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Cuba: An Encounter with History

The Cuban archipelago, full of excellent beaches and exuberant nature for tourism, also offers attractions linked to its history and people.

In that regard, the Colon Cemetery, where generations of Cubans rest in peace, stands out as a one-of-a-kind cultural site.

The cemetery was a project by the Galician architect Calixto Arellano de Loira and Cardoso, who graduated from the San Fernando Royal Academy of Arts, in Madrid.

The first works in the cemetery started in October 1871, and that same year, its fame traveled the world by the hands of tour guides who promoted the most interesting sites in the Cuban capital.

A true architectural monument from past centuries, the Colon Cemetery is the only one in the American continent dedicated to Christopher Columbus, who discovered Cuba and the Americas.

Precisely, the iron-wrought gates of the cemetery, in the so-called Gate of Peace, bear three Cs (CCC) in honor of the man who described Cuba as "the most beautiful land that man has laid eyes on".

Cemetery`s entrance
Central Chapel
Christopher Columbus Ave.

The main esplanade is accessed through the north gate, where there is an arch of triumph that is 22.5 meters high.

Also in Havana is the Chinese Cemetery, an exponent of the Asian component of Cuban nationality.

The first Chinese immigrants (coolies) arrived in Cuba in June 1847. They were hired to replace the labor force of African slaves.

In fact, there were two migration processes in the 19th century and a third one took place in the 20th century, so Cuba became the settlement for the largest Chinese colony in the Americas.

It should be said that the first Chinese immigrants were buried in the English cemetery, where the Colon Cemetery, the largest in Cuba, is located.

On December 11, 1882, China's first consul in Havana, Liu Lia Yuan, took official steps to build the first Chinese cemetery.

The cemetery covers 8,189 square meters and is divided into four irregular areas that represent Heaven, Earth, the world of the living and the world of the dead.

In the central city of Cienfuegos, one of the most singular sites is the Reina Cemetery, which was built in 1830 and was designated a National Monument. It is a true museum of funerary art and has a burial system consisting of vertical niches that was en vogue during the Spanish rule.

Another relevant monument in Cienfuegos is the Tomás Acea Cemetery, which was built in 1926 and which experts have described as the necropolis with most history in the country. Its main gate is a replica of the Parthenon.

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