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Trinidad: Five Centuries of History

The village of Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity), which was among the first settlements founded by the Spanish conquistadors in Cuba, turned five centuries recently.

Located in central Cuba, Trinidad was founded in 1514 by Conqueror Diego Velázquez and holds one of the best preserved Spanish-colonial architectural complexes in the American continent, as a result of which it was designated Humankind's Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Trinidad's historic heart shows a mixture of architectural styles from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, with narrow cobblestoned streets flanked by buildings with wooden and iron-wrought railings and decorated walls.

The squares of Santa Ana and Tres Cruces, the Belfry of Saint Francis and several small palaces contribute to the beauty of the city, which centennial buildings are remodeled every year.

A pillar of Cuba's sugar industry, which boasted the so-called Valle de los Ingenios (Sugar Mills' Valley), Trinidad shows the singularity contributed by such economic sector to the village's architecture.

In that historic treasure, the Valle de los Ingenios plays a major role, along with the famous Iznaga Tower, a silent witness of a past marked by sugar factories in Trinidad.

Trinidad, Main Church
Tower at Manaca-Iznaga Sugar Mill, Trinidad

The construction of the Iznaga Tower in 1816 marks a moment when eclecticism predominated in Cuba's architecture. The seven-story tower is 45 meters tall and is crowned by a watchtower from where the sugarcane plantations could be seen.

According to experts, the bell installed in the tower was used to announce the beginning and end of the slaves' work and the time for prayer to the Holy Virgin in the morning, midday and afternoon.

Due to these, it is a favorite place for thousands of visitors who arrive in Trinidad every year interested in learning about the city's history and enjoying its excellent beaches and exuberant nature.

Hotels, diving centers and marinas make up a unique tourist offer with options for the most demanding vacationers.

Trinidad has four tourist complexes, including Topes de Collantes, Ancón and the city itself, while three of its seven hotels are four-star establishments and one is a five-star hotel.

Ancón beach is a dozen kilometers from the village, with its beach of white sand and crystal-clear waters on the Caribbean Sea, which invites visitors to practice nautical sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling in some 30 diving sites.

María Aguilar beach, near the village of Trinidad, offers warm shallow waters and a sea bottom full of corals, sea fans, tropical fish and chelonians.

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