Cienfuegos City

Cienfuegos, on the southern coast of Cuba, is a colonial city with beautiful historic buildings, an impressive bay, and a vibrant cultural scene

Exploring Cienfuegos

The Cienfuegos City is located in the central-south region of Cuba, bathed by the clear and blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Was founded in 1819 by Frenchman Luis Declouet under the name of Fernandina de Jagua. Limit at north with Villa Clara, at west with Matanzas and at east with Sancti Spíritus. The Cienfuegos City is also known as “The Pearl of the South” or “The beautiful city of the sea” because its majestic architecture and the stunning beauty of its bay.

Founded in the second decade of the nineteenth century by French colonists. The city retains a Gallic influence with its straight streets and eclectic style buildings. On its constructions, parks, plazas and monuments you can notice the sum of the neoclassical, art nouveau and art deco styles. This universe of shapes and colors led UNESCO to declare it as a cultural and architectural heritage of humanity.

On its architecture highlights the long Paseo del Prado and the always lively Boulevard San Fernando. Also the impressive Jose Marti park, considered one of the most beautiful and well preserved in Cuba. The Cathedral with its asymmetric towers, the Government’s Palace with its huge dome, the Ferrer Palace with Catalan influence and the Tomas Terry Theather from 1890.

To the south, the malecon and the sea link the Historic Center with the residential area of Punta Gorda. Highlighting the Club of Cienfuegos, the elegant Hotel Jagua and the Palacio del Valle, an elegant eclectic mansion that combines the styles of Mudejar, Byzantine, Venetian, Gothic and Baroque. An the end, La Punta, unique set of wooden buildings with influence of the North American and Caribbean architecture.

The Bay of Cienfuegos or Jagua Bay has 22 km long (north-south) and an approximate of 13 km width (east-west). This bay of deep waters allow the entry of deep-draft vessels and has one of the most important port complexes in the country. The Cienfuegos’s Marina can be found there with 30 berths for boats and potable water services, fuel, electricity, security and customhouse.

The ancient fortress of Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de Jagua is one of the oldest symbols of the city. Its located in the entrance channel to the bay and invites us to get into the eighteenth century, when corsairs and pirates were the threat of these seas. Founded in 1745 with the aim of serving to defend the city. It was declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 and opened as a museum on March 24, 1998.

Cienfuegos has a solid infrastructure of hotels, led by the renowned Hotel Jagua. The city owns the Hotel Palacio Azul, first Hotel Encanto in the country. Other Hotels Encanto in the city are Hotel La Union and Hotel Casa Verde. Its beautiful, rich and diverse nature include the system of waterfalls and little lakes named El Nicho, the Botanical Garden (with over 2000 species and one of the best collections of palms trees in the world), La Hacienda La Vega and La Laguna Guanaroca. On the coast are located more than 30 dive sites, offering visitors beautiful seabed, between them stand out the Coral Notredame, named for its resemblance to the Cathedral of Paris, of 8.6 meters, the largest in Latin America. Undoubtedly, Cienfuegos is one of the most special places in Cuba, where converge the majesty of its architecture, the richness and variety of nature, the joy of its people and its solid tourist infrastructure.

Cienfuegos Architecture

palacio del valle cienfuegos

Palacio de Valle

Palacio de Valle is an architectural jewel located in the Punta Gorda, in the city of Cienfuegos reminiscent of Spanish-Moorish art with influences of Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque and Mudejar arts. Place of cultural events, in addition to restaurant (specializing in seafood), museum and bar. National Heritage Memorial in Cienfuegos.

The land was purchased by the dealer Don Acisclo del Valle, owner of several plants, including the now defunct San Lino wit. The construction began in 1913 and the work was entrusted to Italian architect Alfredo Colli and foreman Juan Suarez, ending in 1917, costing a million and half pesos. It turned an architectural whim.

It is Gothic influences, Romanesque, Baroque and Italianate combined with the Mudejar style was in vogue in Spain in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is assumed that craftsmen were involved in this work and experts of different nationalities for each specialty.

The Spanish carver Antonio Barcenas made the gateway to the garden. The Frank Palacios founded in Cienfuegos bronze railing of the staircase, the shields and ornaments of the front and all hardware. The painter Miguel Lamoglia Cienfuegos, decorated carved wood imitating the office of master of the house and painted the beautiful crystals allegories of Carrara marble staircase.

All materials were imported from Carrara marble, alabaster also Italian, Venetian ceramics Granada, Spanish ironwork and forgings, mosaics and glass Talavera European hardwood mahogany least in our country. In the interior decorations of the building, there are inscriptions that indicate the nationality of the artisans involved in its construction like this: “Lag log ila illegible,” a phrase from the Koran which means “Only God is God.”

The building is a mixture of the most varied styles, it is dominated by particular styles and architectural unity: cornices crowning the entrance to the halls and doorways, arches dominating the equilateral and acute warheads. The fine stucco walls and paintings. The pavement consists of colorful collections of mosaics, high ceilings and spacious rooms, sliding ventilation and light to its many rooms. This building has two floors, a roof terrace with pergolas and Monareta, which is reached via a metal spiral staircase and a basement where they found the servant’s quarters. Hall, with entry Gothic style with arched windows and stained glass: living room, Empire style paneled in gold, pink marble baseboards and application of bronze and white marble floors.

The music room and games, French Louis XVI style, with ceramic floors show allegories of chess, checkers, dominoes, etc.. A small sewing room with tiled floors mimicking fans, with white tiled plinths and a frieze of Japanese daisies, golden fire. Both this site and the husband’s office door with his initials are carved beautifully.

In the background, in the east, the dining room is the most lavish of the mansion, complete Mudejar style, imitating the famous playground of the Alhambra in Granada, giving the most colorful in the garden. Behind the staircase, kitchen with pantry. On the staircase giving access to private rooms, is a beveled mirror, a jewel of art, where you can see colored crystals transparent to the end of the afternoon, the sun’s rays, which illuminate a path where observed lowering of “Three Kings”.

Eight bedrooms, two bathrooms and four Venetian style, the main marble from Carrara and vitrolite. It has several terraces and halls with different styles and different sockets. Roof top the three towers, a Gothic-Roman influence, India and other third which is a Moorish minaret of a roundabout and also settled in the roof deck. The first symbolizes strength, love the second and third, religion as an institution.

In the 1950’s, an investment company bought the land on which stands the palace, which was thought to turn it into a gambling casino adjacent to the Hotel Jagua, but it prevented the revolutionary triumph. Today the Palacio de Valle is one of the symbols of Cienfuegos by architectural and historical values and environmental as well as its relationship with the bay and the Hotel Jagua.

Tomas Terry Theatre cienfuegos

Tomas Terry Theatre

Tomas Terry Theatre in Cienfuegos. National Monument, located in the historic urban center, opposite the Parque Martí, corner of Avenue 56 and Calle 27, their type corresponds to the Coliseum at the Italian way, which is set in a horseshoe-shaped hall, where the public stands on four levels, but always in relation to front the show offered on stage.

Tomás Terry Theater, is one of the finest eclectic buildings of the city of Cienfuegos. Forming with Theater Sauto in Matanzas, and La Caridad in Santa Clara trilogy of nineteenth-century theaters builded in Cuba.

In 1863, Terry Thomas with his desire for a luxury theater, decorated with famous artists, with boxes, pit, several floors, offers the then governor Pezuela a donation of sixty thousand pesos, you should use 50 000 thousand in the construction thereof, and the remaining 10 000 would be for the school of poor children then hold the proceeds of the theater, but the project is carried out

Terry Thomas died in Paris and the following year, in 1886, their children come to Cienfuegos and Jose Emilio Terry Francisco for distribution to heirs bequeathed their fortune. At that time, fulfilling the promise of his father separated hundred thousand dollars to build a good theater. It was for this purpose a so-called civil society Succession Don Tomas Terry, in order to build and manage the theater. The initial capital amounted to $ 115 000 pesos (gold), of which more than half belonged to Teresa Gomez Dorticós Leys, widow of Terry and the rest was distributed among the rest of the family.

He took the work to competition and the jury made in France for the occasion, awarded the work to the military engineer Santiago Lino Sanchez Marmol, who appealed to a stylistic characteristic of the age when designing the location of the horseshoe-shaped boxes.

On December 19, 1887 the first stone was placed in a religious ceremony with a large audience. Lyceum Youth Madrid sent a cable of thanks to Emilio Terry Dorticos and other relatives. The construction work lasted until 1888. The building that dominates the current neoclassical environment Marti Park was ready in November 1889, but its opening had to wait for the arrival from Paris of the heirs of Terry.

On the night of February 12, 1890, the orchestra teacher Palace rushing the first chords of the opera Martha, Aniceto Valdivia critic recited a few tenths dedicated to Cienfuegos and the poet Diego Vicente Tejera recited his poetry the hammock.

The brothers Terry received an album of local authorities as a testimony of gratitude from the city and read the minutes of opening the theater. Laureano Fuentes musician composed a symphonic ode specially for the occasion, which was performed masterfully. Then the pianist José Manuel Jiménez (Lico) played a rhapsody of Liszt and other of his inspiration, and then the orchestra played two triumphal march, one’s own and one Lico Rafael Jimenez Palau.

Following is a dramatic proverb Isaac Carrillo, in charge of local fans, and she gave Anne Marble monologue Poor Maria Echegaray. The ceremony concluded with the choir of Cienfuegos who played the song with lyrics Gratitude Edo and music historian Enrique Palau teacher. Choir closed the show the Glories of Galicia who played the melody The sea. In 2008 the collective of the institution received the distinction of National Vanguard and National Property Preservation Award.

Its elegant structure is complemented by a plaster ceiling and racks of paintings in the main hall, painted in oil in which it appears a central motif of 23 allegorical figures for the morning, laughing, crying, portraits of the poet Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, the musician Gaspar de Villate and other floral motifs, as part of a panel of great value from the pictorial point of view. The typology used comes from the Italian theater, consisting of a horseshoe shaped room in which the public is located on 4 levels, always at the spectacle presented.

The area has a scene in the mouth 24 meters and 19 meters deep and is preceded by an opening richly worked in relief, predominantly gold, with an expressive mask which was placed in 1965 by sculptor Matthew Torriente, and represents the harp and music-related reason.

The scenery is complemented by two towers of crickets or proscenium boxes. The murals that adorn the walls and ceilings of the facility are due to the filipino artist – Madrid Selaya Camilo, who lives in Havana and was also author of the decoration of the Teatro La Caridad in Santa Clara.

The portico of the main facade is topped by Terry three mosaics of Venetian house of Salviati, allegorical to the muse of tragedy, comedy and music, and are one of the few examples in the country of the influence of art Byzantine. In the middle of the lobby is a marble statue of Thomas Terry Adans, sitting with a natural look, as if resting, satisfied that his wish was fulfilled.

In Terry planks have acted:

  • Sarah Bernhardt from France
  • The Italian Enrico Caruso
  • Anna Pavlova from Russia
  • Jorge Negrete from Mexico
  • Spain’s Joan Manuel Serrat
  • Antonio Gades from Spain
  • Alicia Alonso from Cuba
  • Ernesto Lecuona from Cuba
  • Rosita Fornes from Cuba
  • Silvio Rodriguez from Cuba
  • Luisa Martínez Casado from Cuba
  • Archimedes Pouns from Cuba

Ferrer Palace

The Ferrer Palace in Cienfuegos City it’s a beautiful building that was built by the merchant and landowner José Ferrer Spanish Sires and designed by the local architect Donato Pablo Carbonell. The work was built between 1917 and 1918. The Ferrer family lived briefly in this palace, as in the early 20’s he moved to Havana. In 1923, Martí Santiago Clovet installed in the ground floor of the drafting and printing of the newspaper “El Sol”. When Enrico Caruso, the famous Italian tenor, was in Cienfuegos in 1920, he stayed at this palace.

They say he fled the torrid June 1920 aerated refuge in their rooms. The famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso would sing that night in the nearby Tomas Terry theater, but before his voice rest in the spacious hall of this Palace Cienfuegos. He had put great efforts in building and part of its abundant money the wealthy Catalan based in Cienfuegos, Jose Ferrer Sires. Barely a year took its execution, under the project of famous architect Donato Paul Cienfuegos Carbonell, author of works of great refinement and eclecticism of local symbols as Villa de Valle, others majestic structure as the cemetery “Tomás Acea”, a replica of the Parthenon .

Put the seasoned designer every encouragement Catalan art nouveau mansion in Ferrer, built on two levels, the ground floor devoid of ornaments and high-ceilinged than 6 meters, goods destined to garrison, one whose top ornamentation in marble waste, precious metalwork and glazed tiles, decorated high artistic quality and taste excellence since then to give this corner of Parque Martí, founding and administrative center of the city. However… was not the result of the eccentricity of the influential merchant, was itself a practice that proliferated at this time among the wealthy Cubans, it seems that sleeping quietly on their wealth or widespread as saying that “the master’s eye fattens the horse. “

The building in question, its roof topped with a very elegant veranda on the southeast corner, allowing the merchant from above “all the operations master” and witness the nearby port also “the entrance to the bay of” any possibility of increasing the content its copious coffers. “Nothing,” join the beautiful to the useful “has produced excellent results … since the world began.

The truth is that it was a pity that after putting all his inspiration and commitment the designer to please the refined taste of the family, Ferrer, “without thinking”, they went to Havana then very prosperous …. And was deserted mansion to pass into the hands of another of the more fortunate families, Cacicedo who lived until the seventies of the past siglo.En the ground floor, a drugstore that was established after the nationalization of the revolutionary process led to a warehouse medical supplies.

The top floor was House of Culture until the marked deterioration, forcing the closure of the famous palace, now subject to a rescue and reconstruction process to become Palace … but Italian divo cienfueguera.Del culture, I would say that only stayed there one day, and quickly returned to Havana, where he expected a final performance before receiving the juicy amount of 90 thousand dollars, then paid record an artist in the Cuban theater.

Too bad the tenor did not have much time to enjoy the benefits of life as those offered by the luxurious Palace Cienfuegos, which was released in the architecture of the city, because after their commitments in Cuba, only act once again in the Metropolitan, New York, before retiring for good in the scene because of an illness that ended his life in 1921. Since then he moved his fame to our Ferrer Palace who had already won fame as an example of very influence of the “Catalan” in Cuban architecture and of course, for its domed lookout from which you can enjoy the best view of the city and marine environment.

House of Lions

Many years ago in Cuba regulation stipulating that only diplomatic or consular residences in their areas could have statues of lions. Although the authenticity of this document may be suspect very few ventured to place sculptures of this kind in their homes. For decades only the English Consulate has applied this regulation and because of this there is still a House of Lions in Cienfuegos. More than “a house with lions” is the House of Lions, because it is already recognized nationally as well.

For all it is striking that dwelling located in the Prado, between Avenues Santa Cruz and Santa Elena, with two cast iron lions guarding the entrance portal and more than 4 feet above the street. Many walkers are set in the facade and some other curious looks out the door to see inside. Others, more daring, go and fix everything. But the House of Lions, the former residence of the British Consul, is the manor house of yesteryear. Today is the home of a family of cobblers.

house of lions

The origin of this house is quite far away. In the book “Historical Memory” of Rousseau and Diaz de Villegas, refers to the construction must have started before 1862. In that document it is stated that between 1868 and 1870 was the site of the Philharmonic Society, after Spanish and Casino July 5, 1870 Artisans Casino was established in that house, who was also at one time the residence of the family Jose Antonio Capote. In 1871, other units were added to the main house, which already had a high-ceilinged front of Tuscany and 7 columns, distinctive elements that bring elegance and majesty. After called Casino (or Circle) for hosted Artisans Artistic and Literary Liceo and later House of Governors, serving as home to the rulers of the town.

For their classrooms became wealthy citizens, society ladies, members of the English Consulate Cienfuegos and other great figures of the Island Over time the fate of the House of Lions changed. In that time the residence was gradually deteriorating. The story lost its normal brightness. The plaster moldings and gold paint cracked. Everything inside the house lost its splendor and elegance, less cast iron lions that distinguish the house. The rooms that were used decades ago to receive the most powerful personalities, now used to store broken or mended shoes. The courtyard was used for more private conversations now has a sewing machine, a clump of guava and a purebred dog indefinitely.

During the time I lived there the Consuls of England’s House of the Lions had great significance. The Consulate Office administered the submarine cable, linking the city of Cienfuegos to Batabano, Santiago de Cuba, the U.S. and from there crossed the Atlantic to Europe. That was the route safer and faster communication with the Old Continent and North America. Such was its importance that during the Spanish-Cuban-American troops attacked Cienfuegos North Gigante just to cut that wire in Cayo Hull and seize the port. Despite this history treasure house, now the reality has turned his back. True, it is recognized as one of the relics of local heritage, but gradually deteriorated and many of the peculiarities which distinguished only seen in magazines or read time in local history books. The current tenants do not have home care as they should or have not had resources to do so, but the truth is that there is hardly anything in the mansion of old, who stayed in their rooms to governors and consuls, and today is home to a family of cobblers.

Tomás Acea Cemetery

Tomás Acea Cemetery

The Tomás Acea Cemetery is the unique cemetery-garden in Cuba builded on the outskirts of the city of Cienfuegos. Declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 by its artistic values, architectural, historical and environmental factors. Located between km 3 and 4 of the old Road Rush, today September 5th Avenue, southeast of the city and only 15 km from the tourist area of Rancho Luna.

Opened on November 21, 1926 with part of the capital that left at his death Mrs. Francisca Garcia Tostes, wealthy widow of Nicholas Cienfuegos Acea and Salvador Rios, whose son Thomas was given this name funerary enclosure. Despite having been built for the poor, there are all a waste of monumental sculptures made of Carrara marble, high quality, brought from Italy.

The design and execution of the work was done by engineers Paul Donato Luis Carbonell and Philip Ross, who were inspired by the most modern ideas of the time on the construction of cemeteries, which resulted in a beautiful garden cemetery where vaults, mausoleums and tombs are integrated harmoniously into the landscape. The total area of the site is 17.6 hectares and is parceled out to different sections through avenues unified interior with various species of trees that give the name to each: Los Pinos, a foyer, cypresses, among others. In the rest personalities Tomás Acea Cemetery history, culture, science, local and from abroad highlighted by its impressive facade of the main building, which is an eloquent expression of the Republican period architecture on the island

There are many funerary monuments of great cultural value among them those of prominent families and celebrities of the town as it is to the eminent actress Luisa Martínez Casado, the Veterans of the War of Independence and the Mausoleum dedicated to the martyrs of the September 5, 1957 when the marine and civil uprising against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and was designed by sculptor and architects Evelio Lecuor Daniel Enrique Taboada and Capablanca. It also stands a monument to the Cienfuegos who gave blood in African countries fighting for the freedom of other brothers in the fulfillment of international missions.

Another site occupied today by the recently opened obelisk dedicated to Juan Luis Lorenzo De Clouet, founder of the ancient Villa Fernandina de Jagua in 1819 when French colonists settled in honor of King Fernando VII and his Aboriginal ancestry.

Antique Queen Cemetery

Antique Queen Cemetery. Opened in June 1839 in the city of Cienfuegos with the aim of replacing the previous cemetery dating from the founding of the city in 1819. It was declared a National Monument on January 30, 1990. The General Cemetery or Queen Cemetery is a valuable 19th century building where the majesty and beauty live in perfect armony. It is located to a couple of miles from the present city of Cienfuegos. This city with only 20 years was able to build a facility like this which shows the splendor of it’s neoclassicism and enhances the brightness of its development. It is singular at national level, precisely because of the formation of the main courtyard, which is the country’s only limited by three rows of vertical niches.

For this necropolis that we know about ancient form of burial which also reflects the artistic level reached by the then Villa Fernandina de Jagua in terms of work in marble, cast iron and board. The tombstones of these niches wasted elegance in its bas-reliefs, like the blacksmith framing arches and vaults. The sculptures in the funeral home have the dignity of those with financial means to express it. Among these, “Sleeping Beauty”, a piece of an Italian sculptor, around which is woven a legend because of the mystery surrounding who lies under his feet. It has become a symbol of the cemetery by the beauty of the marble figure, the perfection and softness of its lines and the material with which the anonymous sculptor modeled the stone. In the niches found burial dates as far back as the 1830s. Here also lie in mass graves of our deeds valuable libertarian figures of 1868 and 1895.

Cienfuegos Monuments

Monument Battle of Mal Tiempo

On the night of February 7, 1909, when society meeting held in local Spanish Union, was formed the commission of the monument project in Mal Tiempo. The newly created commission was aimed at understanding the exhumation and burial in one grave the remains of Cuban and Spanish who died in the battle of Mal Tiempo and build a monument at the location.

The commission developed a fundraising work for the project. Presumably, trade, banking, cultural and recreational institutions and other social factors contributed monetarily crucense this endeavor, but to date have reached only 58 grants written evidence submitted by other municipalities.

The choice of place to raise a monument was premised that it was related to the scene of combat, the management committee decided to accept the donation of land offered by Ms. Velazquez Coralia, on his farm San Jose’s own neighborhood Mal Tiempo.

To run the project was selected Huquet Gerardo sculptor, Catalan based in Sagua la Grande, who then performed a funerary works in choosing Cruces and constructively to the memorial obelisk and Mal Tiempo as the materials and white Carrara marble gray.

In May 1910 the work had been topped. According to initial project the obelisk average of 7 feet from the surface of the earth, its base was built under a canopy of 2.5 square meters, inside which were interred the remains of Cuban and Spanish that were previously referred to at its enrollment cap in 1910.

Opening Memorial Mal Tiempo

For the inauguration of the monument was taken as the date the 15 anniversary of the fall of the apostle José Martí. On the morning of May 19, 1910 took place the opening ceremony. The obelisk covered with a light white cloth, was surrounded by a large representation of the people crucense and representatives of surrounding villages, which gave a heartfelt tribute shows popular.

The provincial governor lifts the veil from the monument while sounding chords of the national anthem, and then pronounced a speech, followed by the bishop who solemnly blesses the obelisk, uttering a prayer inspired by the feelings of love and brotherhood. Other speakers took the floor, but prevailed in every speech ideals of patriotism and concord.

Park Mal Tiempo

In the 1950s the park was established around the obelisk Mal Tiempo ordained paved streets and a large green area all of which contributed to enhance the beauty of the place, and rank it.

When the Revolution triumphed occurs the total release of Cuban political and social obstacles that tied him and tries to erase the past. In a bad year for the local application of the presence of the revolution in culture, the monument was demolished in 1963 as a result of a superficial assessment of the Monumental work, attending only isolated elements and not the overall significance and historical context of the stage of construction.

This situation was immediately inform the National Council of Culture, paralyzed the work of a new project, and rebuild the monument was oriented as close as possible to the above, the new construction was undertaken and completed in 1965.

The new monument respected construction aspects of the above, but were suppressed Piety and the sink, in replacement of the latter was placed another with the inscription:

In this historic place, the December 15, 1895 our liberation army under the command of General Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez, defeated the Spanish forces in decisive battle once again demonstrating the courage, bravery and steadfastness of our heroic mambises. “Whoever tries to take over Cuba, gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood, if not perish in the struggle”

Antonio Maceo

The historic site of Mal Tiempo was declared National Monument by Resolution No. 3 of the National Monuments Commission, given in Havana on October 10, 1978, when the same condition were four other monuments in the province of Cienfuegos.

In the preparatory work for the proclamation of the obelisk and historical site as a National Monument, the glass covering the part that makes you stand there exposed the remains was replaced by a marble slab in the same color as the rest of the monument, and whose center is a bronze plaque embossed with the bell of La Demajagua, symbol of National Monument.

The proclamation of the National Monument Mal Tiempo 86 coincided with the anniversary of the heroic deeds mambises. Tawny Luis Marrero, executive committee member of the Provincial Assembly of Popular Power in Cienfuegos, was responsible for the reading of the resolution.

Also in attendance: Julio Pino Tomé, a member of the Provincial Bureau of the CPC and Armando Brigadier General Choi, Sergio Morales, the first secretary of the CPC Municipal Committee and Sonia Quintana, President of People’s Power in the locality.

Cayo Loco

Cayo Loco, which is also known variously as “Cayo Güije” or “Cayo Nuevo” is a place shrouded in mystery and legends such as the mystical and fascinating history of the Black Venus, a mute woman, race black, lush body, which dwelt on the key.

In Proceedings Chapter 1813, and refers to the geographic feature that reads as royal. In 1865 the

Spanish Navy was interested in him and decided to move its headquarters based in Trinidad, to settle in the Bay of Cienfuegos, for its natural features. Here lies firmly in the history of what happened on September 5, 1957 in this city, is located as well as the “Maritime Museum” site and important reference for Cienfuegos.

After the military coup on March 10, 1952 in Cuba, the popular uprising in the city of Cienfuegos, the center of the country, the September 5, 1957, occupies a prominent place in the struggle to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista .

Most strikingly, the uprising of September 5 Cuban in that city was the popular support: the people en masse took to the streets. From the political point of view, proved the absence of the vaunted monolithic unity between the army, police and navy boasted that Batista, because the latter had been able to take up arms against the other two. This caused a huge internal division within the armed forces and, of course, deeply weakened the regime.

The city of Cienfuegos, which now stands majestic and proud of its history, each September 5 exalted there who helped forge the sparks of freedom, it was definitively conquered the first of January 1959.

Naval Museum

The Cienfuegos Naval Historical Museum is the only of its kind in Cuba, and is located in Cayo Loco, on the shores of Jagua Bay, in what was once South Naval District. Its historical value is given by the fact that there occurred the uprising of September 5, 1957 against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, whose history is given in detail in one of its rooms showing since pre-Columbian man’s relationship with the sea , to this day.

The institution was founded on September 5, 1980 and to explore its various rooms, the visitor has the possibility to appreciate the naval history in Cuba, which have a high historical, artistic and documentary, coherent, whose subject stands revealed everything about raids by corsairs and pirates, sea battles and the U.S. aggression against our country.

One of its space is devoted to natural history of the formation of the earth, rocks, marine fossils and several collections of different species of fauna and flora of this habitat. It has function rooms that are exposed in issues related to environment and navigation ancient instruments, the replica of the bridge of a ship, and the various international systems of marine signage.

In addition, samples are also displayed testimonials from the evolution and development of the various institutions involved in maritime activities from 1 January 1959. A diverse sample of contemporary art with a maritime theme as center, mainly works of art by artists from the territory, can be admired in one of the rooms. The most relevant and visited the museum dedicated to what constitutes reflect the events of September 5, starring popular feat in 1957 by the Cienfuegos. It was precisely in the center of the museum, then south naval district, where the uprising began when the enclave was captured by insurgents linked to sea July 26 Movement, with Lieutenant Dionisio San Román in front.

In the “Naval History Museum” in Cienfuegos usually develop symposiums, scientific conferences, meetings with the story, and competitions in the culinary arts, demonstrating its high level of didacticism and interaction for visitors. Eclectic style, with Renaissance influences, is a building of two-level entry, with a pedestrian and vehicular, and two two-storey buildings in a horseshoe shape, with a central courtyard, in accessible areas, the architect Daniel Taboada and sculptor Lecour Evelio dedicated in 1977, a war memorial to the heroic deeds of September 5.

In 1919 during the pseudo republic navy settled there to guard the southern coast of the country and became the largest naval base in the Midwest. The constitutional Navy was established in 1935 as the U.S. Navy was in charge of military readiness of its occupants and increase its military arsenal and as naval district in the south.

After the revolutionary triumph hosted the Rebel army commander and then as a school of fishermen remained until 1979, when he was assigned to Naval Historical Museum to present the development of water sports, commercial and fishing port. All who visit this National Heritage institution, you may receive instruction from the standpoint of scientific, historical and cultural.

Fortress “Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua”.

Fortress "Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua".

Fortress “Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua”. It is located at the entrance to the bay of Cienfuegos, south central area of the Island of Cuba, in a community with strong maritime traditions. It is the only Spanish military fortress built in the late eighteenth century Renaissance style. It was declared a National Monument on October 10, 1978 and opened as a museum on March 24, 1998. The Fortress “Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua”, was founded in 1745 with the objective of providing defense of the city, and very probably in the entire southern coast of the island aided by the Castle of San Pedro de la Roca in Santiago Cuba.

The facts vary widely spoken, from the sixteenth century, attempts to fortify the bay of Jagua, Cienfuegos current Aboriginal place name, given suitable place to stay and provisioning of privateers and pirates, and the facilities that loneliness of the place provided the contraband trade. However, this goal could not become a fact until the economic interests of the Creole landowners were not affected by the “leak” that represented the unprotected bay.

In 1554 Jacques de Sores, and Francis Drake in 1586, with John Morgan, Jean Giron Fearless and Gilberto were, each in his time, visitors to the famous filibusters Jagua Bay. With these assets traded inhabitants of the area, smuggling and its other products that lacked the restrictive policy output of the Metropolis. It was, therefore, until the Royal Society of Commerce of Havana afford such fortification was proposed that in 1733 the military engineer Tantete Dubrulle Joseph was ordered to immediately undertake the construction of the Castillo, 12 years later and would be completed later would become the star of military actions, from the interior of the island, went to the rescue of the capital during the capture of Havana by the English in 1763.

From Fortaleza, there is the scene of naval battles against pirate ships. In most of the opportunities rejected the enemy attack and prevented entry of the ships and crews undesirable. Not infrequently served as a prison to many of those who rebelled against the power of the metropolis. Today, the age-old walls are mute witnesses of centuries of history.

La Fortaleza has architectural features from the European Middle Ages, its vaulted naves and the moat that surrounds it, but its adaptation to the terrain and geometric plant make it a typical American fortifications. It is a genuine expression of Renaissance architecture. The square front steps leading to a drawbridge that rests on pillars and flanking the main entrance, preventing communication with the interior of the fortress.

In the construction of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua were used stones taken from the quarries of Pasacaballo, with a thickness of more than 1.10 m wide. The front door has a rectangular shape topped by a vaulted arch. A spiral staircase connects the two levels of the fortress. The cylindrical tower with its dome-shaped cover defines the maximum height of the building.

In the end of the parade ground, are located two cylindrical booths serve as watchtowers with loopholes designed into the bay and a cistern with a capacity of 100 cubic meters of water.  Configured to collect every drop of rain, the water network is fed Castle natural liquid from the top floor, interior walls and runs down to the cistern, which has overflow into the pits. In good condition is also the belfry with its bell, a gift, according to accounts by Captain San Antonio, known as the arrogant, Doña Leonor, wife of the first commander of the fortress, Don Jose Castilla Cabeza de Vaca in 1762.

To strengthen the defense system of the port, in 1898, on the eve of U.S. intervention during the Spanish-Cuban American War, were built three batteries of guns and howitzers, adapted to the topography of the land: the hill of Jagua or monitoring, the Lighthouse and Carbonell Villanueva, of which only the latter was in place as a historical record.

During the restoration work that took place between 1922 and 1923, the fortress was transformed into the subsoil of the pit, the chapel and some elements of the building and its surroundings. Through the exhibition halls can be known about the incursions of pirates and privateers to the territory of the island of Cuba, its conquest and colonization, and the founding of the Villa Fernandina de Jagua, name that was originally named Cienfuegos, in honor the king Fernando VII.

The museum also shows the process of constructing the building and among their most significant are the missiles and artillery pieces from the factory Messy Spain. It also presents fragments of pottery and Spanish tiles, and white firearm used during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the military who were there. The funds are unique religious ethnology and typify the arts and media used in the area for work related to fishing. The commandant’s office is set with a set of Spanish Renaissance style desk, table mat, marble panoply for knives and carved wooden chest, among other pieces that harmonize with the environment officer.

In the former chapel of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua, furnished with rustic wooden benches and table, are presented religious objects as prayer book, prayer books, crucifixes, candlesticks. The mural decoration of its walls is considered so far the oldest found in Cienfuegos. In ancient torture cell where prisoners were subjected to physical martyrdom known as raindrop show handcuffs and chains shackles. Much of the collections at the Fort from the findings of archaeological expeditions led by Alfredo Ranquin to the pits of the building.

palacio de gobierno cienfuegos

Palacio de Gobierno

Most of Parque José Martí’s south side is dominated by this grandiose, silvery-gray building where the provincial government (Poder Popular Provincial) operates. The palace of Cienfuegos city doesn’t allow visitors, but you can steal a look at the palatial main staircase through the front door. It’s in wonderful condition. From the outside the giant dome and thick frontal columns are magnificent, even by Cienfuegos city standards.

Arco de Triunfo

Prepare yourself: it’s smaller than the one in Paris, but the Arch of Triumph on the western edge of Cienfuegos’ serene central park catapults the plaza into the unique category: there is no other construction of its kind in Cuba. Dedicated to Cuban independence, the Francophile monument ushers you through its gilded gateway toward a marble statue of revolutionary and philosopher José Martí.

Catedral de la Purísima Concepción Church

On the eastern side of Parque José Martí, Cienfuegos cathedral dates from 1869 and is distinguished by its French stained-glass windows in an otherwise austere interior that has long been awaiting a thorough restoration. Chinese writing discovered on columns is thought to date from the 1870s.


Arranged around the country’s most spectacular natural bay, Cienfuegos is a nautical city founded in 1819 by French émigrés, whose homogeneous grid of elegant classical architecture earned it a Unesco World Heritage Site listing in 2005.

Geographically, the city is split into two distinct parts: the colonnaded central zone with its stately Paseo del Prado and graceful park; and Punta Gorda, a thin knife of land slicing into the bay with a clutch of outrageously eclectic palaces built by the moneyed classes in the 1920s.

It was founded on 22 April 1819 by French settlers under the command of Don Luis De Clouet. They settled on the peninsula of Majagua and named the Villa Fernandina de Jagua in honor of King Ferdinand VII and the aboriginal lineage.

Ten years later, in 1829, the King authorizes the change of name of the village that since then is called Cienfuegos, in honor of the Captain General of the Island of Cuba: José Cienfuegos Jovellanos.

The waterfalls of the waterfall of El Nicho, in the mountainous massif of Sierra de Trinidad, are for their part an ideal site for lovers of nature tourism and adventure, to be contemplated in this place an exciting landscape where they combine mountains, caverns, waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls, river springs and an excellent temperature for the enjoyment of the place, as well as the area of Guajimico, also appropriate for diving.

Meanwhile, only 23 kilometers from the city, the mineral-medicinal waters of Ciego Montero, with more than a century of successful use and proven efficiency, are very appropriate for balneological-therapeutic purposes in an environment of tranquility and rest.

The Mal Tiempo National Park, in the town of Cruces, which commemorates one of the most important battles of the War of Independence fought against the Spanish crown (December 15, 1895) and the monument to the brigadier of the Cuban Liberating Army Henry Reeve, the Inglesito, located very close to the Horquitas area, are two other places of great interest in the Cienfuegos scenery.

Local Monuments

  • Casa Natal de las Hermanas Giralt
  • Palacio de Valle
  • Antiguo Ingenio Carolina
  • Casa de los Leones
  • Vivienda de General Alemán No. 89
  • Cueva de Tanteo en Rodas
  • Cueva de Palo Liso o Santa Ana, en Congojas
  • Casa de vivienda del Antiguo Central Soledad
  • Antiguo Colegio Nuestra Señora de Monserrate
  • Palacio de Blanco

National Monuments

  • Cayo Loco
  • Cueva Martín Infierno
  • Lugar donde cayó Henry Reeve, en Yaguaramas
  • Parque Martí y su entorno
  • Batalla de Mal Tiempo
  • Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos
  • Antiguo Cementerio de Reina
  • Castillo de Jagua
  • Centro Histórico Urbano de Cienfuegos
  • Zona residencial urbana de Punta Gorda

Places of Interest

  • La Bahía de Cienfuegos
  • La Cueva Martín Infierno
  • El Cementerio Tomás Acea
  • El Cementerio de Reina
  • El Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos
  • La playa de Rancho Luna
  • El Casco Histórico
  • El Teatro Tomás Terry
  • El parque José Martí
  • Fortaleza de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua