Things that Make Matanzas, Cuba Different

January 20, 2017 |

Photo feature: Elio Delgado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — Visiting the province of Matanzas, Cuba is without a doubt a pleasant experience. Rain which announced a cold front on its way didn’t stop us from walking down its streets and going on a tour of some of its landmarks.

The city was founded in 1693 and is considered to be Cuba’s first modern city, due to its urban design and the use of square blocks as a regular way to organize buildings. It gives us an insight into its inhabitants’ eagerness to protect their inherited heritage, making its difference with the title given to Havana as the “wonder city”.

The care locals have in keeping the city clean and the attention they give customers at commercial establishments are admirable, making it a different Cuban city. Used to the rude environment in Havana, we were taken aback by the kindness of Matanzas’ people. These particular characteristics make it a truly special province, Cuba’s “Athens”, and worthy of a few lines of recognition.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

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  • emagicmtman

    Thanks for the fotos, Elio! I have fond memories of Matanzas. This last trip, in Oct. of 2015, after landing @ Juan Gualberto Gomez, instead of Varadero, my friend and I headed for Matanzas City. We spent our first three days there, hanging out in Parque Libertad (our casa particular was just down the block from the biblioteca depicted in one of your fotos on one side of the park). One day, after touring Las Cuevas Bellamar, instead of El Marinero, next to the Rio Canimar, we took the advice of our cabby and ate at one of the new paladares, the Matanzas Litoral. The (sea) food was fantastic, the service first rate, and the building’s architecture, bas relief sculptures and interior design were impressive. We walked all around town and had an impromptu, al fresco take-out dinner in the vest-pocket park along the bay from and just over the bridge on the highway leading out of town towards Habana. When I was there In 2006, I only had the opportunity of wandering around for a few hours before I had to catch the last “Tren Hershey” back to Casa Blanca, so was glad to have three days there this time. I plan to return again in the hopes of enjoying more of the cultural opportunities of this “Athens of Cuba!”