teenagers will have special proposals this summer in the Routes and Wanderings: photography safaris, creative workshops and “Wandering” We’re more with you. Youngsters will pedal through Havana with bike tours of such Citykleta and Ha’Bici projects.

And as Havana is for everyone, these Rutas y Andares leave nobody out of their proposals, so they foresee intergenerational programs for elderlies in which they will be able to share with their grandchildren, as well as the traditional virtual wanderings. In addition, hearing impaired people will enjoy the Rutas y Andares program thanks to the “Culture between the hands” project that will offer the service of their sign language interpreters.

The Havana Puppetry Festival (Festival Habana Titiritera) returns this summer as part of the Rutas y Andares, which according to Adriana Díaz will be especially dedicated to the influence of foreign cultures in Havana’s map, with an emphasis on the traditions and customs that have remained in the city forever.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translated Staff

Tribute to Havana for its 500 Years from Cuban Culture

Prestigious Cuban singers and musicians joined their talents in a video clip to mark the 500th anniversary of the founding of this city, producers announced.

In a press conference, musician and director of Surcaribe group, Ricardo Leyva, considered that the audiovisual had as its first objective to illustrate beautiful, romantic and nostalgic Havana, which opens her arms to visitors.

Titled 'Forever Habana mía', the clip song is signed by Leyva and has the collaboration of artists such as Frank Fernández, Beatriz Márquez, Ulises Aquino, Isaac Delgado and Alexander Abreu, among others.

In addition, the video brings together various music genres and styles, tinged with lyric and reggaeton, the latter through the incursion of Yomil and Dany duo.

Directed by young Asiel Babastro, the material offers a fresh look of the Cuban capital with breathtaking aerial views and runs through emblematic sites such as the Capitol, built in the first half of the last century.

The presentation was attended by the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in Havana, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, and Cuban Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, among other authorities.

On November 16, Havana will celebrate its 500th anniversary in memory of that day of 1519, when Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez established his third and definitive settlement.


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Havana´s 500th anniversary will bring restoration of city landmarks

Havana, November 13 (RHC)— 'Havana has played an important role in the construction of the national character, in the struggles for independence, and in the battles led by students and workers. This city has an impressive heritage reserve ... ', said Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the Cuban capital.

Leal spoke at a press conference on Monday to provide details about the plan of activities in recognition of city, which will be marking its half millennium in November next year.

To greet the grand occasion, Leal Spengler explained that the finishing of the full restoration of El Capitolio building will be accomplished, with the completion of the halls of National Symbols, of the Anthem, and of the Constitution.

Other works include the setting up of the Railway Museum of Cuba at the Cristina Station in Old Havana, the new headquarters of the Automobile Museum; and the recovery of the first venue of the House of Representatives.

The preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital will also include the setting up of the stations of a new public bicycle system in the old city, as well as a housing program that will improve living conditions of hundreds of residents.

“Havana is a city that has suffered the impact of cyclones and political-economic changes, but still it is very alive.”, said Spengler, and he added that works will be carried out in its 15 municipalities, and that residents are expected to actively participate in them.

Tradition acknowledges November 16, 1519 as the day Spanish conqueror Diego Velazquez established its third and final location.

Some of the cultural activities expected for Havana´s 500th anniversary, include the 13th edition of its renowned Biennial along the Malecon sea front drive and the Paseo del Prado, and in buildings and public spaces of the Historic Center.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
  • Published in Culture
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