Getting to know Cienfuegos: five jewels of its architecture
In central Cuba, embedded in one of the most spectacular bays in the archipelago, stands the city of Cienfuegos, founded by French colonists in 1819. This elegant and unique town, hosts architectural treasures that have ensured it a spot among UNESCO’s Heritage Sites in 2005. Today we will bring you closer to five of them, highly recommended to visit during your next trip. Take note!
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Located in the Historic Center of the city, it was inaugurated in 1833 with additions and improvements in the following years. Local stories tell that the difference in size between its towers is due to the fact that the original church only had the smallest, which was never demolished while new elements were added to the building (among them, the second bell tower). Inside, you can admire precious objects donated by wealthy families of the time: clocks, bells, stained glass, silver and alabaster candelabra. The residents of Cienfuegos speak with pride of their Cathedral, and every December 8th they celebrate a procession in honor of the Virgin.
Tomás Terry Theater
Symbol of the cultural life of Cienfuegos, it is named after a merchant who accumulated great wealth and notoriety in colonial Cuba, and with whose financing this building was built. Internationally renowned artists such as Sarah Bernhardt, Enrico Caruso, Ana Pavlova, Jorge Negrete and Alicia Alonso have performed on their stages. With an eclectic style, its horseshoe-shaped rooms, decoration and furniture will enchant you. And if you combine the architectural tour with one of its concerts or dance performances, the experience will be complete.
Palacio de Valle
It was 1917 and the wealthy merchant Acisclo del Valle was finishing the construction of a dream mansion for his wife Amparo. Since then, the palace has seduced its visitors at first sight, looking like something out of Literature. Some people compare it with the buildings of the Alhambra in Spain, although the truth is that its Mudejar appearance is complemented by other styles such as the Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque. Today it offers guided tours, a restaurant and a sun terrace with wonderful views of the bay of Cienfuegos.
A Monumental work of eclectic style, it was conceived as a nautical sports society. The former Cienfuegos Yacht Club stands on the shores of the bay, and its two-level structure with four towers houses a beautiful interior decoration, with large terraces, a gazebo and a swimming pool. In 1982 it functioned as the venue for the XIV Central American and Caribbean Games; Nowadays, its visitors can access a party room, play areas, a restaurant, a store for nautical items and implements and a small (although cozy) beach area. Tomás Acea Cemetery It is not exactly a building … but it also has a lot to tell about Cienfuegos’ architecture. It is called “the garden cemetery”, for its landscape designed with numerous ornamental plants, and also “the city within the city” thanks to its perfectly laid out streets and modern structure. These avenues take their name from the trees that surround them: Los Mangos, Los Pinos, Los Tamarindos … Here important celebrities from Cienfuegos rest such as the founder of the town, Don Louis d´Clouet; and many others that you could know if you join the guided tours offered by specialized guides. The cemetery dates from 1926, and was declared a National Monument of Cuba in 1978.Getting to know these five jewels of architecture in Cienfuegos can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between you and the Pearl of the South of Cuba. Then we recommend to delve into the secrets of its history, its traditions, its culture, its people: in short, to explore its soul. For this journey of discovery, always count on us: we will be accompanying you!