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Cuba: Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Date: APR 06, 2009
Other Reports

Cuba's tourist values, which consist of dozens of kilometers of excellent beaches, exuberant nature, traditions and culture, are complemented by a patrimonial wealth that can be found anywhere in the country.

Facilities for ecotourism, scuba diving and snorkeling, sports and cultural shows are linked to a tourist infrastructure aimed at protecting Cuba's historic and cultural potential.

In that scenario, the Cuban capital, rich in traditions, Spanish colonial architecture and culture, also offers a wide range of tourist facilities.

Havana's historic heart holds most of the city's museums, churches, cultural centers and buildings from the Spanish colonial period, including 33,000 buildings, most of which were built from the 18th to the 19th centuries.

In central Cuba, Cienfuegos offers a score of libraries, 11 museums, more than 30 movie halls and five theaters, in addition to houses of culture, art galleries and monuments, are visited by both national and foreign tourists every year.

Surrounding Cienfuegos's main park are the only Arc of Triumph in Cuba, built in 1902, and the Tomás Terry Theater, one of Cuba's three major theaters in the 19th century, where prominent artists such as Enrico Caruso performed.

Also in the west, vacationers can visit the city of Matanzas, the capital of the western province of the same name and also known as the Athens of Cuba or the Venice of the Americas, due to the many rivers running through it, where both commerce and culture flourished during the Spanish colonial period.

In Cuba's easternmost province, Guantánamo, is the village of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, founded in 1511-12 by Governor Diego Velázquez, and the first capital and first bishopric in Cuba.

Visitors are surrounded by a Spanish-colonial atmosphere, including the famous Cruz de la Parra (Cross of Vine), which was made of local timber by the Spanish colonizers during their first voyage to the Americas, and was the place where Fray Bartolomé de las Casas officiated mass.

Spanish colonization influenced local architecture, where stone buildings were constructed like El Castillo and La Punta fortresses, and the Joa and Cemetery towers.

Another important city is Camagüey, the capital of the eastern Cuban province of the same name, which was founded as Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe.

Also known as "the city of tinajones", Camagüey is famous for those large earthenware jars, which were used centuries ago to collect rainwater for human consumption and currently decorate gardens and parks.

The city combines modernity with history in an environment where buildings are closely related to historic attractions that give the city a special touch.

Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro
El Morro`s lighthouse
Terry Theater, Cienfuegos
Martí Park, Cienfuegos
Valle Palace, Cienfuegos
Piece of artillery. El Morro Fortress
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  • La Habana
  • Matanzas
  • Cienfuegos
  • Camagüey
  • Guantánamo

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  • Gallery
    Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro

    Choose a small photo to enlarge:
    Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro El Morro`s lighthouse Terry Theater, Cienfuegos Martí Park, Cienfuegos Valle Palace, Cienfuegos Piece of artillery. El Morro Fortress "The 12 Apostles" Battery Terry Theater, Cienfuegos View from Malecón (seafront) Interior view of El Morro Castle. Tomás Acea Cemetery, Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens in Cienfuegos Gazebo at the park, Cienfuegos Cathedral of Cienfuegos
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