Memorial in honor of Generalissimo Máximo Gómez

Memorial in honor of Generalissimo Máximo Gómez

Heritage & Traditions

Nina Pereira

In its last days, one of the oldest houses in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana welcomed Máximo Gómez Báez, among the most prominent figures of Cuban independence, chosen to become a memorial in honor of the so-called Generalissimo.

Born in Baní, Dominican Republic, on November 18, 1836, he entered military life very young, in the Dominican and Spanish army, after which he settled in Cuba, where on October 16, 1868 he joined the pro-independence troops, six days after the anti-colonial war began.

Máximo Gómez became General in Chief of the Liberation Army and is considered one of the Big Three of 95 (second stage of the war of independence from 1895 to 1898), along with José Martí, National Hero of the country, and Antonio Maceo, called the Bronze Titan.

The neoclassical mansion where he died on June 17, 1905, was built between 1878 and 1880, on a single floor and an interior patio, wooden and tile roof, masonry walls, and mosaic floors. After the death of the hero, the residence underwent modifications, including the construction of a second floor, starting with its acquisition in 1908 by the Catholic Church and the establishment there of a school for girls by the American Dominican nuns.

Between that year and 1909, the ceilings, floors, walls, doors and other elements of the room where the Mambí chief died, were transferred to the Oscar María de Rojas Museum, in the city of Cárdenas, and were faithfully reproduced in that institution.

In 1986, it was taken to the local Veterans Center, where his belongings were permanently installed. The old Vedado house, located at the intersection of Fifth and D streets, is now undergoing a meticulous restoration project, which takes into account the details typical of the early twentieth century, such as the carpentry, which will be with a French-style window, and pastel colors mixed with white.

The portal will be reopened, with the original entrance of the house on Fifth Street, and in addition, there will be a recreation of the room where Gómez died, the designer of the work, architect Aníbal del Prado Cartaya, told the press. The ground floor will be a memorial that will reflect the lesser-known part of Gómez's history, from the end of the war until his death, and the headquarters of the National Union of Cuban Historians will be established on the upper floor.

In the opinion of the Director of Heritage of the Office of the Havana City Historian, Michael González, it is an integral monument, which will complement the others created to honor the figure of the General in Chief of the Liberation Army of Cuba.