Photos of Trinidad, Cuba's best-preserved colonial town, Cuba

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Trinidad, Cuba's best-preserved colonial town

Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba, is the country’s best-preserved colonial town from the time when the sugar trade was the main industry in the region, with brightly coloured buildings and cobblestone streets. It has been a UNESCO heritage site since 1988.

Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Church of the Holy Trinity, Trinidad
 
Plaza Mayor, Trinidad
 
Plaza Mayor, Trinidad
 
Calle Desengaño, Plaza Mayor, Trinidad
 
Small square, Trinidad
 
In Palacio de Cantero, Trinidad
 
View of Trinidad
 
View of Plaza Mayor, Trinidad
 
View of Trinidad
 
Callejón de Peña, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
The Beatles statue, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Boys playing tops, Trinidad
 
Iglesia de Santa Ana, Trinidad
 
Templo de Santería Yemayá, Trinidad
 
Templo de Santería Yemayá, Trinidad
 
Plaza de las Tres Cruces, Trinidad
 
Calle Amargura, Trinidad
 
Girls playing, Trinidad
 
View from the Mirador, Trinidad
 
View from the Mirador, Trinidad
 
St. Francis tower, Trinidad
 
U-2 fuselage, Trinidad
 
View from St. Francis tower, Trinidad
 
View from St. Francis tower, Trinidad
 
View from St. Francis tower, Trinidad
 
Group of tourists, Trinidad
 
'Los Pinos' music group, Trinidad
 
View from Casa Frias, Trinidad
 
Maqueta de Trinidad
 
Maqueta de Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Hostal El Mojito, Trinidad
 
View from Hostal El Mojito, Trinidad
 
Cobbled street, Trinidad
 
Rocky coast La Boca, Trinidad
 
Between La Boca and Ancón, Trinidad
 
Grill Caribe, near Ancón, Trinidad
 
Playa Ancón, Trinidad
 
Hotel Brisas Trinidad del Mar, Ancón
 
Playa Ancón, Trinidad
 
East of Playa Ancón, Trinidad
 

Trinidad was founded on 23 December 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar on Cuba’s south coast and named Villa de la Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity). It is from here that Hernán Cortés recruited men for his expedition to conquer Mexico and the remaining few local Taíno people kept farming, cattle-rearing and trading. Cut off from the colonial authorities in Havana because of its remoteness, Trinidad became a haven for pirates, smugglers and slave traders with Jamaica, to Cuba’s south and controlled by the British. In the early 19th century French refugees who fled the slave rebellion in Haiti arrived in the region and more than 50 small sugar mills were set up in the Valle de los Ingenios, about 25 kilometres to the east of the town. By the mid-19th century the area around Trinidad was producing a third of Cuba’s sugar and the town got its many iconic buildings.

During the Independence Wars it all ended, with plantations devastated and the town fell in decline, but in the 1950, under Batista, a preservation law was passed that recognised the town’s historical value; it was declared a national monument in 1965 and in 1988 it became a Unesco World Heritage Site. Now wonderfully preserved, ts neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings. Museo Romántico, in the restored Palacio Brunet mansion, and Museo de Arquitectura Colonial display relics from the town’s sugar-producing era and Iglesia de la Santísima, a 19th-century cathedral, has a vaulted ceiling and carved altars. It is well and truly on the tourist map. To the south, on the Caribbean shoreline, is a peninsula with popular beaches, like Playa Ancón, promoted as the finest arc of sand on Cuba’s south coast; it has all-inclusive hotels and a well-equipped marina that runs catamaran trips to a couple of nearby coral keys.