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Cuba: Leisure and Art in the Caribbean
Date: JAN 21, 2013
Other Reports

Cuba, an important tourist destination in the Caribbean, holds in its geography a wide range of attractions which gain the interest of thousands of visitors who arrive in the island every year.

The traditional sun and beach options are combined with a centenary cultural legacy, including unique historic and cultural values inherited from colonial times.

Havana’s historic heart, declared as World Heritage by UNESCO, includes over a hundred buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, while about 200 were built in the 18th century.

Havana emerged and developed around five big squares which were distributed in different places of the city and included the Arms, Saint Francis of Assisi, Ciénaga, Holy Christ and New squares.

The order to build the New Square, which is currently known as the Old Square, was issued in 1587 but it was actually built in the second half of the 17th century, and became an ideal place where the city dwellers gathered to comment the latest news, do their commercial transactions, or they just went there to enjoy the fresh air during summer time.

The second largest urban settlement of the country is in Camagüey –formerly known as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe–, also known as “Ciudad de los Tinajones” (City of Large Earthenware Jars) due to the abundant existence of these large jars which were used to store rainwater.

Meanwhile, the city of Trinidad, formerly known as Villa de la Santísima Trinidad (Village of the Holy Trinity), stands out in the province of Sancti Spíritus; the village was founded in 1514 and it is included among the first seven villages founded by the Spanish in the Cuban archipelago.

Trinidad, also known as the Museum City of Cuba, has the privilege of being one of the colonial locations in the country with one of the most complete and best preserved architectural collections in the Americas.

More to the east, in the province of Granma, 48 percent of all Cuban historic sites can be found; Bayamo, the province capital city, declared as National Monument; was the capital of the Republic in Arms at the start of the war of independence in 1868.

Cuba has a large number of museums, nearly 290 such facilities, including 14 art museums, seven for science and technology, five ethnographic and anthropological museums and 68 museums of history.

Other nine facilities are regarded as specialized museums, 164 as general museums and four archeological ones; in addition, there are those which are oriented to traditional elements of the country like the Rum and Cigar museums.

Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana)
"Benny Moré" Café Tavern
Gómez Vila Building
"Santo Angel" Restaurant
Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets
Card Museum
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    Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana)

    Choose a small photo to enlarge:
    Fountain at Plaza Vieja (Old Havana) "Benny Moré" Café Tavern Gómez Vila Building "Santo Angel" Restaurant Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets Card Museum Center for the Development of Visual Arts Houses under restoration Statue of Carlos M. de Céspedes City Museum Arms Square El Templete (Small Temple) Santa Isabel Hotel Castle of the Royal Force
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