The city of Camagüey, the capital of the eastern Cuban province of the same name, boasts a unique patrimonial wealth resulting from 493 years of history.
Founded as Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, on the Bay of Nuevitas, the city was moved away from the coast, and rebuilt on the banks of the Caonao River. It was moved to its current location later, and was officially named Camagüey in the early 19th century.
Although it is 70 kilometers from the north and south coasts of the province, Camagüey was often under siege by pirates, who looted the then prosperous village on several occasions in the 17th century, according to chroniclers of the time.
Camagüey is also known as the city of "tinajones" (large earthenware jars), due to those peculiar containers, which were used to collect rainwater for human consumption centuries ago and decorate parks and gardens at present.
The city combines modernity and history, in an environment where the new buildings interrelate with old constructions, giving a peculiar touch to the city.
Camagüey is a city with one-tower temples, façades with eaves and pilasters, iron-wrought windows, inner portals and red-tile roofs, elements that are characteristic of a sober and at the same time flamboyant architectural style in a true labyrinth of alleys.
The city has a peculiar design, as streets are straight in short segments and then turn left or right in a capricious way, ending in one of many squares of the former village.
In fact, some streets are barely one meter wide and four meters long, like in the so-called Angel's Five Corners, a picturesque site that shows the peculiar design of the city.
The main square in Camagüey, currently known as Ignacio Agramonte Park, was built in 1528 as the Arms Square. It is the nucleus of the city's architectural structure despite the changes that has undergone through history.
The Principal Theater, built in 1850, has plenty of marble and glass in its structure, while the Church of La Merced, built in the 18th century, holds a Holy Sepulcher made of silver, the largest of its kind in Cuba.
Cuba's exuberant flora is present at Casino Campestre, the largest urban park in the interior of the country. It is an excellent place for reflection and spiritual relaxation. The park is full of statues of Cuban personalities.
A pillar of Cuban culture, the city of Camagüey witnessed the creation of "Espejo de Paciencia" (Mirror of Patience), the first literary work written in Cuba, in 1628. Camagüey is also the birthplace of Cuban National Poet Nicolás Guillén and many prominent writers.