Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios – UNESCO Heritage in Cuba

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Trinidad was founded in the early 16th century but owes its existence and its historical raison d’être to the sugar industry that flourished there and in the nearby Valley de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. The exemplary city of Trinidad’s prosperity during this period is clearly legible in its existing built environment, its buildings ranging in expression from modest, vernacular variants to elaborate, luxurious edifices. In 1988, listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Location

Located in the central Cuban province of Sanenios.

About Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

1. The Valley de los Ingenios is a remarkable testimony to the development of the sugar industry. A living museum of Cuban sugar production, it includes the sites of 75 former cane sugar mills, plantation houses, barracks and other facilities related to this vulnerable industry, which has witnessed a gradual and progressive decline.

2. Trinidad’s urban ensemble of domestic buildings has an exceptional typological continuity and homogeneity in terms of construction and design, in a vernacular fashion nuanced by small- to medium-sized lots, in which early 18th century buildings strongly marked by Andalusian and Moorish influences blend harmoniously with more elaborate 19th-century models that splendidly mix European neoclassical forms, superimposed on traditional spatial patterns.

3. The heart of the 37-ha historic centre is Plaza Mayor, on which, overlooked by the campanile of the Convento de San Francisco, stand two noteworthy edifices: the Palacio Brunet, which provides the most authentic picture of the golden age of the city; and the neoclassical-style Palacio Cantero, which now houses the municipal history museum.

4. In addition to its architecture, much of Trinidad’s urban fabric, including the irregular system of squares and plazas, cobblestone streets and other historical and urban elements, has been preserved.

5. Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios is authentic in terms of locations and settings, forms and designs, and materials and substances. Because Trinidad is comprised predominantly of single-family houses, the overcrowding common to other historic centres has been avoided, thereby contributing greatly to the retention of the original interiors. The use of centuries-old techniques and building materials has persisted, including traditional lime mortar, wood, terracotta clay roofing tiles and cobbled streets.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Cuba then the best time to visit is from December to May, when you can expect dry, sunny days and plenty of blue skies. The wet season begins in June.

 

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