This forge is located where the dreadful San Lázaro Quarry used to be, where José Martí was sentenced to hard labor under the charges of treason and bribery.
The Fragua Martiana began with the creation of a place to honor José Martí, on the initiative of Gonzalo de Quesada Jr. back in 1944. Approximately one year later, researchers and historians in general began to voice the urgent need for a proper facility to be created so that Martí’s followers in Cuba could have a place to carry out their work. In February, 1950, the newspaper Patria announced that the Fragua Martiana had been completed and thanked Minister of Public Works Manuel Febles for “his patriotic enthusiasm.”
On January 27, 1953, following Batista’s coup d’état, Cuban students gathered at the Fragua Martiana to celebrate José Martí’s birth and demonstrate against Fidel Castro’s imprisonment with a march that would later be known as Marcha de lasAntorchas. This march is still done each year as a tribute to Cuba’s National Hero.
The museum features some of the National Hero’s belongings, including a revolver, prisoner chains, jail clothes and texts.