Habanos: Factories tell stories

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Habanos: Factories tell stories

La Corona opened in 1903 as an industry on Calle Zulueta number 106, the huge plant in front of the old Presidential Palace, today the Museum of the Cuban Revolution, very close to the Havana boardwalk

The Havana factories dedicated to the artisanal cigars of this country have a history accumulated over many years and that today constitute a point of attraction for many foreigners who come to the Cuban capital.

Precisely, in this town are the most important cigar factories not only in the country, but in the world taking into account that this is where the Premium cigars are made that classify as the best of their kind on the planet.

Hence the relevance that the participants in the XX Habano Festival (February 26 to March 2, Palacio de las Convenciones) travel and share them with workers and technicians from all echelons of this industry.

Behind there is much to know, when the visits this Thursday included two of the most important: H.Upmann and La Corona.

The H.Upmann brand was created in the 19th century by two German brothers with the surname Upmann, who combined H as best they could so that their industry was named Upmann Brothers, in this case H.Upmann, remaining as a brand and plant name.

Since then it had variations and from an establishment with 80 employees it came in times of up to a thousand. In 1944, when his centenary was celebrated, he went to the Amistad street premises, and on November 3, 2003 he went to another building, now on Belascoaín street.

One of the first marketers of that brand was the British firm Hunter and Frakau, which still sells Cuban tobacco in the United Kingdom.

H.Upmann has a very direct link with the cigar makers who went to work in Tampa, Key West (United States) in the Cuban colonial era and precisely, from there they financially collaborated with the war against Spain.

It was in his galleys that the famous Cuban musician, now deceased, Francisco Repilado (Compay Segundo) worked as a torcedor for 19 years.

The Crown, for its part, opened in 1903 as an industry on Calle Zulueta number 106, the enormous plant in front of the old Presidential Palace, today the Museum of the Cuban Revolution, very close to the Havana boardwalk.

That factory moved from February 2005 to another place, better conditioned, modern. It reopened its doors at Avenida 20 de Mayo number 520 in the capital municipality of Cerro.

The new Corona is designed for 515 cigar makers on the table, which means a monthly plan of 50,000 tobaccos, or one million pieces per month (12 million cigars per year), according to estimates for operations at one hundred percent.

The current building belonged to the cigarette company Orlando Nodarse (Dorado), whose production passed to the Brascuba factory, and the rest of the equipment and machines to other industries of this product.

Another brand and factory of obligatory mention is Partagás, which appeared in 1845 in the building behind the Capitol of Havana, although today it also operates in a building in Central Havana.

Precisely, the XX Habano Festival is dedicated to Cohíba and Partagás, the first with fundamental productions in the El Laguito plant, and the second in the construction of the most bustling part of Havana.