The quirky garden

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HAVANA | If the visit to the Bosque de la Habana has given you a little taste of return to it, then it is necessary to continue your exploration of the banks of the river Almendares, and continue your way up to the Jardines de la Tropical. The Tropical was one of the most famous and important breweries in the capital. They were making beverages, non-alcoholic malt-based. This park is one more proof that Havana at one time was the center of modernity in Latin America and that the business men were able to evidence of culture and good taste.

In 1912, the new owners of the brewery, from a long line of Spaniards who arrived in Cuba fifty years earlier, decided to build a huge park on the site of the brewery, on the banks of the river Almendares. This space could not only improve the brand image of the beer and The Tropical. It’s a bit like if the Molson family, instead of investing in the club de hockey Canadien, had purchased a part of the island of St. Helena to develop a park dedicated to art and entertainment.

Billboard announcing The Gardens of La Tropical.

Two Catalan architects were contracted. Inspired by the designs of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, who had built the park Güell, in Barcelona, they began to gain the kind of steep and hilly to build, next to facilities brewing, the most beautiful park of the time. In addition to the natural caves, there were labyrinths, staircases carved into the rock, waterfalls, bridges, pavilions, dance halls, and even a small chapel carved in the rock that we can still see, without his furniture religious. Today, the place is sufficiently unusual for foreign photographers to organise photo shoots with their models.

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Free tour

The highlight of the visit, this strange castle out of nowhere, with its defense turrets.

But the highlight of your visit will be, without a doubt, the small castle of the gothic revival style (neo-mudejar), was built on a natural terrace and reminiscent, it is said, some constructs of the Patio of the lions in Granada, Spain. At the time of my passing, you could visit free of charge, without a guide or instructions, however, but the guardian of the places I was assured that shortly we would commence the restoration of the castle so that everything is ready for the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana in November. This should not be a difficult task, because the woodwork, the floors and stairs in granite, a splendid ceramic mural, and the roof seemed to me to be in excellent condition.

It is best to get there by negotiating the price of your taxi.