YBOR CITY MUSEUM AND STATE PARK - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Ybor City was founded by Don Vincente Ybor in 1886,it was based on the cigar industry and had a largely Latin population though the city also opened its arms to Germans and Afro Cubans
The first cigar factory was opened in 1886 and until the 1930s the city thrived;indeed in the early 20th century,Ybor was the leading cigar suppliers of the whole world and the factory employed 4000 people
Ybor became a centre for the Cuban Revolution and the army based thousands of troops there.Modern technology and the increase od cigarette smoking slowly brought the demise of this once thriving city
The community was instrumental in building Tampaand is culturally rich due to the mix of different immigrants who added their individual customs,art and heritage
The museum is housed in the old bakery that traded as late as the 1920s.There you will see a Casita (little house) where the cigar workers lived and you can relax for a while in the Mediterranean Gardens
If you visit on any day between monday and saturday,there are guided tours from 11am to 3pm whic start on the hour.You can but hand rolled cigars from the museum shop (along with the more normal gift shop items)
Live demonstrations of cigar rolling happen between 11am and 3 pm on friday,sat and sunday only
Every saturday there is a walking tour of Ybor City which leave from the museum at 10,30.These cost $6 and include entry to the museum and gardens.The tour goes up and down 7th avenue and concludes at 21st street right outside Columbio restaurant...time for lunch anyone?
The previously mentioned gardens were created in the 1970s and though beautiful,definitely not authentic since any spare land would have been used to grow some much more useful vegetables
Built on the site of of a factory (which burned down)it relaced some flats which were knocked down in the sixties The gardens were inspired by the Plaza gardens of Cuba.They have used the original moulds to make the lamposts and they are now reinstating these in the streets of Ybor City as well
The gardens have some fine specimens of Plumbago,Magnolia,Banana,bougainvillea,crotons and Hawthorns
The information Centre is at 1600 East 8th Avenue.suite b104.Tampa Florida 33605 tel 813 241 8838
The museum is located only minutes from Tampa in Ybor City (look out for the yellow building) Accessed from the I275 and I4 highways.There is plenty of parking around
Museum is open every day of the week from 9am to 4pm and costs $3.
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