Plugged In

CUBA: A tropical Spring Break trip without leaving Saint Paul

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Posted by
Rachel Wong


Cuba is now showing on the Omnitheater's giant screen. In it, you can witness the beauty and history of this once-hidden island nation and follow the lives of local Cubans - from up-and-coming ballet dancers to marine biologists who are studying the country’s flourishing coral reefs to historians who are committed to preserving Cuba’s remarkable architecture.

We won’t post any spoilers here, but we found some cool background information about topics discussed in the film. Keep reading to learn more about Cuba.

What’s the oldest building in Cuba?
On the edge of Old Havana, Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Force), is the oldest building in Cuba and is also considered the oldest stone fort in the Americas. Finished in 1577, the fort was originally intended to prevent attacks by pirates, but since the size was too small and the location was too far from the harbor, the Spanish government repurposed the fort to be the home of Cuba’s governors. Governors remodeled parts of the building and a watchtower was eventually added. The stone fort now houses Cuba’s maritime museum and provides visitors with a view of the Havana skyline.

How many students are enrolled in the the Cuban National Ballet school, the largest ballet school in the world?
Established in 1931, the school enrolls over 3,000 talented young people for intensive ballet training from elementary school age and up. There is no tuition for the students, and they learn regular school subjects alongside ballet. A few of the top students get selected to be a part of the Cuban National Ballet Company each year. Many students dream of touring internationally with the National Ballet Company.

Jardines de la Reina means the Gardens of the Queen, so is there the Gardens of the King in Cuba?
Actually, yes. The Gardens of the Queen is an archipelago south of the island, and the Jardines del Rey (Garden of the King) is an archipelago located north of the island. The archipelago is named after the Spanish king, Ferdinand the Catholic. The Gardens of the King, the largest Cuban archipelago, is home to Parque Natural El Bagá (El Bagá Nature Park), where Caribbean flamingos live.

Cuba will run in the Omnitheater through August 4. Reserve your tickets today.

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