April 9th, 1958. An Old Havana’s store of weapons founded in 1934, Compañía Armería de Cuba, was attacked by young members of the Movimiento 26 de Julio, which had the purpose of defeating Fulgencio Batista’s government and starting a revolutionary one. However, this action had no success and 4 participants were murdered. Less than a year later, in January 1959, this building was declared Sitio Histórico (Historic Venue), as a tribute to the victims.
Now and since 1971 this place is known as Museo Armería 9 de abril, a museum dedicated to preserve and exhibit weapons, especially those used during Cuban independence wars. With five permanent collections representing different types of weapons (Long Fire, Short Fire, White, Antique and Historic) you can see, among other things, old blunderbusses, shot guns, rifles, Spanish and French antique guns and, for example, the carbine Che Guevara used to carry when fighting in the mountains. However, one of the main attractions of this museum is the Springfield rifle modified by members of the Ejército Rebelde, which has inscribed “26 de Julio. Made in Sierra Maestra”. Let’s not either forget that most of these weapons were property of important figures of Cuba’s history, like politicians, military men and famous patriots.
Visiting the Museo Armería 9 de Abril is a nice way of learning about our history, but this time with real witnesses and even protagonists of all out battles.
Sundays just until midday.
Javier Roque Martínez