Third village founded by the Spanish conquerors in 1514 and located in Sancti Spiritus central province, Trinidad is an outstanding example of a colonial city; it has maintained its historic core, featuring the highest percentage of surviving antique buildings and public squares and bringing together architectural, historic and cultural elements of great value. The city is representative of the colonial human settlement and the Valle de Los Ingenios is testimony to the development of the sugar industry.
Trinidad is the most serene, gentle and generous colored picture of the Cuban old days. The almost perfect preservation of one of the architectural complexes of exceptional value among colonial settlements in América turned its Historic Center into a Cultural Heritage Site. Such status was also conferred in 1988 by UNESCO to the Valle de Los Ingenios, a great natural and archaeological reserve of the 19th century’s sugar industry, whose production made this city one of the most prosperous in Cuba.
The mysterious attraction exercised over all its visitors lies not only in the beauty of its architecture, but also in the persistence of its past. Its Plaza Mayor (major square), gates, screens, doors and windows in precious wood, the cobblestoned streets and red-tile roofs characterize this city stuck in time -as many comment—, yet a city able to handle the influence of modernity while treasuring its legacy.
Trinidad Old Town
Trinidad has been divided into three main areas, according to their historical-architectural values, their integrity and their conservation state. Here are the main values, given by the conservation of the streets layout, the urban atmosphere and the aesthetic value maintained through the historical evolution.
For the last several years the government of Cuba has been involved in efforts to restore to the historic centre its character of a colonial city, which has been compromised by a rapid urbanization.
Valle de los Ingenios
The good conditions existing there for the sugar production helped that field to become the most important in the area, excelling the rest of the fields to the extent of practically excluding them. Parallel to the sugar “boom”, there was a rise in the population, mainly of the slave one, which led to a progressive growth in the settlements around the main local mills: Guáimaro, Palmarito, Manaca Iznaga, Magua, La Pastora, and some others founded or inhabited by ex-slaves.
One of the most beautiful beaches in the island, Ancón is bathed by the Caribbean Sea waters. Its sea bottoms keep Gorgonians, sea fans, black corals, loofas and small tropical fishes. Its surface, on the other hand, is calmed most of the year, which propitiates the enjoyment of simple and double immersion in its diving points.
Topes de Collantes
Located about 800 meters above sea level, it is surrounded by a prodigal nature. Located 22 kilometers from Trinidad city, it also has a pleasant microclimate.
At Topes de Collantes Highland, several places of tourist interest are distinguished: Caburní Path, distinctive symbol of the Guamuhaya massif, with its majestic and spectacular Salto del Caburní; Vegas Grandes Path, also leading to its impressive waterfall of same name, surrounded by leafy trees and beautiful landscapes.
Trinidad de Cuba
The conservation of the historical atmosphere, buildings, colonial layout, cobblestoned streets, paved sidewalks and urban furniture, has made it possible for visitors to appreciate the image of the primitive Cuban villages and consequently those of the Hispanic Caribbean, turning Trinidad into a witness of the epoch and a source of knowledge on colonial values.
Steam Train Ride
Enjoy the ride at this gem of the early twentieth century and experience the journey of the sugar cane to the mill.
San Isidro de los Destiladeros
Very near the state house, there is a 14 meters high steeple tower, still standing in spite of the passing of time. With its three levels, this tower is a symbol of the city’s daily life, whose ornamental elements are characteristic of the Trinitarian constructions of the 19th century. In recent years, diverse archaeological researches have been carried out in this place, classified by experts as the most complete traditional architectural group of the sugar industry in the Valle de los Ingenios.
Casa de la Música
The standout live music venue in Trinidad, offering big-band salsa and traditional Cuban music most nights.
African Influence in
the Trinitarian Culture
The African contribution to the Trinitarian culture is vital to define the local identity and heritage. Slaves were the ones responsible for the forming of associations and town councils in honor of a catholic saint, thus disguising their true origins to keep their African roots.
Manual and artistic deftness is part of the identity of the Trinitarian, who transmits it from generation to generation. The origins of local craft date back to the foundation of the town, cultivated primarily as an entertainment among housewives of families with greater economic development. Pottery and ceramics particularly identify the territory, with the Santander family standing out.
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