|Colegio de Belén|
|Former names||Colegio de Belén|
|Town or city||Ciudad de La Habana|
|Current tenants||Cuban military|
|Named for||The Palace of Education|
|Structural system||Steel frame|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Leonardo Morales y Pedroso|
|Architecture firm||Morales & Cia|
The Colegio de Belén located between 45th and 66th streets – situated next door to the Tropicana nightclub – in Marianao, Havana, was designed in 1925 by the architect Leonardo Morales y Pedroso of the firm Morales & Ciaas.
Her Majesty Isabella II, Queen of Spain, issued a royal charter in the year 1854 founding the Colegio de Belén (Belen School) in Havana, Cuba. Belen began its educational work in the building formerly occupied by the convent and convalescent hospital of Our Lady of Belen in Havana Vieja. A meteorological observatory was established in 1857. A facility was built in 1896.
The building was constructed on sixty acres of land that had been donated and was to be used as the main building of the Colegio de Belén. The original building, a convent in Havana Vieja had been opened since 1854 within the premises of the formerly occupied convent and convalescent hospital of Our Lady of Belen. Those premises had become unsuitable and badly located due to the change of atmosphere in the neighborhood and the growth of the city. The project was designed by the Cuban architectural firm of Morales & Cia (Leonardo Morales y Pedroso) in 1925, with an unlimited budget for designing a religious school, the Colegio de Belén, Havana.
From 1925 to 1961, and located in the Marianao municipality, on an area of approximately 190,000 m2, emerged in the twenties of the last century, the new building with plans approved in Rome by Wlodimiro Ledochowsky, General of the Society of Jesus , in June 1921.
In mid-1923 the construction of this property was started, carried out by the company Ingenieros y Arquitectos Morales y Co., being built nine radiating pavilions, a central chapel of three floors, an entrance pavilion that had a fourth level where it was located the observatory. Its inaugural activities were carried out on December 19, 20 and 21, 1925, beginning its first course in January 1926.
The result was a monumental pan-optical edifice with an extensive neoclassical façade perpendicular to the large chapel and four large courtyards, recalling the building housing the convent in Havana Vieja, with three stories of porticoed galleries to link nine radial pavilions, the appearance is of instrumentality which is supported both in the design resources and the unusual dimensions of the spaces. The structure is built from concrete-covered steel structure, the flooring, covered with tiles, and roof are monolithic, reinforced concrete slabs.
The chapel was centrally located in plan, it had a wide central nave of triple height with a mural by Hipolito Hidalgo de Caviedes (1901–1994). It had two side aisles. El Colegio de Belen was known as "The Palace of Education." It was a Cuban National Monument.
Calle Compostela, between Luz y Acosta (Havana, 1854-1925).
|Luis E. Aguilar Leon||1944||Writer and Professor Emeritus of Georgetown University|
|Xavier Briggs||1985||Currently serving as Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama; former senior policy official at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton; Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a former faculty member of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government|
|Jorge I. Dominguez||1963||Faculty member at Harvard University, Academy for International and Area Studies|
|Alberto Martinez Piedra||1946||Former US Ambassador to Guatemala and Professor at The Institute of World Politics|
|Salvador Miranda||1958||Church historian and librarian|
|Miguel Ángel de la Campa y Caraveda||1900||Cuban Foreign Minister, Attorney General, diplomat|
|Fidel Castro||1944||Former president and prime minister of Cuba|
|Raul Castro||Attended||Former president and prime minister of Cuba|
|Antonio Prío Socarrás||1923||Cuban Minister of Housing, 1948-1952|
|Carlos Prío Socarrás||1921||16th President of Cuba|
|Francisco Prío Socarrás||1920||Cuban Senator, 1944-1952|
|Antonio Sánchez de Bustamante y Sirven||1883||Cuban Senator (1902–1918), author, and jurist (Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice at the Hague (1922-1942), nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize of 1949|
|Carlos Finlay||Faculty||Physician and epidemiologist; proposed the mode of transmission of yellow fever|
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Belen Jesuit Preparatory School is a private, Catholic, all-male, preparatory school run by the Antilles Province of the Society of Jesus in Tamiami, unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, operated by the Society of Jesus. It was established in Havana, Cuba, by the Jesuits in 1854, but moved to the United States after the communist government of Fidel Castro, himself an alumnus, took power and expelled the Jesuits. It has since made the Cardinal Newman Society's honor roll. The name Belen is Spanish for "Bethlehem."
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Leonardo Morales y Pedroso was a prominent Cuban architect in Havana in the early 20th century.
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Images from the 1940s and 50s of the Colegio de Belen: