In Baracoa, the first village founded by Spanish settlers on our island, there is a hotel facility whose name is related to one of the legendary figures of the town. This is the Hostal La Rusa that recalls the legacy that left in this city of eastern Cuba the presence of Magdalena Menasses Rovenskaya, Russian by birth, from Baracoa by adoption.
Magdalena was known as a woman of wide culture, with aptitudes for diverse artistic manifestations. She was a dancer, pianist and soprano, showing her qualities in different cities of Europe until in the 1930s when she arrived in Havana and later settled in Baracoa.
She was a lady of exquisite taste, of details, of good manners, of always being fashionable and never recognizing her age.
Upon arrival, she was accused of being a spy and being even related to the famous French prostitute Rachel, but these comments remained mere fables because Magdalena became a mythical character in the area. A woman who brought a touch of distinction to the Villa. Her presence was so intense that even Alejo Carpentier was inspired by her story to create one of the characters (Vera) of his novel “La consagración de la primavera”.
Baracoa also got into her heart and she identified herself with Cuba and its struggle. She collaborated with the July 26 Movement and her house -turned into a Hotel since 1953- was visited by important cultural personalities and Cuban Revolution figures such as Ernesto Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Alicia Alonso, Celia Sánchez, the scientist Antonio Nuñez Jiménez and the National poet Nicolás Guillén.
Magdalena Menasses Rovenskaya (Russian Empire, 1911 – Baracoa, September 5th , 1978) get in on the soul of everyone who came to know her. They say that on her burial day the streets through which the funeral procession passed were full and to this day, her legacy remains intact. It transcends, from generation to generation.
The Russian died but, by then, like an epitaph,she had declared according to a magazine of the time: “I do not know how old I am because I do not care about time, all I know is that I’m losing beauty; life is to win and lose, and many times it is lost to win, I lost a lot, the other day I wanted to say vase in my language and I did not find the Russian word, but I won a beautiful Revolution “.
Hostal La Rusa
The facility belongs to the Gaviota group and has 12 rooms with a privileged location that offer visitors the unique opportunity to observe and admire the unique topography that surrounds the bay of the Ciudad Primada de Cuba.