Gran Teatro de La Habana (Great Theatre of Havana), Havana

Gran Teatro de La Habana (Great Theatre of Havana), Havana (must see)

The Great Theatre of Havana (Gran Teatro de La Habana) is a significant symbol of Cuba's cultural heritage and its historical connection with Spain, through the support of Galician immigrants who funded its construction. The theater functions not only as a performance venue but also as a comprehensive cultural complex, housing the Cuban National Ballet and hosting various artistic events.

Its origins can be traced back to the Tacón Theatre, a cultural hub in Havana since 1838, where renowned international artists like Enrico Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt performed. In the early 20th century, the Centro Gallego was built around the original Tacón Theatre to cater to the social and cultural needs of the Galician immigrant community. This integration resulted in a sophisticated complex featuring theaters, a concert hall, conference rooms, an art gallery, and rehearsal spaces.

Built in 1914 by Belgian architect Paul Belau and engineered by the American firm Purdy and Henderson, the theater replaced the older Tacón Theatre. Architecturally, the Great Theatre of Havana boasts an elaborate Baroque Revival style, with the original Tacón Theatre's exterior receiving new stone facing to match the grandeur of the Centro Gallego. Sculptures by artists Giuseppe Moretti and Geneva Mercer adorn the building, representing themes of charity, education, music, and theater, adding cultural depth to its visual appeal.

A notable feature is the bronze sculpture of Alicia Alonso, the legendary Cuban ballerina, created by sculptor José Villa Soberón and named "Giselle" after one of Alonso's famous ballets. This sculpture, located in the theater's lobby, pays homage to Alonso's contributions to dance and the National Ballet of Cuba.

The theater's main venue, the García Lorca Auditorium, seats 1,500 and remains a focal point for cultural activities, including performances by the Cuban National Ballet and the International Ballet Festival of Havana, held biennially since 1960, attracting talents from around the world.

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Gran Teatro de La Habana (Great Theatre of Havana) on Map

Sight Name: Gran Teatro de La Habana (Great Theatre of Havana)
Sight Location: Havana, Cuba (See walking tours in Havana)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Havana, Cuba

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Havana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Spanish founded Havana in 1519. After French pirate Jacques de Sores ransacked the city in 1555, the Castle of the Royal Force was built to protect the city.

Havana became a major stopping point between the newly discovered Americas and ancient Europe. In the 1600s, Havana was a major shipbuilding port.

Old Havana is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic city has five...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Discovered and conquered by Spanish colonists in the early 16th century, Havana has turned into a major religious center of Catholicism in the Caribbean. Although a communist regime is currently in power, many of the churches, cathedrals, and other religious buildings have been preserved and still give a glimpse of the city’s religious heritage.

The old Havana Cathedral, located in a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Ever since Hemingway first visited Cuba in 1928 until his death in 1961, he felt an intense connection with the people and culture of Cuba. Hemingway lived at Hotel Ambos Mundos during the 1930s, and began, wrote, and finished several novels there. Today, you can see some of Hemingway's belongings in Room 511.

Hemingway was a frequent patron at El Floridita, famous for its daiquiris....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Old Palaces Walking Tour

Old Palaces Walking Tour

Havana has been the seat of Cuba’s ruling gentry for centuries. Today, you can walk the streets of Old Havana and explore its palaces to get a glimpse into the city’s royal past. Although these structures now serve Havana’s citizens and visitors, they still catch your eye (and your camera lens!) with their architecture and history.

Start your trip with the ornate Presidential Palace,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

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