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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Business

New Artisan’s Market on Avenida del Puerto in Habana Vieja Cuba

Posted November 17, 2009 by publisher in Cuba Business.
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Havana Journal

The traditional Artisan Market of the Cathedral Square has found a new venue in a recently refurbished Pier store, formerly the San José stores, a work done by the Office of the Historian in order to preserve and protect the Havana’s heritage and create a new place for the promotion and enjoyment of genuine values of the Cuban culture.

The new center, long considered the oldest of the harbor piers, located at the Avenida del Puerto and right on Havana harbor, the area has been, since ancient times, a commercial location and pier stores which now on will display art and handicrafts created by most of the most skilled Cuban artisans.

Here, Cubans and foreigner alike will have the opportunity to enjoy a panoramic view of the Havana Bay, refreshing breezes from the sea and cultural activities which will enhance the cultural panorama of Habana Vieja.

Built in 1885 with the most advanced techniques of the time, the newly rehabilitated building has been perfectly preserved after a long and painful process of restoration.

The city artisans will have an ideal place to display and sell their wares, while using restored old railroad lines rescued by the archeologist, adults and children alike will have the opportunity to enjoy short rides along Alameda de Paula, once qualified by the famous Cuban composer and musician Gonzalo Roig as “The wonderful, marvelous and excellent Alameda”.

A walk along this avenue with its benches, trees and adequate lightning will complete your vacation experience. The ancient Paula Church, now a concert hall, will bring you back in time, a place once frequented by the Cuban families residing in the very old city San Cristóbal de La Habana. 

Theater, expositions, music, and general cultural events will have a space beside the modern and functional stands for artistic handcrafts which are part of a whole cultural complex intended to harmonize past and present and enhance the beauty of Havana’s waterfront, neglected for many years but loved by Cubans and visitors alike.

The opening of the new cultural venue on November 1st is just part of a bigger project to bring back life in each and every building along the Avenida del Puerto, a vital city artery which offers unique views of the bay and castles guarding a city founded 490 years ago along the coast. 

The new market will be open every day including Sundays and holidays (except national Holidays or when the authorities declare special holidays) from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Entrance is free of charge. There are food venues, money exchange facilities, public toilets, public phones and a representative of the Cuban Travel Agency San Cristobal that caters to American tourists.

SRM

Member Comments

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On November 18, 2009, publisher wrote:

From Prensa Latina:

More than 100 restoration works, including the old San Jose Warehouse on Avenida del Puerto, were restored in Havana to mark the 490th anniversary of its foundation.

Conceived as a five-block large cultural, commercial complex, the San Jose warehouse (Artisan’s Market above) was built in 1885 on the seashore of Havana Bay. It is the only surviving building of its kind in the area.

Eight locomotives, including one steam locomotive, were also recovered from old sugar refineries and plantations and will be part of the Museum of the Railroad near the Havana Train Station.

Another restored building of social significance is the Wedding Palace, former Spanish Casino, located on the city’s main Prado Avenue, which will boast a concert room now.

Restoration works completed also include the Casa Verde on 5th Avenue, as well as a multifamily building in the historical center and another 11 buildings on Barcelona Street in Centro Habana.

There is about a hundred building works more in their recovery phase, from houses, centers for Alzheimer treatment and old people’s homes to hotels and cultural facilities.

In recent remarks to Juventud Rebelde daily, the City Historian Eusebio Leal said Old Havana remains intact from an urban development point of view.

The City Historian’s Office, which is charge of the Cuban capital’s restoration, was created in 1938 by Cuban intellectual Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring.

In 1982, Old Havana, including its fortification system, was declared World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.