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Strolling through Havana II

Published: 2017.12.27 - 15:44:49   /  /  Juan Blas Rodríguez  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Strolling through Havana IICurious and interesting stories encourage the origin of Havana streets like those of any city in the world. We return with other explanations to continue walking around Havana:

Empedrado: It was named for being the first Havana street to be paved with pebbles called "chinas pelonas", the neighbors' concern was that a fight would start and things would be resolved by throwing stones because that war would never end. Of course, years later everything was solved by taking some mojitos in the Bodeguita del Medio, where the world famous place is located.

Apodaca: It was named after General Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, Count of Venadito, who ruled from 1812 to 1816.

: It was named for being the path of the military round when the area, where the University was located, belonged to the Army Pyrotechnics. In 1928, it was given the name of Carlitos Aguirre, a nephew of Dr. Orestes Ferrara, who died tragically while witnessing a bullfight in Spain. However, the people keep calling it Ronda.

Carlos III: This popular avenue has changed its name, curiously, three times that I remember: Tacón, Ave. De la Independencia, Ave. Allende, but the people still call it Carlos III, even a market that opened a few years ago reopened with the name of the famous Spanish monarch.

: It was named after Queen María Cristina, who governed us (1833-1843). We do not know if she was referring to the renowned Cuban musician Ñico Saquito in his famous guaracha that said, "Marina Cristina wants to govern me" ... what we do know is that the name was changed to Avenida de México.

Estrella: Its name is due to the fact that in the first house of this road, on the corner of Águila and in front of Campo Marte (today Parque de la Fraternidad), there was a big star-shaped lantern.

Hospital: Because it led to the old hospital of San Lázaro. In 1921, it took the name of the hospital.

Infanta: It was named after Infanta Isabel, who was the daughter of Fernando VII and María Cristina. In 1921, it was given the name of Avenida Menocal, and in 1928, it was changed to General Calixto García, but it was still called Infanta.

Jesús Peregrino: It was named after an altarpiece or altar that had the famous José Antonio Aponte, an organizer of the famous Aponte Conspiracy in 1912. On that altar, Aponte, who was a carpenter, created a large size carving of Jesús Peregrino.

Marina: It was named due to its proximity to the sea and because many fishermen lived there, but that name was changed to Washington.

Neptuno: It was named because the street faced a place where there was a monument to Neptune, in the old Avenida Isabel II (Paseo del Prado). It was given the name of Juan Clemente Zenea, but it was renamed to Neptuno, and became one of the most famous corners of Havana: Prado and Neptuno, and everything to the rhythm of the Chachachá.

San Lázaro: It was named after the hospital of that same name. Later it was given the name of Avenida de la República; later its original name was restored. It was a street famous for the militant student demonstrations that left from the University and reached Infanta street, where the confrontation with the government police of Fulgencio Batista demonstrated the heroism of the Cuban youth in their permanent struggle for democracy, freedom, and justice.

Enna: It was named in honor of the Spanish general Manuel Enna, who faced the troops of the Venezuelan-Cuban general Narciso López, where he was seriously wounded and died. This street is the shortest street in Havana, and you can find it behind the Templete, which is curiously on the corner of Calle General Narciso López, these two adversaries come together in a small, quiet alley in Havana.

Paula: It was named because it was near the church of San Francisco de Paula. The City Council agreed in 1922 to replace the name of Paula with Leonor Pérez, the mother of José Martí.

Obispo: Some historians say that the name of this busy street is due to the fact that the bishop don Pedro Agustín Morell de Santa Cruz frequented it in his daily walks, but others say that in 1641 the bishop Fray Jerónimo de Lara used to live there and went down the street daily. However, in 1807 the City Council of Havana thought of naming it after the despotic Valeriano Weyler. When the Spaniards left, Havana people ripped off all the plates with the fateful name. Currently, thousands of Cubans inherit the healthy custom of bishops of walking along this beautiful street. Will you accompany me?

Zanja: This name is due to the fact that the waters of the Zanja Real, which supplied Havana, ran through it. The refreshing water passed through the popular Chinatown.

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