La Quinta de los Molinos, a natural paradise
By Antonia Di Fiore
Quinta de los Molinos, located in Havana's Vedado, stands out for the natural wonders that it houses in its interior, species of both Cuban flora and fauna. It owes its name to the existence of 2 mills used to grind tobacco and obtain snuff, both products in high demand at the end of the 18th century in Europe.
This place was the residence of the Captains General during the period of Spanish colonialism in Cuba and independence hero Generalisimo Máximo Gómez. It was declared a National Monument in 1981 and currently inside is the Havana Botanical Garden and the Máximo Gómez Museum.
In 1906, that garden was inscribed as an important reference site in the World System of Botanical Gardens. In that place, the “butterfly” (mariposa) was declared in 1936 as the national flower of Cuba. In the center is the Felipe Poey school, linked to Higher Education, where various university careers such as Meteorology, Nuclear Physics and Radiochemistry are studied.
As a curious fact, within this school there is a tree commonly called Cannonball, rare in Cuba, where there are only five specimens. Its flowers are cute and rare, and the fruits are shaped like an ancient cannonball, which is why it is called by that name. Both the flowers and the fruits hang from the trunk that reaches a great height.
In addition, the institution holds competitions, scientific events and exhibitions related to the Cuban natural wealth.