Top attractions of Cienfuegos

Palacio de Valle, photo by Blue Serge/flickr

Visiting Cuba on your next holiday? If you don’t know which town to choose to spend your vacation at, I will give you a tip: go to Cienfuegos! This city is located on the southern coast of Cuba, being the capital of Cienfuegos Province. It is situated about 250 km from Havana. The city is also called the “Pearl of the South”. Cienfuegos literally means “Hundred fires”. The town is one of the major seaports of the country, also a center of the sugar-, coffee- and tobacco trade. It is a lovely city which is home to several attractions. Cienfuegos is not as crowded as Havana or any bigger cities of Cuba, thus it is a magnificent place for those who want to spend their holiday in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

Palacio de Valle

 

It is an old Moorish style palatial building that can be found in Punta Gorda. Palacio de Valle is a spectacular architectural example, with influences of several styles: Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque, and Mudejar. It houses a museum, a restaurant and a bar. It is also place of cultural events. The Palacio de Valle is a National Heritage Memorial of the city. The construction of it began in 1913 and ended in 1917, costing a million and half pesos. The building has two floors and a roof terrace. The entry hall has arched windows and stained glass. There is also a music- and games room. The building is surrounded by a spectacular garden.

 

Palacio de Valle, photo by Blue Serge/flickr

 

Ferrer Palace

 

The Ferrer Palace is a spectacular building which was built by José Ferrer ( a merchant) and designed by a local architect. It was built during the years of 1917 and 1918. The Ferrer family lived in this palace until the early 1920′s. In 1923, Martí Santiago Clovet establishes in the building the drafting and printing section of the newspaper “El Sol”. The palace has on its roof an elegant vantage point, which allows fantastic views of the nearby harbor.

 

Teatro Tomas Terry

 

The theatre is a national monument, located in the historic urban center, opposite the Parque Martí. It has a horseshoe-shaped hall, where the public stand on four levels. Tomas Terry Theatre is one of the finest eclectic buildings of the city of Cienfuegos. In 1863, Terry Thomas with his desire for a luxury theatre offers the governor Pezuela a donation of 60.000 pesos, telling him to use 50.000 for the construction and the remaining 10.000 to help poor children. Unfortunately, he died 2 years later. The construction began in 1887. The theatre which dominates today the Marti Park, was ready in 1889, but its opening had to wait for the arrival from Paris of the heirs of Terry.

 

Teatro Tomas Terry, photo by Romtomtom/flickr

 

Antique Queen Cemetery

 

It was opened in June 1839 with the purpose to replace the previous cemetery. The Antique Queen Cemetery is a spectacular site of Cienfuegos’ surroundings. It is located to a couple of miles of the city and was declared a National Monument in 1990. The cemetery is singular at national level because of the gorgeous sculptures. Among these, “Sleeping Beauty” is a piece of an Italian sculptor, being one of the most beautiful. It has become a symbol of the cemetery for the beauty of the marble figure, the perfection of its lines and the material with which the sculptor modeled the stone.

 

Guanaroca Lagoon

 

The lagoon was formed by the river Arimao, at the meeting point with the Bay of Cienfuegos. It is a 3000 hectare protected and wonderful area that includes spectacular attractions, such as minor keys. The landscape is very attractive thanks to the flora and fauna of the area. It is home to several species of animals, being covered by mangroves. More than 200 pink flamingos live in the Guanaroca Lagoon. Over 170 species of birds live here, of which eight are endemic, including the tocororo, the national bird of Cuba. The lagoon is home to the biggest shrimp farm of the town.

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