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The Ernest Hemingway Statue Inside The Famed Floridita In Havana, Cuba.


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Debera Aldana



Welcome to Floridita, the legendary Havana bar and restaurant that has become an icon of Cuban culture and a pilgrimage site for literature lovers around the world. Nestled in the heart of La Habana Vieja, Floridita is known not only for its delectable seafood dishes and refreshing cocktails, but also for its rich history and association with the renowned American writer, Ernest Hemingway.


With its vibrant atmosphere and timeless charm, Floridita has attracted countless visitors over the years, seeking a taste of both its culinary delights and the literary legacy it embodies. One of the main attractions within Floridita is the impressive statue of Ernest Hemingway, a tribute to the author and his deep connection to this historic establishment.


In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of Floridita and explore the significance of the Ernest Hemingway statue that graces its interior. Whether you’re a Hemingway enthusiast, an aficionado of Cuban culture, or simply intrigued by the intersection of literature and gastronomy, join us as we embark on a journey to discover the story behind this iconic statue.


History of Floridita

Floridita has a long and storied history that dates back to its inception in 1817. Originally known as “La Piña de Plata,” this establishment began as a small tavern serving locally brewed beer and rum to the sailors and workers of Havana’s bustling harbor. Over the years, the tavern evolved and underwent several name changes until it became “La Florida” in the early 20th century. It was during this time that the bar’s reputation as a gathering place for artists and intellectuals began to flourish.


Under the ownership of Constantino Ribalaigua Vert – a legendary bartender and innovator in the art of mixology – Floridita transformed into a world-class bar and restaurant renowned for its innovative cocktails and exquisite seafood offerings. Ribalaigua Vert’s creative concoctions, including the famous Papa Doble, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, earned Floridita international acclaim and cemented its status as a must-visit destination for visitors to Havana.


During its heyday, Floridita attracted a diverse clientele that included writers, artists, politicians, and celebrities from around the world. It became a cultural hub, where ideas were exchanged, friendships were forged, and artistic inspirations were nurtured. It was within the walls of this historic establishment that Ernest Hemingway, the famed American writer, found solace, friendship, and inspiration.


As the years passed, Floridita faced its fair share of challenges, including political changes and economic strife. However, it persevered through these difficult times, preserving its unique charm and enduring as a symbol of Havana’s vibrant spirit. Today, Floridita stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Cuba and the enduring legacy of one of the world’s most celebrated literary figures.


The Influence of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s connection to Floridita is deeply rooted in his love for Cuba and his affinity for the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic establishment. Hemingway first visited Floridita in the 1930s and quickly became enamored with its lively ambiance, exquisite cocktails, and delectable seafood. It was here that he found a sanctuary where he could indulge in his passions for writing and socializing.


Floridita not only provided Hemingway with a haven away from the pressures of his writing career, but it also served as a source of inspiration for his work. He would often observe the bustling activity and colorful characters within the bar, incorporating their stories and experiences into his novels and short stories. The lively conversations and the proximity to the sea offered Hemingway a sense of freedom and a unique perspective that permeated his writing.


Hemingway’s frequent visits to Floridita forged a deep bond between the writer and the establishment. As a testament to their enduring connection, Floridita even named one of its signature cocktails after Hemingway: the “Hemingway Special,” also known as the “Papa Doble.” This concoction of rum, grapefruit juice, lime, and maraschino liqueur perfectly captured Hemingway’s taste and has since become a classic cocktail enjoyed by patrons from all corners of the globe.


Aside from his personal relationship with Floridita, Hemingway’s influence on Cuban culture cannot be understated. His novels, such as “The Old Man and the Sea” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” depicted the spirit of Cuba and its people with an authenticity that resonated deeply. Hemingway’s portrayal of Cuba’s vibrant landscapes, its unique culture, and the struggles faced by its inhabitants brought international attention to the island and solidified its place as a literary and cultural destination.


Today, Hemingway’s legacy continues to thrive within the walls of Floridita. The bar pays homage to its most famous patron through the Ernest Hemingway statue, a lasting tribute to the writer and his enduring impact on Cuban culture and the world of literature.


The Creation of the Ernest Hemingway Statue

The Ernest Hemingway statue within Floridita serves as a visual representation of the deep connection between the renowned writer and the renowned establishment. The statue itself is a result of a collaborative effort between two talented artists: José Villa Soberón and Rafael Consuegra.


The idea for the statue was conceived by José Villa Soberón, a Cuban sculptor, who believed that Hemingway’s presence should be immortalized within the walls of the bar that he so dearly loved. Soberón embarked on the task of creating a life-sized bronze statue that would capture Hemingway’s essence and reflect his larger-than-life personality.


To bring his vision to life, Soberón enlisted the assistance of Rafael Consuegra, a fellow Cuban artist known for his expertise in sculpting. Together, they meticulously studied photographs of Hemingway, seeking to capture his likeness and embody his spirit in the sculpted form.


The creation process was a labor of love, and Soberón and Consuegra spared no effort to ensure that every detail was rendered accurately. From the texture of Hemingway’s clothing to the expression on his face, every element was carefully sculpted with precision and craftsmanship.


Once the statue was completed, it was installed in a prominent location within Floridita, where it can be admired by patrons and visitors alike. The unveiling of the Ernest Hemingway statue was met with great excitement and admiration, as it not only paid tribute to the literary icon but also solidified Floridita’s status as a place deeply intertwined with Hemingway’s legacy.


Over the years, the statue has become a focal point of Floridita, drawing visitors from around the globe who wish to pay their respects to Hemingway and experience the ambiance that inspired him. Its presence within the bar serves as a reminder of the lasting impact that Hemingway had on Cuban culture and the indelible mark he left on Floridita.


The Ernest Hemingway statue stands as a testament to the enduring connection between this legendary writer and Floridita, immortalizing their bond and serving as a beacon for those who seek to immerse themselves in the rich history and literary heritage of Havana.


Description of the Ernest Hemingway Statue

The Ernest Hemingway statue at Floridita is a striking and lifelike representation of the iconic writer. Standing at over six feet tall, the bronze statue captures Hemingway in a contemplative pose, with a glass of his beloved cocktail in one hand and a book in the other.


The attention to detail in the statue is remarkable. Hemingway’s rugged features are meticulously sculpted, showcasing his chiseled jawline, weathered skin, and piercing gaze. His signature beard, which became a trademark of his appearance, is carefully carved, adding to the authenticity of the representation. The statue is draped in a loose-fitting shirt and trousers, capturing Hemingway’s preference for comfortable and practical attire.


Every aspect of the statue is imbued with symbolism. Hemingway’s raised glass pays tribute to his fondness for the vibrant cocktails served at Floridita. It serves as a reminder of the writer’s love for the bar and the camaraderie he found within its walls. The book he holds exemplifies Hemingway’s dedication to his craft and his contribution to literature, symbolizing his role as an influential figure in the literary world.


The posture of the statue reflects Hemingway’s contemplative nature. His slightly tilted head and focused expression hint at the depth of his thoughts and his unwavering determination to capture life’s nuances through his writing. The statue exudes a sense of quiet introspection, inviting observers to pause and reflect on the writer’s legacy.


Situated in a prominent location within Floridita, the Ernest Hemingway statue serves as a focal point, drawing visitors’ attention and sparking conversation. Its presence within the bar creates an immersive experience, where visitors can feel a tangible connection to the literary giant and the ambiance that inspired him.


The statue’s placement also allows for interaction, as visitors often gather around to take photographs beside Hemingway, hoping to capture a piece of the bar’s history and the writer’s enduring spirit. It has become a tradition for patrons and Hemingway fans alike to pay their respects by raising a glass to the statue, honoring the mark he left on Cuban culture and the literary world.


Overall, the Ernest Hemingway statue at Floridita is a poignant and evocative portrayal of the legendary writer. Through its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, it immortalizes Hemingway’s presence and serves as a powerful reminder of his impact on both literature and the beloved Havana establishment.


Significance of the Statue

The Ernest Hemingway statue holds great significance within Floridita and the broader cultural landscape. It serves as a symbol of the enduring connection between the renowned writer and the iconic establishment, while also commemorating Hemingway’s impact on Cuban culture and the literary world.


First and foremost, the statue acts as a tribute to Ernest Hemingway himself. It celebrates his deep appreciation for Floridita and the role it played in his life, both as a literary figure and as a source of inspiration. The statue serves as a reminder of Hemingway’s love for Cuba, its people, and their shared passion for art, literature, and the vibrant culture that thrived within Floridita.


The statue also serves as an emblem of Floridita’s rich history and its status as a cultural mecca. It captures the vibrant atmosphere and spirit of the bar during Hemingway’s time, preserving that essence for generations to come. It serves as a bridge between the past and the present, connecting visitors to the literary heritage that Floridita represents.


Beyond its representation of Hemingway and Floridita, the statue carries broader significance for the literary world. It stands as a reminder of the profound impact that Hemingway’s works had, not only on the readers who were captivated by his writing, but also on the writers who were influenced by his unique style.


The presence of the statue within Floridita adds a layer of authenticity and depth to the overall experience for visitors. It allows them to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Havana, as well as to feel a tangible connection to one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century.


Moreover, the Ernest Hemingway statue continues to inspire artists, writers, and enthusiasts who visit Floridita. It serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling, the pursuit of passion, and the importance of finding inspiration in unexpected places.


Ultimately, the significance of the Ernest Hemingway statue lies in its ability to encapsulate the essence of both Hemingway and Floridita. It symbolizes the intersection of literature and gastronomy, the merging of cultures, and the enduring impact of art on society. Through its presence, the statue invites visitors to embrace the spirit of Hemingway, to celebrate the diverse influences that shape our creative endeavors, and to appreciate the timeless beauty and depth of Cuban culture.



The Ernest Hemingway statue at Floridita stands as a testament to the powerful connection between the renowned writer and the historic establishment. It encapsulates the rich history, cultural significance, and literary inspiration that have made Floridita an iconic landmark in Havana.


As visitors step foot into Floridita and encounter the statue of Hemingway, they are transported to a bygone era, where literature and gastronomy merged, and where the vibrant spirit of Havana thrived. The statue serves as a visual representation of the author’s love for Floridita and his enduring impact on Cuban culture.


More than just a tribute to Hemingway, the statue holds a broader significance. It serves as a symbol of the enduring power of storytelling and the interplay of art, culture, and history. It invites visitors to reflect on Hemingway’s literary contributions and the profound influence he had on the literary world.


Moreover, the statue allows visitors to feel a tangible connection to Hemingway’s passion for writing and his love for Cuba. It serves as a reminder that Floridita was not just a place for food and drink, but a sanctuary where ideas were shared, friendships were forged, and creative inspiration was nurtured.


Overall, the Ernest Hemingway statue within Floridita is a cherished monument that represents the enduring spirit of Hemingway’s work and the cultural legacy of a vibrant city. Its presence adds depth and authenticity to the experience of visiting Floridita, allowing patrons to become a part of the rich tapestry of literature, culture, and history that has made this iconic establishment a cherished destination.


So, the next time you find yourself in Havana, make sure to visit Floridita and witness the Ernest Hemingway statue firsthand. Raise a glass to the memory of the great writer, immerse yourself in the timeless ambiance, and relish in the enduring legacy of literature and culture that pervades Floridita.