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Universidad de La Habana

University of Havana
The Alma Mater statue

The University of Havana is the oldest university in Cuba and one of the oldest educational institutions in Latin America. Founded in 1728, the university was originally a religious institute until it was secularized in 1842. Moved from Old Havana to Vedado in 1902, perched on top of the escalinata, a flight of granite stairways, most of the university’s buildings were built between 1904 and 1940. The most recognizable statue at the university is the Alma Mater, depicting a woman with her arms opening wide in a welcome gesture. The statue was cast in New York and designed by Czech sculptor Mario Korbel.

Aside from its neo-classical architecture, the Montané Anthropological Museum in the mathematics department at the university has an extensive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, including the Idolo del Tabaco, the Idolo de Bayamo and the Dujo de Santa Fe. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9am to noon.

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