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Cuba: 506 Years of the Village of the Holy Spirit
Date: JUN 08, 2020
Other Reports

The central Cuban province of Sancti Spiritus has the privilege of holding two of the first seven villages founded by the Spanish conquistadors on the Caribbean island. They are Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad.

The former, which was founded 506 years ago, in the first half of 1514, was initially called Villa del Espíritu Santo (Village of the Holy Spirit), and its original settlement was on the banks of the Tuinicú River, but it was moved to the banks of the Yayabo River in 1552.

The fourth among all seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba in the 16th century, Sancti Spiritus boasts architectural, historic, cultural traditions and natural beauties in an attractive and unique combination.

It has eight municipalities, including Sancti Spiritus, Taguasco, Jatibonico, Yaguajay, Cabaiguán, Trinidad, Fomento and La Sierpe.

As an element to highlight in Sancti Spiritus is the Greater Parish Church of the Holy Spirit, which was built in 1680.

The wooden ceiling of the main nave and the vaulted roof of the Chapel of Christ of Humanity and Patience make this church one of the most outstanding buildings in the Historic Center of Sancti Spiritus.

Actually, it is the second oldest and best preserved church in Cuba, and its tower, built in 1819, became the tallest in the country.

Three construction styles coincide in the colonial area of the city, where there are more than 1,000 buildings with architectural value from masonry and traditional adobe.

The Spanish baroque is present in the wide portals of the stately mansions of yesteryear, in a structure where the wide square with the church in the center constituted the classic design of the towns, a trend that evolved towards a construction method adapted to the conditions of the country.

In the 18th century, the neoclassical style bursts forth, and it is present in the ornamentation of doors and windows with precious grilles of ornate filigree, where artisans sought to fulfill the double task of protecting and beautifying at the same time.

The bridge over the Yayabo River is the cultural and historic symbol of the city of Sancti Spiritus, it is located southwest of the urban historic center, in the former Paso de las Carretas, and it connects the historic area with the so-called Barrio de Colón (Columbus Neighborhood).

Its design is similar to that of a medieval bridge, because it is made of stonework, formed by five arches that decrease in height as they approach the banks of the river.

Sancti Spiritus province also holds the former village of La Trinidad, which was the third town founded by the Spaniards in the country in 1514, and with the additional attraction of being one of the best preserved sites on the continent in terms of colonial architecture.

In Trinidad stands out a building from the mid-18th century, which is current the venue of the Museum of Colonial Art and was the first two-story building in the city.

Known as Palacio Valle Iznaga, the building is also called the house of 100 doors because it has that the same number of openings among doors and windows, through which air, the sun or visitors penetrate.

Among the Museum's collections are porcelains made in the most prestigious European factories, and the Spanish lamps in the rooms.

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