“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 recently to provide details about the activities planned in recognition of Havana’s 500th anniversary in November next year.
To greet the grand occasion, Leal Spengler explained that the full restoration of El Capitolio building will be completed, as well as that 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 restoration of the first venue of the House of Representatives (parliament).
The preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Cuban capital will also include the creation of the hubs for the new public bicycle system in the old city, as well as a housing programme 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 is still very much alive”, said Spengler, and he added that works will be carried out in its 15 municipalities (boroughs), and that residents are expected to actively participate in that process.
According to Cuban history, November 16, 1519 was the day Spanish conqueror Diego Velazquez established his third and final location for the city of Havana.
Some of the cultural activities expected for Havana´s 500th anniversary, include the 13th visual arts Biennial, part of which includes art installations along the Malecon seafront and the Paseo del Prado, and in buildings and public spaces of the historic centre of the city.