By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol /Ver fotocopia de revista Primciia Diario
Santa Clara, Cuba.- The city of Santa Clara was erected on July 15, 1689. Historians assure that the site recalls the memorable meeting of 18 families from San Juan de los Remedios, who on July 15, 1689, witnessed the founding mass that was celebrated under the shade of a tamarind.
This is how the new community was erected, which first received the name of Los Dos Cayos, then Pueblo Nuevo de Antón Díaz and definitely Gloriosa Santa Clara to grow between the Bélico and Cubanicay rivers that endowed it with a modest network of bridges.
Of great historical value is the El Carmen park and the church that were declared National Monuments in 1991, due to the architectural and historical values they treasure.
The La Caridad Theater, a symbol, very well preserved, with image, exterior expression, values and functionality are added. It is one of the most famous in Cuba and a National Monument, an almost exclusive exponent of the 19th century theatrical architecture on the island and one of the most significant buildings in the city.
It was inaugurated on the night of September 8, 1885. It stands out for the scenographic design, the opening curtains and those of the intermission. It has a decoration in relief on the embouchure, similar to that of the Lineo theater in Paris and a sculptural group for the façade.
Around its founding center, in the current Leoncio Vidal park, the fundamental civic constructions persist, giving it a more modern feel due to the transformations on many of the facades.
Other buildings of patrimonial value are distinguished, such as the old Normal Teachers School and the Santa Clara Libre hotel, the latter expression of the modern movement in the stage of Rationalism.
The historic center comprises around 77 blocks, where the oldest houses are concentrated, in which there are also more modern ones, a distinctive feature of Santa Clara, very eclectic in its typology.
From an urban point of view, it differs from other sites for its five squares that go from north to south: Los Mártires Park, Plaza del Carmen, Leoncio Vidal Park, La Pastora Park and Plaza de la Audiencia, In the latter is located the Palace of Justice, possessor of high historical and architectural values. To these works are added the monuments on the Loma del Capiro and the Armored Train.
Of great interest is also the Plaza de la Revolución, a sculptural ensemble built by the sculptor José Delarra, dedicated to Ernesto “Che” Guevara, at whose base stands a Mausoleum, which has kept, since 1997, the remains of the renowned hero and other members of the guerrilla force that fought alongside him in Bolivia.
According to the website http://www.opciones.cubaweb.cu, “tradition is made up of these heritages, and there is the particular case of the pilongo, which is logically lost with the new generations, since its origin is due to baptism in the pyre.
The main parish church, existing until 1923 in the center of the Plaza de Armas, was used for these functions. The pilongo gives the Santa Clara a certain condition of pure vine, of which by natural logic, fewer and fewer remain.
«The Central Highway that crosses the city from East to West also marked the population settlement that, like others, was formed under the Laws of the Indies, with a parade ground, town hall, church and rectangular layout that, in its case, was irregular , as it continued until its current correction ».
In addition to the Santa Clara hotel, visitors opt for Los Caneyes, one of the tourism options in that region, which offers national and international service with a curious architecture that resembles a Taíno village with round premises and clad in brave cane.
Santa Clara is a must visit destination. Santa Clara is history, present and future. (Photo by the author).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)