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Trinidad de Cuba

A very old city in the New World

sunny 29 °C

Trinidad de Cuba is a quaint city on Cuba’s south coast that has become a museum of colonial architecture without even trying…
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The ancient cobblestone streets lined with gaily painted stone houses are simply home to the many Cubans who live here…
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And the historic edifices in the central square still bear the hallmarks of their builders who first came from Spain 500 years ago…
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The bell tower of the Franciscan monastery overlooks the square and gives lovely views of the town and surrounding sugar plantations with the ocean as a backdrop…
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But the monks who built the monastery in 1730 would be horrified to discover that today their ecclesiastical creation is a museum dedicated to the counterrevolutionary bandits who fought against Fidel and his guerrillas in 1959.

The city of Trinidad was built on the backs of slaves who toiled in the surrounding sugar plantations and these stocks in the museum of architecture were once used to shackle the slaves during the arduous voyage from West Africa…
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Slavery had long been outlawed by the 1950s but many Cubans were still economic slaves at that time; forced to work in poor conditions for little pay to satiate the greed of foreign plantation owners. Fidel Castro and his Argentinean amigo, Che Guevara, are sill worshipped everywhere in Cuba as the revolutionary leaders who freed the workers. However, the sugar plantations that made Cuba famous, and the owners rich, are still here in the surrounding valleys, but the American embargo and declining prices caused by a world glut, has left the industry a shadow of its former self.

This was once the owner’s hacienda of a thriving sugar plantation…
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And here is the tower from where the owner or slave master would watch over his plantation workers…
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While this is the house where Castro and his compatriots planned their revolution in Trinidad…
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The provincial capital of Cienfuegos is another well preserved historic city on the south coast of Cuba. While less picturesque than Trinidad it has many large colonial buildings including a magnificent theatre built by an unscrupulous Spanish plantation owner with the unlikely name of Tomás Terry. It also has the only triumphal arch in the whole of Cuba…
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Now we leave the south coast and head to the western province of Pinar del Rio – a six hour journey along virtually deserted 6 and 8 lane divided highways in a modern air-conditioned bus with just two other passengers.

Posted by Hawkson 14:51 Archived in Cuba

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Comments

The buildings looks so bright and beautiful and your photography is very focused.

22.02.2014 by The Vickerage

I agree with Janet your photos are great. Several members of my family have visited Cuba but none of their photos tell the real story of the place. They are very brave to keep going even tho the Soviets dumped them and the US embargo still holds (sort of)

22.02.2014 by Jean McLaren

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