University of Havana

Discover the University of Havana in Vedado, Cuba.

University of Havana
University of Havana
© Nicole Dugré

The Universidad de La Habana (University of Havana) was founded by Dominican monks from the Order of Preachers in 1728, and secularized in 1842. The university was originally located in Old Havana, but was moved in 1902 to this Neoclassical construction from the second quarter of the 20th century.

This university is the oldest in Cuba and one of the first in America. Its building was declared National Monument in 1978.


Universidad de La Habana
Universidad de La Habana
© Bri
Monument to Julio Antonio Mella
Monument to Julio Antonio Mella

It currently has more than 60,000 students from 32 degrees. On it studied worldwide famous personalities like Fidel Castro, Félix Varela or Enrique José Varona, among others.

On top of the central stairway can be seen a majestic sculpture of the Alma Mater. Closeby, in Plaza Ignacio Agramonte Square, is exhibited a tank captured by Castro’s rebels during 1958. Night concerts from youngsters are normally given in the stairway.
Right in front of the tank is the Librería Alma Mater Bookshop, and on the left is located the oldest museum from Cuba, the Felipe Poey Natural History Museum, founded in 1874. It exhibits lots of Cuban flora and fauna stuffed specimens from the 19th century.

A little bit upper is the Montané Anthropology Museum, with an interesting collection of Precolumbian indigenous objects, including wooden Ídolo del Tabaco (Tobacco Idol), from the 10th century.

Both museums open September through July from 9:00am to 12:00pm and Mondays through Fridays from 1:00am to 4:00pm, the entrance is 1 CUC per museum.

In the lower part of the stairway of the University of Havana is the Monument to Julio Antonio Mella, dedicated to the student leader who founded the first Cuban Communist Party in 1925 and was assassinated by order of Machado in Mexico City. This is one of the most renowned places in the University, where are also exhibited black and white portraits of Mella hanging from the walls, in the park in front of San Lázaro.

More information:


Calle L esq. con San Lázaro, Vedado, La Habana - Cuba.

Ticket price:

1 CUC for the Felipe Poey Natural History Museum; and 1 CUC for the Montané Anthropology Museum.

Opening hours:

Both museums open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00am to 12:00pm and from 1:00am to 4:00pm September through July.

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