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Cuba: Tourism and Cultural Heritage
Date: MAY 04, 2009
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The Cuban archipelago, full of natural, historic and cultural treasures that attract thousands of foreign tourists every year, also offers great patrimonial wealth that shows the evolution of the Caribbean Island's society.

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1492 and the development of slavery later left an imprint on the island, where some cities and towns still show signs of their splendor despite the passage of time.

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.

Camagüey is a city with one-tower temples, façades with eaves and pilasters, iron-wrought windows, inner portals and red-tile roofs, elements that are characteristic of a sober and at the same time flamboyant architectural style in a true labyrinth of alleys.

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.

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

Villa Clara benefits from the peculiar touch of San Juan de los Remedios, the eighth village founded by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

In Sancti Spiritus stands out the city of Trinidad, which formerly known as Villa de la Santísima Trinidad (Village of the Holy Trinity) and one of the first seven villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1514.

Also called Cuba's City Museum, Trinidad has the privilege of being one of the colonial towns in the country and is among the most complete and best-preserved architectural complexes in the American continent.

Large colonial mansions, luxury palaces and Cuban colonial art turned Trinidad into an undisputable urban and architectural jewel.

La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana
Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro
Paula Church. Alameda de Paula
Castle of the Royal Force
Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana)
Havana`s Capitol.
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  • Villa Clara
  • Sancti Spiritus
  • Camagüey
  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Granma
  • Guantánamo

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  • Gallery
    La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana

    Choose a small photo to enlarge:
    La Giraldilla, the symbol of Havana Castle of Los Tres Reyes del Morro Paula Church. Alameda de Paula Castle of the Royal Force Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana) Havana`s Capitol. Façade of Conde de Villanueva Hotel Aguiar Street, Old Havana
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