We had a morning alloted for a museum visit, and most of us that went to a museum ended up at the Museo de la Revolución. I was also tempted by the Art Museums, but the Museo de la Revolución seemed a little more of the “only in Cuba” experience. (I saw later in one of my guidebooks: If you visit only one history museum in Havana, this should be your choice.)
The museum is housed in a palatial building, the Palacio Presidential, in fact, which was the Cuban presidential residence from 1920 to 1965. It’s crazy fancy – Tiffany’s of New York did the interior – and kind of difficult to imagine that a head of state lived here. Perhaps that had something to do with that whole revolution thing.
Admission was 8.00. Why is it listed separately for Nationals and Foreigners? Oh. Nationals are 8.00 CUP. Foreigners are 8.00 CUC. Nevermind. And then, even though there wasn’t really anywhere to go between where you bought your ticket and up to the next floor to the exhibits, and there was a guard watching, you had to keep your ticket until the second floor. At which point another person took the ticket. Employing more people, I suppose. Not that everything we do in the US makes sense, but that seemed a particularly Cuban touch.
There were people getting tours, the guides were speaking Spanish, I wasn’t sure if the guests were Cubans or were from other Latin American countries. I also hadn’t really thought about the fact that almost all the exhibit labels would be in Spanish, so I definitely didn’t get as much out of it as I might have with better language skills, but it was still interesting to see what they chose to display and how it was displayed. The juxtaposition of the revolutionary era items against the palatial splendor was particular (although unknown if intentionally) ironic.