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In Cuba The Escorial de los Mares to settle in the Castillo de la Real Fuerza
The capable hands of Cuban artisans gave life back to the greatest and most armed ship of its time. Gone to sea at the Havana Real Astillero in 1769, it comes back to life now in a 1:25 scale, thanks to a collaboration project between the Office of the Historian of the City and the Canadian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Friends of the Santísima Trinidad, with the support of the Naval Museum from Madrid.
After a peregrination that went from the San Salvador de la Punta Castle, the naval model reached the Real Fuerza Museum Castle, scorted by its creators and collaborators, with the rhythm of bells and drums.

En the event to place the model of the ship, which took place on January 15, in the open spaces from the Real Fuerza Castle, its final placement, took part the Historian of the City, Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler; Jean-Pierre Juneau, Canadian ambassador in Cuba and Ken Woods, president of the Friends of the Santísima Trinidad NGO.
Representatives from the Canadian, French and Spanish embassies in Havana and specialists from the Naval Museum from Madrid and from the Cuban Naval Academy, were also present in the ceremony, in which Leal recalled the long gone Havana Real Astillero, very famous together with the ones of Guarnizo and Ferrol, where wonderful ships were made, as the one christened with the alias El Escorial de los Mares.

“From time to time someone surprises me saying that some Cuban ship, as it happened with La Lima fishing boat, rose from the deep port an admiral anchor, or that in the current train courtyard, the former Armory, close to the Saint Ambrose quarters, there are found artillery projectiles and pieces. These are the memories of a past time, not of a lost time,” he said, before he added that the Havana harbor was considered to be the safest one of this latitude of the world by the Seville University.

The Historian gave a special thanks to Mr. Ken Woods, “a friend with an enthusiasm that has no limits, who accepted the challenge to make the ship being in the North;” to the naval model makers and their collaborators; to the embassies of Canada, France and Spain; especially to the Naval Museum, and to all of those who made the model of El Escorial de los Mares a reality; “the hundreds and hundreds of sailors, crew members, never imagined that centuries later people like you would place such a delicate flower to their memory,” he declared.

On the other hand, the Canadian Ambassador in Cuba, Mr. Jean Pierre Jimeau, considered the models of the galleons Santísima Trinidad and Le Juste (1691), where Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville (Montreal, 1661 – Havana, 1706) arrived to Havana port, to be wonderful. D’Iberville was “an important character in the history of New France,” who was part of the French Armada, who was known as a “devoted warrior, the winner of several battles.
” These both models were due to the determination, the effort and the passion of this collaboration project that included the work of the young model maker Juan Carlos Zuloaga, the brothers Yusniel and Yosnardy Bouza Miranda, among other collaborators.

During the ceremony Mr. Ken Woods explained that the seed of the project, born in a very small community from a place called midland, in Ontario, close to the Georgia Bay, represents a very important part of the past Cuban sea history; “for mi, it has been a great pleasure to collaborate with the work which started a few years ago as a dream, and is today a part of the Cuban sea heritage,” and he also pointed out his satisfaction that it might be shown in a place so special as the oldest fortress in America.
 “There sea museums in the world, but something so complicated and great as the naval model of El Escorial de los Mares –which presents to us all of its interiors with very detailed cuts, its miniature sailors – made here in Cuba, has never been tried by anyone else.” He declared that once this project is over, it is expected that there should be set in the San Salvador de la Punta Castle a workshop where children and young people might learn to create models and exercise their abilities in that work.

With the desire of our friends Ken Woods to recreate the old Havana Armory, sited since the mid-18th century in the place where today is the Train Station to be found, Dr. Eusebio Leal made public that the Office of the Historian has received thirty two locomotives from the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, of which there are two that are already completely restored and placed in the Avenida del Puerto, close to the San José storehouses, an area where an integral rehabilitation project is underway, which is to recall the commercial work of the old Havana Harbor, the key to the New World.

(Cultural Heritage Direction)

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