Again we start our trip at the Parque Central but now we go the opposite direction. Stand with your back towards the back of the Jose Marti statue in the middle of the square and in front of you, you see the Hotel Inglaterra one of the oldest hotels in the city and declared National Monument. At the left side the famous Gran Teatro de la Habana Far left you see the cinema Payot one of the oldest movie theatres in the world.
Cross the street, where you can admire the famous Capitolio an exact copy of the Capitol in the USA. The Cubans proudly say their Capitolio is one meter higher than the U.S. one.
Behind the Capitolio runs Calle Industria (Industry street) Here you find the famous cigar factory "Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas".
There is a (Offical State owned) cigar shop where you can buy the real Cuban Cigars. Don’t be surprised about the price! 400 up to 500 and more CUC (Peso Convertible) is a normal price for a box of (real) Cohiba Cigars (500-600 US dollar) This is expensive, but here you are buying the “real cigars” all the others are fake.
You can visit the factory with a guide (several languages are possible) A must for a first time visitor in the city.
Observe the buildings in decay around you.
The statue of JOSE MARTI on the background Hotel Inglaterra
Return to the Parque Central and follow the street along the Hotel Inglaterra (to the Right hand side) cross the Neptuno street and there begins a magnificent avenue named Paseo del Prado The Cubans call it the Prado, where in the old days the Rich People of Havana came to show off their wealth.
Cross the Paseo del Prado towards Zulueta street you have the splendid Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and a block further you see the Museo de la Revolucion with the Memorial Granma and the Russian Missiles used during the so called Cuba Crisis during the sixties.Both places are a must for the first time visitor.
Interesting at the intersection of the Dragones and Amistad streets, is an area called Barrio Chino (Chinese District) with a big gateway and Pagoda Style roof. China Town was the Red Light district of the city before the Revolution. In his book Our Man in Havana Graham Green describes the decadent 'Shanghai theatre' before the Revolution ran by Jose Orozco Garcia. At that time the theatre showed the boldest live sex shows and pornographic movies.
The 'Shanghai teatro' was located on a narrow street off Zanja street #205 and completly destroyed by the Revolutionary leaders after the victory of the Revolution.
This is the end of the trip through the Central Havana area.
THE MUSEUM OF THE REVOLUTION
PARTAGAS CIGAR FACTORY
Paseo del Prado Central Havana
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