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Patrimonial Wealth in the Cuban Archipelago
Date: MAR 24, 2008
Other Reports

Cuba's tourist industry, which is based on the island's traditional sun and beach options, also offers the country's patrimonial wealth, which can be found everywhere.

In addition to its exuberant nature in a perfect state of preservation, and facilities to practice ecotourism and trekking, Cuba has a tourist infrastructure aimed at protecting the country's historic and cultural potential.

The island has a broad network of more than 300 museums, including 14 specialized on art, seven on sciences and technology, five on ethnology and anthropology and 68 on history.

It also has nine specialized museums, four on archeology and the others are general museums. Their common goal is to transmit history and traditions from past centuries to the youngest generations.

Havana is the Cuban city where most museums, many of which are one of a kind in the country, are located.

One of them is the Museum of Colonial Art, on Cathedral Square – one of the best-preserved sites in Old Havana. The mansion that houses the museum was built in 1720.

A 1791 building known as the Palace of the Captain Generals, where Spanish authorities had their headquarters for more than 100 years, houses the so-called City Museum.

The baroque-style building exhibits a panoramic view of the city, since its foundation as San Cristóbal de La Habana to present days, as well as several halls about Cubans' wars for national independence.

One of the colossuses in that nationwide infrastructure is the National Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1913. The museum had its own venue in 1954, when the building known as the Palace of Fine Arts was constructed.

In addition, Old Havana, which was declared Humankind's Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), holds more than 100 buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, and about 200 houses from the 18th century.

Cuba's second largest historic site is in the eastern city of Camagüey, formerly known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe and also called the city of "tinajones", due to the abundance of those large earthenware jars which were used to collect rainwater.

According to statistics, 48 percent of Cuba's historic sites are located in eastern Granma province, including the provincial capital, Bayamo, which was declared a National Monument and was capital of the Republic in Arms during the first war of independence in 1868.

For its part, Santiago de Cuba treasures more than 480 years of history. Its defensive system is considered the largest exponent of European Renaissance military engineering in the Caribbean region. It consists of the castles of San Pedro de la Roca and La Estrella, and La Socapa battery.

Santiago de Cuba also holds the Carnival Museum, which is dedicated to that cultural expression, so deeply rooted among Cubans.

The museum's halls exhibit the history of those popular festivities, which vary from region to region, mainly because they combine Spanish, African and French-Haitian traditions, depending on the region where they are held.

La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana
Paula Church. Alameda de Paula
View of the Revolution Museum.
Fountain of Lions
Castle of the Royal Force
Havana. Seminar of San Carlos and San Ambrosio
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    La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana

    Choose a small photo to enlarge:
    La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana Paula Church. Alameda de Paula View of the Revolution Museum. Fountain of Lions Castle of the Royal Force Havana. Seminar of San Carlos and San Ambrosio Domes of Revolution Museum, Capitol and Barcardi Building Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana) Façade of Conde de Villanueva Hotel Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro
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