Museum of the Revolution (Cuba)

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Museum of the Revolution
Museo de la Revolución
Museum of Revolution Cuba.jpg
Former namesPalacio Presidential
General information
Architectural styleEclectic
Town or cityHavana
Coordinates23°08′30″N 82°21′24″W / 23.14167°N 82.35667°W / 23.14167; -82.35667Coordinates: 23°08′30″N 82°21′24″W / 23.14167°N 82.35667°W / 23.14167; -82.35667
Current tenantsCuban military
Design and construction
ArchitectRodolfo Maruri, Paul Belau

The Museum of the Revolution (Spanish: Museo de la Revolución) is located in the Old Havana section of Havana, Cuba. The museum is housed in what was the Presidential Palace of all Cuban presidents from Mario García Menocal to Fulgencio Batista. It became the Museum of the Revolution during the years following the Cuban Revolution. The building was the site of the Havana Presidential Palace Attack (1957) by the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil.


Presidential Palace by the architects Rodolfo Maruri and the Belgian architect Paul Belau.

The former ''Presidential Palace' was designed by the Cuban architect Rodolfo Maruri and the Belgian architect Paul Belau who also designed the Centro Gallego, presently the Gran Teatro de La Habana. The 'Presidential Palace was inaugurated in 1920 by President Mario García Menocal. It remained the Presidential Palace until the Cuban Revolution of 1959. The building has Neo-Classical elements, and was decorated by Tiffany Studios of New York City.

Attack on the palace[edit]

The building was the site of the attack that took place at around 3:30 PM on March 13, 1957. The Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil from the University of Havana had the objective of killing Fulgencio Batista. It was a two-prong attack which included the take over of Radio Relox at the Radiocentro CMQ Building. Both attacks failed. According to one of the attackers, Faure Chomón of the Revolutionary Directorate, they were following the golpe arriba strategy and together with Menelao Mora Morales sought to overthrow the government by killing President Fulgencio Batista.


The plan, as explained by Faure Chaumón Mediavilla, was to attacking the Presidential Palace by a commando of fifty men and simultaneously support the operation by one hundred men occupying the radio station Radio Reloj at the Radiocentro CMQ Building to announce the death of Batista.[1] The attack on the palace would result in the elimination of Fulgencio Batista, the purpose of taking of Radio Reloj, was to announce the death of Batista and to call for a general strike, to incite the people of Havana to join the armed struggle.[1] The plan to capture of the Presidential Palace by up of fifty men, under the direction of Carlos Gutiérrez Menoyo and Faure Chomón, this command was to be supported by a group of 100 armed men whose function would be to occupy the tallest buildings in the surrounding area of the Presidential Palace (La Tabacalera, the Sevilla Hotel, the Palace of Fine Arts) and, from these positions, support the main command taking over the Presidential Palace. However, this support operation was not carried out as the men who were to participate never arrived at the scene of the events because of last-minute hesitation. Although the revolutionaries reached the third floor of the Palace, they were unable to execute Batista.[2]

An implied goal of the attack had been to penetrate to Batista's study located on the second floor at the northeast corner of the building.
Havana Police with machine guns immediately following the attack on Calle Zulueta, March 13, 1957.

They spoke in code order to frustrate a potential infiltration or a divulging of the attack in any conversation, it had been agreed early on that they would refer to Palacios as "la casa de los tres kilos."[1][a][3]

Radio Reloj[edit]

Attack at Radio Reloj in the Radiocentro CMQ Building, Havana, Cuba. 1957.[1]

The action of Radio Reloj, located in the Radiocentro CMQ Building at Calle 23 and L in El Vedado, was directed by José Antonio Echeverría who was accompanied among others, by Fructuoso Rodríguez, Joe Westbrook, Raúl Diaz Argüelles, Julio García Olivera, including reading a prepared statement announcing the execution of Batista by Echevarria:

"People of Cuba, in these moments the dictator Fulgencio Batista has just been justified. In his own burrow of the Presidential Palace, the people of Cuba have come to settle accounts. And it is we, the Revolutionary Directory, who in the name of the Cuban Revolution have given the shot of grace to this regime of opprobrium. Cubans listening to me. It's just been removed..."[2]

The operation failed because Batista was never killed and the troops guarding the Radio Reloj transmission tower in Arroyo Arenas knocked down the transmission. José Antonio was shot and killed by a Batista patrol car on the corner of November 27 and L, on his way back to the University.[1]

Havana Presidential Palace Attack_Echevaria's car.
Jose Antonio Echevarria, Dead on his way to the University of Havana from Radiocentro CMQ Building, March 13, 1957.

The combatants departed from a basement apartment located on Calle 19 between Calles B and C towards the Radiocentro CMQ Building in three automobiles:[4]


The museum's Cuban history exhibits are largely devoted to the period of the revolutionary war of the 1950s and to the country's post-1959 history. Portions of the museum are also devoted to pre-revolutionary Cuba, including the 1895-1898 War of Independence waged against Spain.


  1. ^ The house of the three cents.


  1. ^ a b c d "LA SIERRA y el LLANO" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. ^ "The Cuban Revolution Attack on the Presidential Palace (March 13, 1957)". Archived from the original on October 22, 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  3. ^ Wikipedia contributors, "Havana Presidential Palace attack (1957)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed February 12, 2020).
  4. ^ "ANIVERSARIO DEL ATAQUE AL PALACIO PRESIDENCIAL DE CUBA". Archived from the original on 2019-08-12. Retrieved 2019-08-12.