Trinidad de Cuba always beckons visitors to return. This is a truth corroborated by hundreds of thousands of visitors who return to the city from all over the world, which from a conservational perspective, represents one of the finest examples of the colonial architecture which is also one of its primary attractions.
It is a truly interesting place, above all for those interested in areas that have links to Cuban culture. Trinidad de Cuba, the town where Cuba’s colonial architecture can best be appreciated, belongs to the central province of Sancti Spiritus.
The older part of the town is notable for its streets lined with river stones that recreate former glories and seem to take us back in time.
The stones are a key symbol of the more than 500-year old city because they unite river, sea and city, adding even more charm to the town originally known as The Holy Trinity, a veritable exhibition of balustrades, railings, porches, drawings and barrel red tiles.
On December 23 1515 as Diego Velaquez De Cuellar advanced towards the Bay of Jagua, he arrived at the site that would become Trinidad. Together with 20 of his men, he later attended the first mass celebrated there by his chaplain Friar Juan de Tesin.
The site was forgotten about for some time, which contributed to the conservation of its colonial architecture that merited its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Amongst the other charms of Trinidad are its traditional crafts, including embroidery, weaving, ceramics and painting that experts confirm are inextricably linked to its history and its position as the third villa founded in Cuba by the Spanish conquerors.
Sources from the city’s Artesan Artists Association explain that because the villa was isolated, the townspeople “were obliged to acquire skills and talents in order to meet their most pressing needs”.
The experts add that Trinidad had to confront desolation and economic hardship because of the over exploitation of the soil, the lack of a suitable harbor for trade and competition from the then recently established city of Cienfuegos, with its fertile lands and excellent port.
According to the experts, by the time the twentieth century arrived, only one surviving railway and some steamships offered the townsfolk a very basic level of communication, ensuring that many men had women had to learn skills in order to survive.
Handcrafts offered these studious people some spiritual relief and the only form of beautiful expression available to Trinitarians to adorn their lives.
This is why needlework, passed down from generation to generation is a practice preserved within households and has become an eternally integrated part of the daily lives of women and men.Share on FB Share on TT