Romeo y Julieta Cigar Factory Cigar Factory Tours, Havana . Cuba
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- Padre Varela e/ Desague y Penalver, Centro Habana. Havana City. Cuba
- Destination: Havana
- Open: Daily
Romeo y Julieta factory (Padre Varela e/ Desague y Peñal Verno, Centro Habana, tel 07/878-1059, CUC10). For now, all visitors are being steered to Romeo y Julieta, which until earlier this year served as a cigar-rolling school. It was previously a full-production facility (open to tours) famous for its namesake Romeo y Julieta brand of cigars. However, here’s where things get complicated, as the factory is also now rebranded (temporariliy, one assumes) as the H. Upmann factory
Mapa de Romeo y Julieta Cigar Factory
Romeo y Julieta Cigar Factory is located in Havana
Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.
The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.
The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.
Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.
Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.
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Cigar Factory Cuba
The H.Upmann factory is considered by many to be one of the best cigar factories in Cuba, a few would even say the very best. The H.Upmann brand is one of the oldest, having been created by a German banker, Herman Upmann, when he opened a branch of his bank in Havana in 1840 and decided to invest in a cigar factory. That factory was built in 1844 on Amistad street no.407-409 and remained so until November 2003 when it moved to it's present address on the corner of 23rd and 14 streets in what used to be the old Partagas cigarette factory. The name of the factory has changed as well, it has been renamed the Jose Marti factory since 1961. When they first opened they started out with 80 workers, there have been times when they've had 1000 workers at one time through the years. It's been over a year now that the Upmann factory has been operating out of the Romeo Y Julieta factory in Centro Habana while it's been under renovation. It seems that not too long after they moved into the new place, about 10 years, they've had terrible floods from water coming in through the roof. Sadly, I never got to see the old place on Amistad but I've had the fortune of visiting the new location several times before the renovations and the current one at RyJ. I remember seeing some of the same faces I saw years ago on previous visits. One thing hasn't changed, the quality of the cigars coming out of this factory are still some of the best, especially their Piramides. The Upmann factory is know to be the best for rolling the Piramide Vitola and that's why it's the only factory other that El Laguito that's been given the task to roll the Cohiba Piramide Extra. Of course there were plenty of Montecristo 520s being rolled, Upmann was the original Montecristo factory. The head of Quality Control, who gave me my tour this past November, was quite proud of the quality of the smokes leaving the factory and made sure to let me know several times. She went through the various departments and the several spots where a quality control check was done. I can understand now why Cuban cigars have been much better than the ones rolled years ago, especially from the 90's. At least I can say that about the cigars coming out of the H.Upmann factory. Below are two sets of pictures and I've indicated the split. The ones above were taken in the new factory before the renovations and the ones below are actually in the Romeo y Julieta factory but it's the Upmann workers that are there in the fotos.
One of the things I was anxious to do in Havana was to visit a cigar factory. Imagine my disappointment to discover that they close for a month from 20th December each year. We nevertheless paid a visit to the Romeo and Juliet cigar factory shop where we discovered that we could purchase most or all of the brands made in Cuba. The best value, obviously, were the Romeo and Juliet. However, the shop manager was happy to inform me that the Cohiba Esplendidos are the best in the world and he had them for sale at a good price. This is the cigar that Fidel Castro used to smoke until he gave up the habit. You could also purchase such items as rum and coffee at this shop, but I discovered that the coffee was about 30% more expensive than at our hotel shop. The rum cost about the same. We purchased very good quality t-shirts here and they were about half the cost of those in the other shops and at the hotel and the quality was better.
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