Founded on February 26th, 1993, the Museo del Tabaco is the most important Cuban institution destined to preserve the cigar’s culture. Getting into its rooms means discovering the history of the famous “puros”, considered as the best cigars in the world.
3 exhibition rooms are enough to show you the highlights of this elegant culture, present in Cuba since the aborigines’ times. Native statuettes related to the smoking art; pipes and other cigar-related items, like cigar holders, lighters, cutters, snuffboxes and ashtrays, all found during archeological excavations, are on display. Lithography is the protagonist of another room, which, from an artistic point of view, was a necessary component for making of this a big culture, as it is nowadays.
However, one of the most interesting and old traditions around cigars are the reading that take place at the factory, while tobacconists do their work. This way, there’s always someone reading for them, and reading whatever you may imagine: pieces of news, poetry, short stories, even novels. The thing is that time tobacconists spend working should be productive, but not just from a commercial criteria, but from an intellectual one, too. If you have time, visit one of these places and experience the readings: hands will be twisting cigar leaves, while faces, equally concentrated, will be following some story.
There’s also a store, where you can buy different-brand cigars and other items, and a space dedicated to chats and meetings, some for the community and all interested ones, and others for the cigar-world people. In sum, a place to visit for learning more about one of the most iconic Cuban symbols, and about Cuba itself, too.
Sundays just until midday.
Javier Roque Martínez