Cuba and its heritage: Shield and sword of the nation (+ Photos)Publicado: junio 13, 2021
By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol
June, 2021.- To the architectural and natural treasure of the first eight villas founded by the Spaniards in Cuba more than five centuries ago, other cities are also added that enrich the heritage of a nation in which culture is the shield and sword of the largest island in the Antilles.
The charms of Baracoa, Bayamo, Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba, Havana and Remedios, the latter city north of the province of Villa Clara, are also appreciated in Guantánamo, Holguín, Bayamo, Puerto Padre, Ciego de Ávila , Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas and Pinar del Rio.
Admiral Christopher Columbus touched Cuban lands on October 27, 1492 and baptized it with the name of Juana, in honor of the first-born of the Catholic Monarchs. It was on his first voyage that he landed in the East, and on the second he traveled the southern coast, advancing far to the West. Columbus went to his grave believing that Cuba was not an island, but was part of the continent.
It was up to Sebastián Ocampo to confirm that this hypothesis was wrong, after making the first complete survey of the island in 1509. However, since 1498 it was believed that it was an island as a result of an undisclosed trip, attributed to Alonso de Ojeda or Vicente Yañez Pinzón, accompanied by Juan de la Cosa. But it was Sebastián Ocampo’s journey that cleared up doubts about Cuba’s insularity.
People and institutions in charge of rescuing and preserving the island’s architectural heritage have been concerned and concerned with its conservation, but the work done so far is not enough, so not only Cuba, but also the rest of the world will be alerted. to preserve all elements of heritage value and give it its deserved place within national cultures.
Artists, intellectuals, communicators, journalists and the whole of society must speak out in favor of a project that guarantees that architecture is at the same level as the development that society has achieved in other spheres.
Cuba, due to its geographical position, was used as a base in the 16th century for the conquest and colonization of the continent. Precisely in 1513 from the island, Juan Ponce de León discovered and began the exploration and capture of Florida and, in 1519, Hernán Cortés set sail from Havana to Mexico.
The island’s architectural and natural heritage is reflected in the book Cuba: An excursion through time. Volumes I and II that people from Latin America, Europe, Russia and other places will have the opportunity to read in their native languages. (Photos by the author)(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)