Approaching Havana’s 500th anniversary

rutas-y-andaresNow is the right moment to appreciate colonial Havana in detail. Learn about its riches. Enjoy its beauties. Many of which exist in plain sight, yet the frantic pace of daily life almost always prevents us appreciating them. Today, the Rutas y Andares (Walks and Wonderings) program enables us to travel through time as we tour the city’s streets, squares, statues and get to know the men and women who clean, care for and love it, discovering the various marvels amassed in its Historic Center.

Every year Old Havana openly displays the growth of conservation projects being carried out by the City Historian’s Office, directed by Dr. Eusebio Leal. This is done through the Walks and Wonderings program, a positive initiative celebrating its 15th edition.

Havana is approaching its 500th anniversary, as although the villa (settlement) was first founded in an area on the southern coast in 1514, it wasn’t until 1519-1524 that it was definitively moved and established in Carenas Port.
Therefore Havana – which received the title of City in 1592 awarded by King Felipe II and proclaimed capital of Cuba by Royal Decree in 1607 – will celebrate its fifth centenary in 2019.

In a press conference held in Old Havana’s Casa de los Árabes, the Director of Cultural Management of the City Historian’s Office, Katia Cárdenas, stated that “on average, some 12,000 visitors choose us every summer.”

Walks and Wonderings, an event which received the Latin American Museums and Education Prize in 2010, began this July 3, and will continue through August 18.

n addition to the well known guided tour routes, this year’s program includes various special walks, including Las artes en el Barroco, in the San Francisco de Asís Minor Basilica and José Martí en el camino de los libertadores, organized by the Museo Casa Natal de José Martí and three others which will be explained in further detail below.

The City Historian’s Office announced an illustrious anniversary to be celebrated with a special route: Alicia Alonso. Órbita de una leyenda. Homenaje a laPrima Ballerina Assolutaen el aniversario 95 de su natalicio. (Alicia Alonso. Orbit of a legend. Homage to the Prima Ballerina Assolutaon the 95th anniversary of her birth).

This special route – which takes the name of the tribute documentary byDance Museum researcher, José Ramón Neyra- begins at the Hispanic-American Cultural Center, onMalecon 17, a few meters from Havana’s Prado, and includes the exhibition Giselle y Carmen. Visiones de dos de los grandes personajes que fueron inmortalizados en la escena por la gran bailarina cubana, with photos, posters, costumes and documents, testimonies of her great performances in these ballets.
n addition to the well known guided tour routes, this year’s program includes various special walks, including Las artes en el Barroco, in the San Francisco de Asís Minor Basilica and José Martí en el camino de los libertadores, organized by the Museo Casa Natal de José Martí and three others which will be explained in further detail below.

The City Historian’s Office announced an illustrious anniversary to be celebrated with a special route: Alicia Alonso. Órbita de una leyenda. Homenaje a laPrima Ballerina Assolutaen el aniversario 95 de su natalicio. (Alicia Alonso. Orbit of a legend. Homage to the Prima Ballerina Assolutaon the 95th anniversary of her birth).

This special route – which takes the name of the tribute documentary byDance Museum researcher, José Ramón Neyra- begins at the Hispanic-American Cultural Center, onMalecon 17, a few meters from Havana’s Prado, and includes the exhibition Giselle y Carmen. Visiones de dos de los grandes personajes que fueron inmortalizados en la escena por la gran bailarina cubana, with photos, posters, costumes and documents, testimonies of her great performances in these ballets.

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