Two Cuban Townships Reach their 500 Years in 2015: Santiago de Cuba and Remedios

This 2015 marks the half millennium of the Cuban townships of Santiago de Cuba and Remedios.

Santiago de Cuba, known as the “most Caribbean” of the island’s cities, will renovate the tourist offer on the advent of its 500th anniversary based on the recovery of its historic and architectural heritage, the reanimation of the city and the improvement of its image. Founded on July 25, 1515 by Diego Velázquez, it was the sixth Cuban township and the country’s first capital city.

The heritage areas, from the foundational ring to the city limits, have been given a marked priority in the preparatory program to celebrate the half millennium.

The previewed investments include the rehabilitation of the emblematic Imperial Hotel, in the historic center, after some 30 years out of service, and the restoration of buildings representative of Santiago’s eclecticism around Céspedes Park.

The Bahía-Carretera Turística Maritime Avenue is being revitalized up to Morro Castle, and works are being executed to preserve the underwater heritage, where the wrecks remain of the ships that sank during the Naval Battle of the Cuban-Spanish-American War, which will be declared National Monuments in the context of the 500th anniversary.

There is also the project of Los Caminos del Café (The Coffee Paths) route, which safeguards the ruins of the coffee plantations of the 18th-19th centuries; the construction of a hotel in the Marina Santiago de Cuba; and the creation of a Leisure Center conceived for family tourism.

Meanwhile, San Juan de los Remedios, the eighth township founded by the Spanish colonizers, will be celebrating its half millennium next June.

Cradle of the world-famous Parrandas, popular fiestas that have become a rare cultural event, its classic accommodations are the Hoteles E Mascotte and Barcelona, with 10 and 24 rooms, respectively, operated by Cubanacán.

The program to celebrate the 500th anniversary includes new openings and the improvement of accommodations and recreation centers, among which the construction of the 25-room Hoteles E Camino del Príncipe and the eight-room Hoteles E Real deserve special mention.

Other actions for Remedios’ half millennium contribute to the improvement and renovation of the current tourist product. The program aims to develop the infrastructure in the area by taking advantage of the added values offered by the San Juan de los Remedios Heritage City, an ideal cultural tourism destination to combine the beach offer of the Cayos de Villa Clara tourist destination.


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