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Trinidad is a town in the province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba. Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, it has been one of UNESCOs World Heritage sites since 1988.
Trinidad was founded on December 23, 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar under the name Villa De la Santísima Trinidad. Francisco Iznaga, a rich Basque landowner in the southern portion of Cuba during the first 30 years of the colonization of Cuba, was elected Mayor of Bayamo in 1540.Iznaga was the originator of a powerful lineage that finally settled in Trinidad where the Torre Iznaga is. His descendents fought for the Independence of Cuba and the Annexation to the US from 1820 to 1900. It is one of the best preserved cities in the Caribbean from the time when the sugar trade was the main industry in the region.
Nowadays, Trinidad's main industry is tobacco processing. The older parts of town are well preserved as the Cuban tourism industry sees benefit from tour groups. In contrast, some parts of town outside the non-tourist areas are very run down and in disrepair, especially in the centre.
The Plaza Mayor in Trinidad, Cuba, is the historic centre of the town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. The buildings surrounding the central square date from the 18th and 19th centuries when trade in sugar from the nearby Valle de los Ingenios and slaves, brought great riches to the area. Many of the buildings surrounding the central square belonged to the wealthy landowners of the city. When the trade in sugar diminished and the slave trade ended in the mid-19th century, Trinidad became a backwater and because little building work was carried until the 1950s many of the historic buildings and streets were preserved, especially the grand constructions in the immediate vicinity of the Plaza Mayor. Today, most of the houses surrounding the square are home to museums.
The colonial houses of Trinidad are typified by red terracotta tiled roofs supported out beyond the walls by wooden beams. Pastel-coloured paintwork for the houses is normal with wood and plasterwork details picked out in different colours to the brickwork. The large main door typically has a smaller entrance door (or doors) cut into it. In contrast to the houses of the same period in Havana the door tends to open directly onto a living area, rather than having a vestibule or entrance hall. The doors are often surrounded by architectural plaster mouldings. Windows lack glass, instead they are open to the elements, but have barrotes, bars constructed of small turned wooden columns which allow the air to circulate without allowing entrance to the house. In the 19th century these wooden barriers were replaced by wooden shutters behind a wrought-iron grille. The large windows are normally raised slightly from ground-level but can be flush to the pavement. Arched windows are also common, but are enclosed with radiating wooden slats. 19th century houses tend to be built around a small courtyard with the rooms facing onto it.
The small sloping central square is laid out to gardens on a raised platform with paths dividing it in quarters. The resulting four small area of garden are fenced off by white-painted ironwork fences. Cobbled streets isolate the square from the surrounding buildings. Wrought-iron lamp-posts, statues of English greyhounds and columns with large pottery finials decorate the square.

TAXI

Trinidad è una città cubana di circa 75.000 abitanti della provincia centrale di Sancti Spíritus. Insieme alla vicina Valle de los Ingenios è un sito indicato come Patrimonio dell'umanità dall'UNESCO fin dal 1988.
Trinidad fu fondata da Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar nel 1514 con il nome di Villa De la Santísima Trinidad. È una delle città meglio conservate di tutti i Caraibi, dall'epoca nella quale lo zucchero era il principale commercio in questo luoghi. Sono proprio i resti di quel periodo coloniale e schiavista, nel quale fiorì Trinidad, ad essere la principale attrazione dei visitatori e il motivo stesso del prestigioso riconoscimento che l'UNESCO ha conferito alla città e a tutta l'area circostante più direttamente interessata alla coltivazione della canna da zucchero (la Valle de los Ingenios). Oggi la voce principale dell'economia di questi luoghi è costituita dalla lavorazione del tabacco.
La parte più vecchia della città è quella meglio preservata ed è oggetto di visite turistiche da parte di tour organizzati. Al contrario, diverse zone al di fuori della parte più turistica, anche molto centrali, versano in stato di semi-abbandono e sono lo specchio di un disagio diffuso nella città e in tutto il Paese.
Fuori dalla città c'è la famosa penisola di Ancón con una rinomata e ampia spiaggia di sabbia (Playa Ancón) sulla quale sorge un complesso turistico, fra i primi nati dopo la rivoluzione del 1959.

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Additional Photos by Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6985 W: 117 N: 13179] (73973)
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