This wonderful expansive space is dominated by three of the giants of contemporary Cuban history: José Martí, Che and Camilo Cienfuegos. The risk is that you will be so over awed by their presence that you will miss experiencing their legacy.
The three places below are examples to whet your appetite – dander around, talk to people and you will find more.
With its magnificent stained glass ceiling and entrance the José Martí National Library is a well worth a visit. Always buzzing the library it is home to a fine collection of books, has a café and toilets and is usually a good place to catch an exhibition – art, literature or sculpture. The people working there are all very helpful and welcoming to visitors. The library faces on to revolution square.
When you come out of the library head down towards the bus station and you will see a large drab building on the left. Don’t let appearances deceive you. This is a major sports centre. I had passed it many times without a second thought. Attracted by a saxophonist practicing in the grounds outside the centre (typical Cuba scene) I thankfully dropped in a few weeks back. Inside i got chatting to a volley ball coach who generously brought me into his class (11-13year olds with talent) participating in a training programme. Luck was in and my visit also coincided with a basketball game being played as part of the national league (it was reported on TV later that evening). Admission to the centre is 1 Cuban Peso (25 peso = 1CuC).
The National Theatre of Cuba (Teatro Nacional) is well worth a visit. [Website: http://www.teatronacional.cult.cu/ ] If you drop in (when visiting the plaza de la revolution) it is highly likely that you will find people rehearsing. I was fortunate that my recent visit to Havana coincided with the annual Cuba-Italy cultural week which cumulated in a fabulous concert at the Teatro Nacional showcasing some of the best performers in Cuban music and dance. The show concluded with a performance by Zucchero.
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