Archive for ‘Cuba’

June 6, 2023

Again ,where it all began a looong time ago, my Punta Brava !!!

I am feeling nostalgic again,and was looking at some old pictures that were not in my blog, Again, my blog is my life’s history so they needed to be in. Let me tell you a bit more on a personal note as to where I was born. Intrigue.? It has been a long trip of four nationalities now and 81 countries visited, and 5 countries live/work and 4 languages. Ok ok here is where all began, a looong time ago ;   my birthplace of Punta Brava!!

punta brava house punta brava with father behind 6 yrs old

Punta Brava house pedro plays with swing about 18 mos old c1959

Punta Brava is a small town located just to the southwest of Havana or La Habana, with roughly 1500 inhabitants, and now part of the municipal district of La Lisa (which was and still is a town of my days). It sits on the Carretera Central that goes west to east of the island ; just south at about 7 km of Santa Fe beach and Hemingway marina , It is also, 15 km from Jose Marti Rancho Boyeros International Airport of Havana, and 26 km from old town Havana (Habana Vieja).

Punta Brava house pedro plays with toys about 18 mos old c1960

Punta Brava house pedro torero by door to patio about 18 mos old c1959

Some other nearby towns are Guatao (where the cementery of my grandparents is located) at about 2 km,   Cangrejeras  on your way to Santa Fe beach at 3,5 km , the historical El Cano at 4,5 km and one already mentioned in my blog Arroyo Arenas at 4,6 km, I went to school , my last was Bauta 7 km , and where I still have the remaining one aunt and cousin Cayo La Rosa at 12,5 km.

Punta brava pipo y pedro febles calle 50 frente abuelos c1959

punta brava pipo pedro y tio mario c1959


This post is to all and especially to me as  a reminder of what it was, a lingering space in time of a once upon a time place call Punta Brava, city of Havana metropolitan area, Republic of Cuba. Where born and grew up to 10 at Avenida 247 No 5006 !!!


Punta Brava abuelo Manolo and me visiting with mima in 1984.

Even if by now totally out of it still rings with nostalgia that I was born in Punta Brava.  Now with the new revolution, all what was the town is gone and hardly anything looks the same, i will be lost. Cuba has change a lot, it’s not the same , and for me,  it will never be the same…. Now, only faint memories lingered, and some places of share family values and love. Far far away, it seems difficult to even write that I went back in 1984 to see my paternal grandmother before she passed away, see my paternal grandfather, in 1998 to show my French wife the reality of there, and meet my family that was there and by now mostly gone too , again on a business trip with my French company in 2012, and that is enough seen ,no need for more. It seems to me like I was not from there. It required some days of adjustment for things to come back again a bit…

La Habana PF baby in El Arte c1959


Some places dear to me in my infancy that had not mentioned before but now with pictures to follow this is the tourist complex of Guamà and the towns of Artemisa and Güira de Melena,

The Laguna del Tesoro, or treasure lagoon with an area of 9 km2 is located 8 km from Boca de Guama in Matanzas province ; just way south of Varadero, You have to take a boat to cross the Canal de la Laguna and thus arrive at the lagoon. This village built on small islets is a reconstruction on the model of an old Taïno indian village. Its name “Laguna del Tesoro” is taken from a legend according to which a treasure was thrown to the bottom of the lake by the Indians when the Spaniards arrived… the treasure is above all in the beauty of the landscape …It is at about 150 km from Havana, and 117 km from Varadero, This is very near Playa Larga a bigger nicer resort at the point north of the famous Bay of Pigs.

Guama cienaga de zapata with Mom et PF c1965

The town of Güira de Melena former province of Havana today in the new province of Artemisa ,The town was founded in 1779 by the Marquis Càrdenas de Monte Hermoso, It is situated south of the province near another historical place I remember Alquizar, It is for a sad story where I did force labor work as a child on what was called Escuela al Campo, doing agriculture work, and the world still looks the other way.

Guira de Melena field school PF visiting c1969

The town of Artemisa is a city in the new province of Artemisa since its creation in August 2010. Formerly was part of the province of Havana, It is about 60 km from Havana, The city was founded in 1818 , One major development here is the old coffee estates, home to old coffee plantations and factories that have shaped Cuba’s economy and history for centuries. Discover the ruins of the island’s most famous property, the Antiguo Cafetal Angerona, Many visits here as a child and was able to get my sons to ride a horse in our visit of 1998 ! The area had a statue at the entrance to the town of Artemis, the goddess of wilderness, hunting and childbirth, and one reason for the name of the town,

Artemisa odiseo horse ride Noel y Remi, other side MF aug98

No tourist webpage for the above, just real story real memories to lingered forever and seeking new lands, always never looking back, it is you. Punta Brava and me, forever in my mind! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 7, 2023

A tribute to my dear parents, Elio and Gladys !!!

Often the cause unfortunately me think we write about far away lands and beautiful monuments , forgetting what we have at home. The most beautiful monument to mankind were/ are your parents , I have briefs mentioned of my parents in my blog but now that they have passed away and nostalgia sits in ,it is time to do a tribute post on them. The pictures cover different periods and not in order.  Bear with me please this post is for loving families all over our world. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Punta brava dia la boda mis padres elio y gladys

Looong ago as a child left Punta BravaHavana, Cuba, It was a journey to freedom with an intermediate stop in Madrid, Spain, on Cubana de Aviacion old Britannia four propellers airplane 16 hrs flight with a fuel stop in Santa Maria Açores island , My dear late mother Gladys took me out to join my father already in the USA,(he escape by boat!). This was a very humble trip with the clothes we had on and no money into cold snowy Madrid, We got an used coat from Catholic Charities, I have a good time been a poor refugee in the big City and was treated hugely nice by all with dear memories that have kept me very close to the big City of Spain, My grandparents from Tenerife always spoked fondly of it ,and it finally show it was all true, My dear mom was always next to me always protecting and caring for me like an angel, She is sorely missed now,

MAdrid calle de alcala 331 metro quintana lived heree 24jan10

Madrid ribeira do mino resto real madrid friends pipo et PF 24jan10

From Madrid we moved on in life to finally join my Dad Elio after five long years not seeing him, We arrived at Kennedy airport in NYC on a flight from Iberia no 951, This began finally my life in total freedom, After a family welcome with my paternal aunt in Hoboken NJ ,we came to settle as a family again in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Here began our working and school lives to archive the American dream ,hard work and perseverance together as a strong family with great values that are firmly implanted in me, I went to the McGinnis Middle School for one year before passing to Perth Amboy High School, I passed my driving licence here with a fire test drive to Yankee stadium in the Bronx, NYC. We eventually became US Citizen in New Brunswick courthouse in 1980.  My parents had small businesses from grocery store, men’s clothing store, and a nightclub, and purchase several homes reaching fully the American Dream !!

point pleasant beach fishing parents

Edison menlo park mall pipo y mima

From Perth Amboy I decided to attend University studies in Daytona Beach ERAU, Coming back and forth by car with my 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo from here to NJ usually took 17 hrs drive and became a real road warrior !!! Of course, my parents were always behind  me and my biggest supporters not only in material things but in encouragement and moral support,  Always together like the muskeeteers!!!We came up with the slogan of the movie that carry my life thereafter, all for one and one for all !!! Indeed. I graduated in 1982 and came back to work at EWR Newark Liberty international airport with an FBO (fixed base operator) handling cargo duties and charter flights to England and Greece, After tasting the beaches of Florida, it became clear my future was in Florida, I took the decision to move there and my parents Elio and Gladys always supporting me ! I moved back and they purchase the house so have one when they were ready for retirement, I chose and they bought at Ormond by the Sea Volusia County just north of Daytona Beach on the beachside, 150 meters from the beach !!! It was glorious living and enjoy fully the Sunshine State again,,, However, always behind me my parents were not long in retiring to the house in about a year and a half afterward, We came together again!



While in Ormond by the Sea, and in my world travels as a young single guy, met a girl in Paris name Martine and you know the story of that in several posts in my blog, My dear late wife Martine was an inspirational, a good wife and one heck of a mother !! She is missed greatly, While here we had our first boy at Halifax Hospital, Daytona Beach,and was baptised in St Brendan Catholic Church in Ormond by the Sea, However, together we continue to a job placement and moved again to an appartment in North Miami, by the Keystone Yacht Club in Biscayne blvd and NE 135st street !! We started to load up on kids and twin boys were coming so my parents again,,,sold everything and came down to purchase a house for all while taking care of the grandchildren now 3 boys in west Hialeah while we worked in Miami by the airport and Beacon Center, While in Hialeah, my Martine gave birth to twin boys at Hialeah Hospital which brought more joy to our family, They were baptised at St Barbara Catholic Church of Hialeah.

Ormond beach casa isleña y papo

Ormond beach fl room elio y gladys en casa

We, then as a family of 7 or the magnificent Seven to moved again and purchase a bigger home in  Miramar, Silver Lakes division, Sapphire Bay sub division, in Broward county, We had a great family time there.  From there we made several trips to France to visit the family and enjoy the bounties of our belle France, We even took charter flights thru Gander Canada sponsored by the Consulat de France in Miami and the French expat group Miami Accueil! It was in this period where we traded nationalities as my Martine became an American citizen in Miami and me a French citizen both in 2000, all these times my parents always on guard with us helping us and protecting us ,did one heck of a job with my boys, glad they got the same home education as I.


miramar my dad in the kitchen last home in florida christmas 2002

Finally , as was expected after yearly trips to France going back to 1990 we made the decision to move to France in 2002, Preparing the move and finding a job for me as the biggest wage earner we finally did it all in August 2003, I came first to start my job in Sept03 and once the house in Miramar was sold they followed in Dec03, I tried to be neutral and told my parents of this decision where they can stay behind and will see each other every couple of years or they can move with us as residents but with no French will be lonely as we needed to work, Of course, their decision was immediately coming with us, no way they will leave their only child and 3 grandchildren go away !! I was happy too !! We got them as family reunification with all the paperwork done in Miami and their entry was flowless, My wife Martine, my 3 boys and my parents Elio and Gladys came on Dec03, to join me in France which already had an appartment waiting for them.

Les Mureaux house boys martine mima y pipo c2004

We rented in Verneuil sur Seine, Yvelines dept 78 of the Île de France region of my belle France .My boys went to school at Jean Zay Collége there, In about 8 months we purchase a house in lovely sublime Versailles in the Notre Dame district near the train station Rive Droite and the ND Market ! It was a wonderful purchase and great happiness for all 7 !! My boys went to high school in the nearby town of Le Chesnay currently attach to Rocquencourt as Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt, We were able to put them in the high school Lycée Blanche de Castille where they were happy to be independant and take the former bus A currently bus no 3 which drop them off in front of the school by the hospital Mignot and back by the Notre Dame market in Versailles ! There were indeed very happy moments in my life!

Les Mureaux Mima y Pipo oxygen tank jan07

While in Versailles, we had the tragic loss of my dear mom Gladys from an uncurable disease call Pulmonary Fibrosis, doctors gave her 3-6 years to live and she did 4 after diagnose, Very sad news, I lost a huge monumental dear mother or what definition a mother should be , she was.  Always in my mind and heart for all she did for me and her grandchildren, She was taken care of her sickness at the pital de Meulan-Les Mureaux  (Currently Meulan is name Meulan en Yvelines 78) just by the Seine river, She passed away in her bedroom on December 27 2007 22h or 10pm.  We stopped by when possible now living far but she was cremated at the Crématorium et Parc Mémorial du Val d’Oise of Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône in Val d’Oise dept 95, Her ashes were spread by the SNSM volunteer lifeguard organisation with the Notre Dame du Port vedette boat SNS 131 in Honfleur Normandie as she like it there after visiting during the Fête des Marins and seen the virgin taken thru the town and into a boat to be blessed at sea, and here,it  has been for my wife and dad as well, Many memorable moments we spent together even if life took her short before her 73, birthday. She was a brave lady never complaint, a tough Guanche of Tenerife heritage ! RIP never to be forgotten, and always missed.

Les Mureaux mima last pic kids and best grandma Yayi and mother 24Dec07

Life goes on as they tell me but never the same, we went on to move west for job improvements as well always forward, It was at the request of my wife as my previous job were taken me away from upwards of 3 months, and needed to be kept closely by the family so I did, I found me an international very good job in Saint Nolff Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Brittany, I moved to an apartment in Brec’h in june 2011, My wife, father and 3 boys came later in July 2012 after the house was sold and all paperwork done as the first two buyers for the house felled thru in their financing !!, Once all in the apartment we went out for a house and my wife Martine chose the one we still live on in Pluvigner moving in July 2013. Already 10 years here, breaking my record of 5,5 years per residence time !!! As said, already have plenty on the memories of my dear late wife Martine in my blog so will go onward to my Dad Elio.

Brech pipo new TV gift 6apr13

My Dad Elio had several medical complications but medicines and good care especially nurses coming home all cover by the great French social security system, he was kept in good conditions and we took him everywhere ! Even, eventually in wheel chair !! From our home base in Pluvigner we saw our belle France and dear Spain all over and tagging along my Dad, 3 boys and by now our dog Rex,(name chosen by my wife after a police tv series dog). The motto we took out all for one and one for all is well in our veins ! We enjoy him very much as always funny smiling positive huge Dad and immense grandfather we never got a No from him !!! His complications got him to have a cerebrovascular accident after a fall and he had a few very active stubborn Guanche !!! He had further complications from it and finally after a hospital stay of a month and a half was send home uncurable to be maintain with an HAD or hospital at home services where nurses will come three times a day to take care of him at home, At home, he lasted about another month and a half until finally passing away in his bedroom on January 7, 2023, at the good age of 87. He is sorely missed now by all we have left, me and my 3 boys, We remember him fondly on his antics and trips together, He was cremated at the same as my dear late wife Martine in the Crématorium et Parc Mémorial du Pays de Vannes in Plescop ,and put to the ocean on April 12 2023 on the same boat vedette SNS 131 named Notre-Dame-du-Port  in Honfleur, Normandie. Sad moments indeed as the house is now more empty than ever, and we only have great wonderful memories of all, never to be forgotten and always thank you Dad and Mom, or as we call them Pipo and Mima !!!

pluvigner pipo at home for his 83 bday 20jul18

Plu house pipo lecture cartes postales may22

I put the SNSM station in Honfleur which had taken my precious 3 to sea, I guess I will be next, needless to tell you I am a donor since 2008:

There you go folks, maybe sad for me, but a must in my blog. After all, as i said, this blog is my life’s history and all that goes with it bad or good.  Lucky mostly has been good ,and huge teachings of love to continue the battle of life. Hope you too enjoy life to the fullest as it is short indeedAgain, hope you have enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 30, 2023

My last trip where all begun ,Cuba !

I was asked to go to Cuba on a business trip for my company, and needed to go, I have seen it all, and not really wanted to go but business first as they say, I took advantage with my assigned driver to see the family still there , and by now the vast majority out of the country finally as told them many times, I went around with nostalgia and sadness to see what has remain. It all began there for me many many years ago. I left it in 1971, and hardly any sight pictures, the current pics in this post are from this last trip in 2012. You can see my many posts on Cuba in my blog for the real picture,,,Hope you enjoy the post as I,

I took a long flight it seems endless from home in my beautiful Morbihan 56 , went by car to Nantes airport;following the road N165 all the way to exit D201 Nantes Atlantique signs about 1h30 minutes. Then took a regional Air France flight to Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, which as today’s travel goes make you go north and then south ! I change there to KLM for the flight to La Habana about 10 hours !!! and finally arrive in Havana, very tired !

I stayed at a Casa Particular as was assigned this by the ongoings of local politics ,house in the new district of Playa,(old Miramar) no fancy hotels for me, My other collegues did stayed in the Mélia Habana Hotel,the new aparthaid ! Stories about Cuba abound from all periods; blaming each other, but no doubt the previous pre 1959 regime was better for the mayority. Proof over 2 millions have left already and several millions waiting for the opportunity while been politically correct.

Havana rogelio casa side back apr12

havana Rogelio casa particular dining room Feb12

We had not much time to see the sights ,so I took a ride by car on the Malecon, went over to the old Church of San Francisco de Asisi, the Morro , Fuerza ,and Cabanas castles (see post). Lots old history ,and sad stories of my Cuba.

havana malecon melia et riviera hotels FEb12

We had business lunch at Restaurant 1830 at Calle Calzada esq. a 20, Vedado. This was a branch of La Zaragozana that was founded, in 1830 ! It is now considered one of the best there , There was a special treat at a casa paladar on a fifth floor of a building, but could not remember the name as it was at night and friends rode me there, we had asked for lobsters supreme but not available even if was on the menu , realities of life there; at least it had a nice view of the city.  The highlight was at El Palenque, near pabexpo Cuba, and serving the Convention palace wonderful typical Cuban place and food, very nice lechon or pork with yucca,moro (blackened rice), and the local Cristal beer, It is by now a local institution, stands out as an unpretentious and authentic eating spot that attracts a large number of Cuban families and foreigners. It can be crowded and lively, but it is a great way to feel Havana at Calle 17 & Calle 190 , now Playa  For a nostalgic trip we passed by El Potin resto, (see post) my dear late Mom Gladys used to take me here as a little boy, just a sandwich and light platters place and ice cream,juice and soda drinks, still there!!! and it looks nice after all ! Inspired by French immigrants ! at Línea corner of Paseo, Vedado neighborhood of La Habana.

havana El Palenque resto playa Feb12

The next day I asked my assigned driver to take me to my native town of Punta Brava, (see post) just in the city of La Habana, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now all left Cuba ) , I ate at a typical Cuban casa paladar in pesos nacionales, (local currency) a dish of roast pork,moros black beans,yucca,tostones in garlic sauce, salad of tomatos and lettuce, plus coffee and four beers for two persons at about 260 Cuban Pesos Nacionales. Just in Calzada (main street Avenida 51) before turning left to Guatao, on the old Carretera Central.

Punta Brava calzada to santa fe Feb12

I went further inland to visit another aunt and cousin at Cayo La Rosa, (these still there) off Bauta, this was a huge textile plant (Ariguanabo) of 5000 workers done by Mr Hedges an American from Tennessee in the 1950’s and now in ruins. The village have not change much, and took a ride with my cousin in an electric moto on the town, crazy,  but a great and cheap means of transportation there now.  And proud of myself was able to take my local driver there as he did not know how, and I did it with so many years out just on good memory lol! He was impressed !

Cayo calle 11 apr12

Of course in each visit I ate with the family and reminiscent of the old days, telling me what a nice guy I was !!!  Finally, it was time to come back again, and took my flight from La Habana Jose Marti International airport, very easily, this time in route to Paris CDG on Air France. The plane was full and cheapy company had me on economy class! But I was bump up to Business Class , by asking and it shows the difference, very nice flight of 9 hours to Paris CDG. There change again on AF to Nantes, and took my car from the airport parking for the trip home after paying 54 euros of parking fees. Cheaper than renting a car lol!

Roissy CDG T2 Pipo going to Miami aug12

I was hoping not to be the last trip to Cuba, but still that was my last probably, and no plans to be back ; time is ticking and hardly any family there, one aunt and one cousin. Even in the difficulties of that system was the same warm welcome by the family and the faces of the buildings even if change were still recognisable, and I look forward to the future when all can have a pleasant place to visit with family and no dictatorship mistreatments and abuses. It is time to put more emphasis or at least equal treatment to the holocaust and the gulag.

There you go folks, another nostalgic spot in my life and happy to be able to share it with the world. Havana goes deep with me, even if now is a distant star flicking for survival, I believe you should know these places and eventually visit in better freer times , Again, hope you enjoy the post on my last trip where it all begun ,Cuba as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 30, 2023

The Plaza Vieja of Havana !!!

I was looking again at my blog and realise have wonderful old pictures on sites not really develop and they should stand alone, I went into my Havana and found me pictures from my last trip there in 2012 that needed to have a post of their own, Family memories flashing ; here is my new take on the Plaza Vieja or old square of Havana ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Plaza Vieja limits with the neighborhoods to the north with Cathedral, to the west with the Prado , to the south with Belén and to the east with the Havana Bay. The area of the square is delimited by the streets Muralla, Mercaderes, Teniente Rey and San Ignacio. The square represented the first planned attempt at expansion of the city. It constituted an area used for different modalities, as a residential, commercial and recreational area, without having religious or political-military constructions.

havana Plaza Vieja walking Feb12

The square was called Plaza Nueva. It emerged as an open space in 1559, after the Plaza de Armas and San Francisco. In colonial times it was a residential neighborhood of the Creole plutocracy. Later, it was used as an open-air market known as Reina Cristina.(1835), Nowadays, the Plaza Vieja is dotted with restaurants, cafes, bars and beer gardens, even if sometimes the menu do not have all the dishes available..

The Plaza Vieja or old square was done in 1559 as Plaza Nueva,,, as already two squares in the City Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Francisco, It was surrounded by beautiful homes of the colonial times, and was an open air market known as Reina Cristina (queen Cristina), Over the past 150 years, Plaza Vieja has played host to an open-air food market, a car park (1952), and an amphitheatre. It was the site of executions, processions, bullfights, and festivals,  all witnessed by Havana’s wealthiest citizens, who looked on from their balconies. In the 18C, the Plaza Nueva was transformed into a market place. And in 1814, with the emergence of the market at the Plaza del Cristo, it was renamed to Plaza Real, Plaza Mayor, Plaza Fernando VII, Parque Juan Bruno Zayas and Parque Julián Grimau, until it finally received the name of Plaza Vieja. During the 17C to the early 20C, the area was developed with residential, commercial and recreational buildings that fortunately maintained coherence, including the majestic and popular Palacio de los Condes de Jaruco  (1738) or palace of the counts of jaruco and the first exclusive recreational society in HavanaSociedad Filarmónica, (1824) or philarmonique society housed in a residence at Calle San Ignacio no, 352-354. In this society, dances were organized in which the richest families in Havana participated. However, the building was built between 1796 and 1802.

havana Plaza Vieja resto Feb12

In the 18C, the pace of construction quickly transformed the square and between 1729 and 1756 nine portals were built, accompanying the consolidation and maturity of a type of manor house equipped with porticos, hallways, mezzanines, high rooms covered with Mudejar ceilings, wide stairs , inner courtyards with galleries. The example that survives most fully today is the old Palace of the Counts of Jaruco, built on one of the corners between 1733 and 1738, where the Cuban storyteller Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, known as the Countess of Merlin, was born.

The first buildings to be restored were the residence of the Counts of Jaruco, (see above) which currently houses the Cultural Property Fund, the Mercaderes building at no. 307, where the National Photo Library is located today, and the Franchi Alfaro house, no 315-317 was until the 19C on the street level the Café-Restaurante El Escorial, which opened in 1913. Later , it was converted into a multi-family dwelling. Even if the street level remained a commercial spot, Subsequently, the house at San Ignacio no 364, residence of the Count of Lombillo, and that of the Cárdenas sisters, headquarters of the Center for the Development of Visual Arts, were restored. The old San Ángel school, which today houses a real estate agency, the Gómez Vila building and the Ángela Landa primary school have also been restored.

However, restoration is gradually re-establishing Plaza Vieja’s original atmosphere; the Carrara showpiece fountain at the center of the square is a replica of the original 18C one by Italian sculptor Giorgio Massari that was destroyed by the construction of the car park; and many of the 18C residences around the square are now restored with housing on the top floors and commercial establishments, including several small museums and art/photo galleries, on the ground floor. This was renovated by a grant from Unesco as recently as 2011 ,before I was there,and later years,

Some current tourist sites which tells of today, not the same info as above that comes from my library of the historical stories of these places.

The official today Cuba tourist board on Havana :

The official today Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana

There you go folks, another nostalgic spot in my life and happy to be able to share it with the world. Havana goes deep with me, even if now is a distant star flicking for survival, I believe you should know these places and eventually visit in better freer times , Again, hope you enjoy the post on the Plaza Vieja of Havana or La Habana as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 30, 2023

The Zanja Real of Havana !!!

I was looking again at my blog and realise have wonderful old pictures on sites not really develop and they should stand alone, I went into my Havana and found me pictures from my last trip there in 2012 that needed to have a post of their own, Family memories flashing ; here is my new take on Zanja Real or royal ditch (aqueduct)  of Havana ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Zanja Real was the first aqueduct built in Cuba began construction in 1565 and finished in 1592. This canal ensured the water supply of Havana for almost two and a half centuries (1592-1835). It brought the waters of the Chorrera River , today Almendares to Plaza de la Ciénaga, now Plaza de la Catedral ,It was a sort of wide ditch that usually carried non-potable water during the rainy season and would have to be constantly repaired , After 1835 they built the Fernando VII aqueduct, and then the Albear aqueduct.

havana Zanja Real Feb12

The Zanja Real was a channel dug into the ground through a winding path of almost 13 km from the Almendares River. The sources that supplied the water from the Zanja Real were four at the beginning of the 17C ; the one located in front of the Casas del Cabildo (the later Plaza de San Francisco), the one located in the surroundings of El Molinillo de San Pedro, from where it extends the current Calle Luz and a third in Callejón del Chorro. All three were built in the 1590s. The fourth was built in the 17C in Plaza Nueva (now Plaza Vieja). In 1634 a farm was built, next to the Foundry, where La Maestranza was later built (royal horse bastion 1709 ,today park and hotel).

The first section of the Zanja Real that was buried was that of Calle Amargura, which was provided with a cistern located on the outskirts of Havana, behind the Convent of San Agustín. In 1606 it was ordered to bury the section of the Zanja as it passed through the streets of San Ignacio and Teniente Rey, and it was supplied by the cistern located in the Plaza Nueva, now Plaza Vieja. The first public fountain in Havana was inaugurated when the Marquis de Casa Torre was Captain General, in 1708. The humble fountain in Plaza Nueva was replaced by a more monumental one in 1836, which served as inspiration for the current one, in Plaza Vieja. The fountain in the Plaza de San Francisco was inaugurated in 1714, and was erected in front of the Casas del Cabildo; a later and more ostentatious fountain was built from 1746 to 1754., These first three related fountains would be followed between 1740 and 1755 by the fountain in the square of the Convent of the Order of Our Lady of Belen ,and the fountain in the courtyard of the Convent of Santa Clara de Asís in 1752.

Later, by royal decree, the works of the Ferdinand VII Aqueduct were approved, which started from the Almendares River, through the Ciénaga, the Cerro and the Calzada de Jesús del Monte, to the Puerta de Tierra, in Monserrate and Muralla streets, and from there to the intramural site outside the City walls. Exactly, three centuries after the Zanja Real, in 1893 the Albear Aqueduct was put into operation, which currently supplies some of the water that supplies Havana, and La Zanja Real was definitively abandoned. The excavations of the Zanja Real or royal sewers now open and shown above ground to tourists. 

Some post for information on the current sites but my notes are from my library of different outlook , more the true history of my  Havana.

The official today Cuba tourist board on Havana :

The official today Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana

There you go folks, another nostalgic spot in my life and happy to be able to share it with the world. Havana goes deep with me, even if now is a distant star flicking for survival, I believe you should know these places and eventually visit in better freer times , Again, hope you enjoy the post on the Zanja Real of Havana or La Habana as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 29, 2023

The Calle Oficios of Havana !!!

I was looking again at my blog and realise have wonderful old pictures on sites not really develop and they should stand alone, I went into my Havana and found me pictures from my last trip there in 2012 that needed to have a post of their own, Family memories flashing ; here is my new take on Calle Oficios of Havana ! Hope you enjoy the post as I

The Calle Oficios was a very much visited street by my family and I just went over to walked it and got me a picture that help do this post, It is one of the most visited in the historic center of the city. It was projected from the creation of the main square, today Plaza de Armas, and in 1584 it was one of the four streets that the town of San Cristóbal de La Habana had. Currently simply refer to as La Habana or Havana (eng) Havane (Fr), Calle de Oficios goes from the Plaza de Armas to the Alameda de Paula, Habana Vieja or Old Havana.

havana C Oficio y Teniente Rey Feb12

Its name is due to the fact that small establishments were grouped along its route where trades such as carpentry, shoemaking, watchmaking, among many others, ended up being its distinctive characteristic. The street had 43 high houses, 14 had a hall, 32 were low and there were 191 accessories. When in 1584 Havana only had four streets, this was one of the main ones, drawn from the foundation of the main square, later Plaza de Armas. It was called De los Oficios, because from this square to that of San Francisco, it was full of craftsmen.

The Casa de Oficios no 8, together with the adjoining ones that make up the corner of Calle Obispo, constitute one of the oldest that was built very close to the founding site of the city. According to the legend of the 17C documents, the first three lots corresponded to the Episcopal Palace . The Schools for Infants (or San Ambrosio for boys), and De Niñas Doncellas or maidens girls (or San Francisco de Sales) , both founded by Bishop Don Diego Evelino de Compostela, the first prelate to open the doors to public education in the country. The plot that the Casa de Oficios occupies today was the one corresponding to the Episcopal Palace or house of the bishops.

In 1579 the Franciscan friars took possession of the land where the building that served as the headquarters of the old temple and Convent of San Francisco de Asís (see post) was erected, whose manufacture lasted 12 years. In 1739 the temple was consecrated, which due to the magnificence of its interior space, became the favorite of Havana society. The house on Calle Oficios No. 160 , maintains its domestic function, serving as a home for its inhabitants. It is one of the old buildings that faces the Plaza de San Francisco. It appears as one of the oldest buildings in this area, because although it was rebuilt during the 19C, its construction system denotes greater antiquity. In addition, due to the importance of this site, its occupation was carried out from a very early period. The Plaza San Francisco or Saint Francis Square owes its name to the Convent of San Francisco de Asís, located here since the end of the 16C. In the center of the square stands the Fuente de los Leones, or Lions fountain a gift to Havana by Claudio Martínez de Pinillos, Count of Villanueva, and placed here in 1836.

The Palacio de Gobierno or government palace is a magnificent neoclassical construction, which became one of the three large buildings for public use of the first republican decade in Cuba, it was erected as an extension of an old house that at the end of the War of Independence in 1895, after the USA military occupation was destined to house the House of Representatives. As recorded, it was the third building where the national flag was raised before May 20, 1902 (Republic of Cuba founded) . In May 2000, the building built in the 20C became the Government Palace Museum. Calle Oficios no. 211 between Muralla (ramparts of old Havana now also a street) ,and Callejón de Churruca streets.

The Alexander of Humboldt house was inaugurated as a house-museum on October 31, 1997. The 18C building has five exhibition rooms. In order to rescue, preserve, investigate and publicize the historical legacy of the German scholar Alejandro de Humboldt, the institution maintains a permanent exhibition that includes plates, books, scientific instruments and copies of original documents, duly ordered and identified, about events of the life of the German scholar, his work in the sciences and his relationship with Cuba in terms of nature and society. There is also, the Alexander of Humboldt Library. It is specialized in the German language, it hoards more than three thousand copies, mostly classical and contemporary literature from countries that speak this language. It has art and reference books, children’s literature texts, as well as a collection of biographies of about a hundred personalities of culture, science and politics of the 20C. It has an active and passive bibliography on the second discoverer of Cuba, including copies in Spanish. Located in the Alejandro de Humboldt House. Calle Oficios no. 254 corner to Muralla.Also, the Monument to Alexander de Humboldt. A bronze bust pays him a well-deserved tribute in the park that bears his name, very close to the museum house that discloses his life and work. Calle Oficios corner with Muralla,same spot

Museo Casa de los Arabes or House of the Arabs Museum is located in an old building from the late 18C and early 19C. Refunctionalized as a cultural institution, its main objective is to disseminate the values of the Arab world based on its customs, traditions, art, architecture and the study of the Arab presence in Cuba, from the first contacts that led to Spanish colonization, and later the movement migration that occurred between the 19C and 20C, Related to it is the .Biblioteca Ibn Jaldún or Ibn Khaldun Library. It has important collections of Arab and Islamic themes, especially editions of historical chronicles from the 19C, essays on Islam, and texts on contemporary Arab and Islamist history and art. It also treasures volumes about Arab immigration in Cuba and Latin America. Calle Oficios no. 16, between Obispo and Obrapía streets, Old Havana.

You have the museo del Automovil or Automobile Museum. The Automobile Depot is divided into two exhibition rooms, which share the entire collection made up of 30 passenger cars, 2 rigid trucks, a hearse, a special vehicle, 7 motorcycles, a traffic light, 3 fuel pumps and 2 didactic rows. The oldest vehicle in the collection dates from 1905 and the most modern from 1989; They are primarily of North American construction, although there are examples made in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Calle Oficios no 13 corner of Jústiz and Obra Pía streets, Old Havana,

The Museo de Arte Sacro or Sacred Art Museum is inside the Minor Basilica of San Francisco Asís that also functions as a concert hall, The collection of religious paintings is exhibited. In the spaces of the prestigious concert hall, images are shown, mainly from the 18C, together with other pieces of a religious nature, among them the slippers and the rain cape that belonged to the first Auxiliary Bishop of Cuba, Dionisio Rezino y Ormachea, embroidered in Mexico at the end of the 17C in silk, gold threads and precious stones. This is at Calle Oficios between Amargura and Churruca streets, Old Havana.

You have the colegio or College of San Francisco de Sales. Around 1688, when this house was bought by Bishop Diego Evelino de Compostela, it already presented an appearance similar to the current one. When the San Francisco de Sales School for orphaned girls was immediately installed there, reforms were gradually introduced, the largest of which consisted of adding a third floor that is only expressed  to the outside by Calle Obispo street, and the replacement of the original tile roofs for the current  flat roofs, Calle Oficios no.6, corner with Calle Obispo, Old Havana.

Other interesting buildings here amongst the many are the Casa del Tesorero Baltazar de Soto or House of Treasurer Baltazar de Soto ,Calle Oficios 51-53. It is an old 17C building, remodeled during the 18-19C, The Casa del Marqués De Casa Calderón ,calle Oficios no, 312. This mansion is an important example of 18C architecture, in whose last decades it acquired its physiognomy only occasionally varied in the XIX Men’s College or San Ambrosio Seminary ,calle Oficios no 8. A balanced simplicity characterizes this house, where the San Ambrosio College was located from 1689 to 1774, when it was transferred to the Seminary next to the Cathedral. Calle Oficios no 12, between Obispo and Obra Pía street, The Casa del Conde De Casa Barreto. Only an original portion, which includes the facades, remains of this stately mansion with a privileged location due to its proximity to the port. Calle Oficios no. 362, corner to calle Luz.

Calle Oficios in its extension it links emblematic places of the city such as the Plaza de Armas, the Plaza de San Francisco and the Alameda de Paula. Its a must to walk it see it smell it it is wonderful old Havana,even if now many crumble, I am putting official Cuba tourist sites for references ,bear in mind, the above also come from my library with more information.

The official today Cuba tourist board on Havana :

The official today Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana

There you go folks, another nostalgic spot in my life and happy to be able to share it with the world. Havana goes deep with me, even if now is a distant star flicking for survival, I believe you should know these places and eventually visit in better freer times , Again, hope you enjoy the post on Calle Oficios of Havana or La Habana as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 15, 2023

The Hotel Habana Libre (Hilton) of Havana !!!

A big task considering was a beautiful city now mostly in ruins unless Unesco has provided some funds, This is my native capital City, the city where I spent a great part of my very early life until 10 years old, For family or business was lucky to visit it in 1984, 1998, and 2012 , This City is Havana or La Habana or the full name San Cristobal de La Habana, the capital of the Republic of Cuba.  This is my Habana and would like to share some of the emblematic hotels which visited with my parents as a boy and later visits, This is the Hotel Habana Libre (former Hilton ), Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Havana Hotel Habana Hilton O Libre 1998

The Hotel Habana Libre (Hilton) is one of the greatest hotels in Cuba, located at Calle 23 (“La Rampa”) and Calle L The hotel has 572 rooms in a tour of 25 stages , 532 Standard Double, 37 Standard Junior Suit, 1 Presidential Suit and 2 Standard Senior Suit. It was inaugurated on March 22, 1958, it then bears the name of Habana Hilton, it was the largest hotel in Latin America at the time. It belongs to the American group Hilton Hotels & Resorts . It was kept as the Hilton for a year and one half without success. On July 11 1960, the communist government nationalise it. (one reason of the current embargo), It featured a Trader Vic’s restaurant, casino, dining room, billiards room, and a bar on the hotel’s rooftop. For info below pic shows on left Yara, the revolutionary new name for what is was Radiocentro!

Havana Hotel Hilton o Libre from coppelia 1998

After coming to power in 1959, the already dictator moved into suite 2324 at the Habana Hilton. For three months, the hotel becomes the nerve center of the Cuban revolution, but hotel service continues in the rest of the skyscraper. (the room is now an art gallery).   During the following years, the hotel, already operated by the Cuban communist government, focused on national tourism, losing much of the prestige it had generated with its opening. For some years the hotel, underused for its original use, was repurposed for many other functions; Among them, it stood out for operating for some time as the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Cuba. Later, the hotel operated again to house important foreign personalities during their stay on the island. In 1996, the Spanish chain Sol Meliá took over the management of the hotel together with the government. It was placed in its Tryp division of urban hotels and renamed Hotel Tryp Habana Libre. It was renovated between 1996 and 1997. Among the highlights of the work was the restoration of a huge original mural by artist Amelia Peláez above the main entrance, which had spent decades hidden from public view.

In its facade there is a beautiful ceramic fresco of 640 square meters of Amelia Peláez and the Car of the Revolution, the work of Alfredo Sosa Bravo, who used 525 pieces of ceramic to make it. Currently the hotel houses shops, and you can find there the Sculpture of Clepsidra, a 10 meter high column, in metal and glass, emerging from a fountain located in the hall, among other pieces recognized by prestigious potters, sculptors and craftsmen in the living rooms, hallways and bedrooms.

Havana Hotel Hilton o Libre lobby 1998

Inside you will find the brand new and famous Casa del Habano (cigar house) and in its highest floor the famous cabaret Turquino, The Sierra Maestra is one of the most famous restaurants in Havana. Also, El Barracón the ideal place to enjoy an authentic adventure with a Cuban flavor. The decoration recalls the houses of the villages, Polinesio ,with the spirit of the Pacific Islands and a place where time sits still. Also, the Las Antillas buffet as varied as the rosary of islands and keys that inhabit the Caribbean. La Rampa , a cafeteria takes its name after a popular section of Havana and offers a wide assortment of dishes for breakfast and lunch as well as fast food dinners and take-outs. I cannot tell you the current conditions of these eateries.

The Spanish group Melia, which owns the Habana Libre, has reportedly tried several times to do renovation work. Several renovation projects were imagined between 2011 and 2019, but all of them turned into “mission impossible”. No less than ten floors of the hotel are currently closed because they are completely unusable and, at best, two elevators are working out of the six that make up the Habana Libre. Of course. The hotel’s strategic location permits easy access to the most important points of interest, such as the Cathedral (4 km), the port (4 km), the Congress & Conventions’ Center (10 km), the International Airport (17 km), the beautiful Playas del Este beaches (20 km), Varadero (140 km) and Pinar del Río (147 km).

The official Melia hotels on the Habana Libre

The official Melia Cuba site on the Habana Libre

The pictures all date from 1998, and 2012  when I made a business and family trip to introduce to my family there to my French wife Martine and boys, which they enjoy much. One more post down memory lane, many moments spent with the family now almost all gone from there. One of them was the Hotel Habana Libre (Hilton). I was the first one out 52 years ago !!, Havana is a city to fall in love for no matter what period of time in history you may choose to visit.  Enjoy the ride into nostalgia land. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 15, 2023

The Hotel Riviera of Havana !!!

A big task considering was a beautiful city now mostly in ruins unless Unesco has provided some funds, This is my native capital City, the city where I spent a great part of my very early life until 10 years old, For family or business was lucky to visit it in 1984, 1998, and 2012 , This City is Havana or La Habana or the full name San Cristobal de La Habana, the capital of the Republic of Cuba.  This is my Habana and would like to share some of the emblematic hotels which visited with my parents as a boy and later visits, This is the Hotel Riviera, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Havana Hotel Riviera 1998

The Hotel Riviera is located at corner of Avenida Paseo de Marti (old del Prado) y Malecon ,Centro district, Overlooking the sea, The hotel was built in 1957 and still retains its original 1950s style. It has 21 floors and 352 rooms. It is currently operated by the Spanish chain Iberostar and the dictatorship..

havana hotel Riviera on malecon aug98

A twenty-storys modernist building, curved so that all the rooms have a view of the sea. At the foot of the twenty floors with turquoise reflections, the entrance to the hotel is marked by a daring duo in love with a human and a seahorse. The reception desk of the Hotel Riviera is surmounted by three magnificent gilded bronze clocks, in local, European and American time, The staircase unfolds like in a musical, in the middle of turquoise and gold scrolls, under a dome lit by a very graphic bronze suspension.   In the first three years of its founding, the following stayed and performed there: Fred Astaire’s dance partner, artists such as Jean Stewart and 1950s heartthrob William Holden. World boxing champions Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Cuban boxer Kid Chocolate, actors such as César Romero (Cuban-Spanish born in NYC) , and American film noir gangster George Raft were also hosted.

Havana hotel Riviera apr12

As this was my dear late father Elio hangout when young ,and I was taken there by my mother very early and later visited in 1998,and 2012. Let me give you a brief description of this wonderful Hotel Riviera !

The 1st Salon, has massive stone tables, the elegant metal sideboards and the gold mosaics serve as pedestals and settings for the marble sculptures, The 2nd Salon between a palm tree and a partition with motifs freely inspired by the art of the Taïnos Indians, relaxation and daïquiri in original furniture in ivory and gold lacquered wood.

The restaurant L’Aiglon offers dinner dances a tribute to the brief passage in these waters of the forces of the Emperor Napoleon. The paintings are inspired by a theatrical set by Valentine Hugo, The old cabaret In the old Copa Room, a cabaret (the copacabana song by Barry Manilow) inaugurated by Ginger Rogers, now the Palacio de la Salsa, huge birds of paradise fly on the walls, as spangled as the naked dancers.

From the top of the three-story diving board overlooking a more than Olympic swimming pool, Johnny Weismuller, swimming champion and incarnation of Tarzan in Hollywood, paraded for starlets and wealthy clients. The swimming pool restaurant has on the walls the Al Fresco, fish and starfish dance in front of surviving furniture signed Saarinen.

The official ibercuba on the Hotel Riviera

The pictures all date from 1998 and 2012, when I made a business and pleasure trips to introduce to my family there to my French wife Martine and boys, which they enjoy much (1998). One more post down memory lane, many moments spent with the family now almost all gone from there. One of them was the Hotel Riviera. I was the first one out 52 years ago !!, Havana is a city to fall in love for no matter what period of time in history you may choose to visit.  Enjoy the ride into nostalgia land. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 15, 2023

The Hotel Nacional of Havana !!!

A big task considering was a beautiful city now mostly in ruins unless Unesco has provided some funds, This is my native capital City, the city where I spent a great part of my very early life until 10 years old, For family or business was lucky to visit it in 1984, 1998, and 2012 , This City is Havana or La Habana or the full name San Cristobal de La Habana, the capital of the Republic of Cuba.  This is my Habana and would like to share some of the emblematic hotels which visited with my parents as a boy and later visits, This is the Hotel Nacional, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Hotel Nacional is a 5-star palace from 1930. This mythical emblem of the refinement and luxury of Cuban culture and Cuban history of the 1930s, has been listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register since 1982, and classified as a national monument of Cuba since 1988, It’s only 19 km (12 miles) from the airport and a 10-minute drive to the Old Town.

havana Hotel Nacional Feb12

This palace is built on the site of the former Fort of Santa Clara from 1797, with a mixture of Hispano-Moorish, Neo-Classical, Palladian, Colonial, and Art Deco monastery and cloister styles, with vast exotic gardens dotted with palm trees,and peacocks ! on the Malecón waterfront promenade, with panoramic views of Old Havana, Havana Bay, and the Caribbean Sea.


It was inaugurated on December 30, 1930, for New Year’s Day 1931 with to date 457 rooms, 16 suites, 4 special suites, 4 restaurants, 6 bars, 2 swimming pools , tennis, and Parisian cabaret of Cuban music shows, spread over 8 floors ,The hotel continues to trade on an illustrious former guest list and rooms include Nat King Cole (218), Sinatra (214) and Fred Astaire (228). There are three restaurants and a cafeteria. The chic Comedor de Aguiar, the best of the bunch, features beautiful chandeliers and waiters in tuxedos. El Rincon del Cine, a traditional ranchón-style (ranch) restaurant set in lovely gardens, serves a Cuban Creole menu. There are several bars for a pre-dinner drink. Try a daiquiri in the Churchill Bar (under renovations).. La Veranda’s breakfast offers is a buffet affair typical to hotels the world over.

havana Hotel Nacional shields of foundation Feb12

It was frequented by many celebrities of the time, including Buster Keaton, Errol Flynn, Johnny Weissmuller, Walt Disney, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Ernest Hemingway, Yuri Gagarin, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, as well as political leaders and monarchs, such as Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, Winston Churchill, and Jimmy Carter., Following the Cuban revolution, the palace became during the 1960s a residence for representatives of foreign governments (including the couple Jean-Paul Sartre-Simone de Beauvoir). Anti-aircraft guns were installed in the gardens during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Following the breakup of the USSR in 1991, it reopened Cuba to international tourism, and completely renovated the ruined hotel in 1992. It is located at Calle 21 y O, Vedado, district of Plaza,La Habana, 

The official Hotel Nacional :

The pictures all date from 2012, when I made a business trip from France. One more post down memory lane, many moments spent with the family now almost all gone from there. One of them was the Hotel Nacional, I was the first one out 52 years ago !!, Havana is a city to fall in love for no matter what period of time in history you may choose to visit.  Enjoy the ride into nostalgia land. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

March 12, 2023

The Napoléon I Museum of Fontainebleau, part II

I have mentioned in my previous posts , not my favorite museum, but need to see it at least once for the history of it. And of course, visiting the beautiful,historical, architecturally stunning Château de Fontainebleau  in my nostalgic dept 77 Seine-et-Marne in the Île de France region is a must. Again written many posts on it and a very attaching castle for me and my family but feel need to tell you more about the goodies inside. I like to update this older post on a museum of a controversial figure in history; the Napoléon I Museum.

fontainebleau mus napoleon I portrait jun15

After much debate, this museum was opened in 1986, and built on two levels at the same princely apartments located in the Louis XV wing. A museum entirely devoted to Napoléon Bonaparte was thus created in Fontainebleau, its aim being to present a view of the self name emperor and his family. It was set up in the part of the château which had been restored by Napoleon I in 1810 and which before that restoration (from 1803 to 1808) had been the headquarters of the the special military academy, later known as Saint-Cyr.  (see post).

fontainebleau mus imperial eagle of napoleon I jun15

fontainebleau mus armor of napoleon I jun15

The collections came largely from the succession of the Imperial Family, Prince Napoleon, descendant of Jérôme de Westphalie, (still heir as Napoléon V, and glad to tell met Princess Napoléon his wife), younger brother and last heir of Napoleon 1st allow the evocation of Napoleon, Emperor between 1804 and 1815, of his family and in particular of his brothers, sovereigns in Europe. The gathering of an important gallery of portraits introduces to the route which successively presents the coronation, the splendours of the imperial table, the siblings and the diplomatic gifts, a campaign tent, the daily life of an emperor-soldier, the empress Marie-Louise then the heir, the King of Rome, The only throne room still visible in France, the Salle du Trône, the throne of Napoleon I, from the Tuileries Palace (now gone -see post). The rest of the elements (canopy, signs, platform) from the Palace of Saint-Cloud, (now gone) sent to Fontainebleau in 1808.

fontainebleau mus uniforms of napoleon I jun15

The official Château de Fontainebleau on the museum of Napoléon: http://:

The official Château de Fontainebleau on Napoléon

The official Napoléon’s family imperial site on Napoléon I

There you go folks, always wonderful nostalgic , words cannot describe my coming to Fontainebleau . The castle is very nice and show the history of France and the Bonaparte’s family of France, and Europe. An educational as well as historical take back in time at the Napoleon I Museum of Fontainebleau. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

I like to have two postcrips here for the history amateur in me and for the sake of roundup the post on the museum of Napoléon I of Fontainebleau.

ps1 : In 1803, ten years after its creation, the Louvre Museum was renamed the Napoleon Museum. It remains until 1814, the most prestigious museum in the world by the extent and the quality of its collections constituted, in addition to the former royal collections and the goods seized from the Church and from emigrants, by the war prizes carried out in Belgium. , Italy, Prussia and Austria. In 1815, when the Empire fell, nearly 5,000 works were returned to their countries. It was the National Convention that offered this solution to the vanquished in 1794 to pay their war indemnities. Having become First Consul then Emperor, Napoleon multiplied the artistic requisitions throughout Europe and ordered works at the Louvre in order to welcome and present these treasures with dignity The Louvre Museum has many works purchased or commissioned under the Consulate and the Empire . I will cite here only the most prestigious paintings (me think) of the French school devoted to the Napoleonic epic: The Plague Victims of Jaffa and Napoleon on the Battlefield of Eylau by Gros, The Empress Joséphine at Malmaison by Prud’hon, Le Sacre by David, The Chasseur Officer of the Charging Guard and The Wounded Cuirassier by Géricault.

ps2 : I came as a boy with my parents many many years ago always remembered even if not seen again in 52 years!! The Museo Napoleonico of La Habana (Havana), The Museo Napoleónico (Napoleon Museum) is housed in a building that was originally used as the home of Orestes Ferrera, one of the authors of the collection that is exhibited in the museum today. The house is inspired by the style of the Florentine Renaissance palaces of the 16C and was built in the decade of 1920, The house, located in calle San Miguel n°1 159 esq. Ronda, the Vedado district of Havana, was built of Italian marble, wrought iron and wood of first quality. This museum houses a large collection of nearly 7,000 personal items, weapons and works of art of Napoleon Bonaparte which were collected by Julio Lobo, the Cuban sugar magnate, and Orestes Ferrera, politician. From the collection we can notice the sketches of Voltaire, the paintings of the Battle of Waterloo, a mask from the collection of death masks made in bronze, which was made two days after his death by his personal doctor; the pistols that Napoleon carried at the Battle of Borondino, and the furniture that can be seen in Napoleon’s study room and bedroom. it is one of the most important museums in the world, To add his personal doctor Antonmarchi Born in Corsica died in Santiago de Cuba in 1838;today remains rest at the cemetery necropolis of Santa Ifigenia, Santiago de Cuba, The Napoleon family foundation on the museum: 

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