Trinidad is the top jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988. Frozen in time since it was the center of the Cuban sugar trade in the 19th century, it’s history and architecture date back to the early 16th century and it is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Caribbean.
Like Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad was founded by the Spanish conquistador, Diego Velazquez de Cuellar as another of his villas and during the early 19th century, the town grew on the back of the sugar and slave trade and no expense was spared in fashioning the finest Spanish colonial mansions, plazas and churches, which still stand testament to the vainglory of this profiteering era. Many of the sugar barons houses have been turned into museums and the town is so well preserved it creates the illusion of a time warp.
Medical services through the International Clinic
Electric supply: 110V and 220V
Potable water installations on the docks
Vessel maintenance and minor repair services
PLACES TO VISIT
The Plaza Mayor is the city’s historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. The buildings that surround it date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when the trade of sugar from the nearby Valle de Los Ingenio, taking advantage of slave labor, brought great wealth to the area. Many of these buildings surrounding the square belonged to the wealthy landowners of the city. When the trade of sugar decreased and the slave trade ended in the mid-19th century, Trinidad became “stagnation” and little construction work, this until 1950. As a result, many of the historic buildings and streets have been preserved, especially the large colonial buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Plaza Mayor. Today most of the houses surrounding the square, have been turned into museums.
MANACA IZNAGA TOWER
Twelve kilometers northwest of Trinidad, the Manaca-Iznaga Tower continues to watch over the Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) as it did over 180 years, although its purpose today has nothing to do with its origin.
The tower is divided into seven levels of different geometrical shapes that go from squares to octagons, has spacious arches and a 184-step internal staircase from the base to the top. It is built with mud bricks and a traditional mortar of lime and sand. From its top, the visitor can take in the entire valley, which was declared a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site thanks to the preservation of 65 archaeological plots. The tower was declared a national Monument in 1978.
VALLE DE LOS INGENIOS
Valle de Los Ingenios, also named Valley de Los Ingenios or Valley of the Sugar Mills, is a series of three interconnected valleys about 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) outside of Trinidad, Cuba. The three valleys, San Luis, Santa Rosa, and Meyer, were a center for sugar production from the late 18th century until the late 19th century.
At the peak of the industry in Cuba, there were over fifty sugar cane mills in operation in the three valleys, with over 30,000 slaves working in the mills and on the sugar cane plantations that surrounded them.
MUSEUM OF COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE
Another public display of wealth sits on the southeastern side of Plaza Mayor in a museum showcasing upper-class domestic architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Housed in buildings erected in 1738 and 1785 and joined in 1819, the museum was once the residence of the wealthy Iznaga family.