|Written by Arvelio Cuevas|
|Monday, 02 May 2011 13:40|
The Villa of the Holy Trinity was the third founded by the Spanish Crown in Cuba with the presence of the Adelantado Don Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, in early 1514, on the banks of the river Arimao.
Its rapid evolution thanks to the enterprising spirit of its people, enabled him to be one of the most prosperous in the Greater Antilles. Iznaga Francisco, wealthy owner Basque settled in eastern Cuba during the first decades of colonization of the island and alderman of the town of Bayamo in 1540 resulted in a powerful lineage that finally settled in Trinidad. With the arrival of families Iznaga, Borrell and Brunet sugar industry flourished in the middle of the nineteenth century in the area known as "Sugar Valley" east of the city. The sugar production, which enriched the owners of these mills, brought into existence in both Trinidad and the Valley, mansions and palaces that are now the pride of the Cuban culture. The date of its founding is celebrated every year with a week of culture.
The inhabitants of the territory before the arrival of Spanish conquerors belonged to a group home nestled in the Arauco Guamuhaya chiefdom, which practiced gathering, hunting, fishing and agriculture and a very rudimentary pottery, using artifacts stone and shell, primarily as ornaments.
He soon sold the gold deposits had encouraged the settlement of the Spanish conquistadors in the territory starting a long process of depopulation throughout the sixteenth century. In 1534 there were only about 6 Spanish families and ten years later the city was considered uninhabited settlers. In parallel there is an assimilation of the culture of the conquerors by the native population, which together with the input of the first black slaves formed the breeding ground which was conceived in the heterogeneous ethnic population that still characterizes Trinitarian .
In the last quarter of the sixteenth century the town became gradually repopulated by the Spanish, who take a definitive and control of property and government. The tight economic monopoly imposed by the Spanish metropolis to their colonies and the frequent wars with other European countries for control of the New World, largely determined the rescue or contraband trade, the practice of privateering, military readiness and confrontation against attacks by corsairs and pirates, to become the hallmarks of the town that already from 1585, begins to be named in public documents as the City of Trinidad.
During the XVI, XVII and XVIII, the activities related to illegal trade and privateering, at the same time contributed to the flourishing of the city, caused at certain stages frictions and disagreements with the government of the island, which sometimes came to contempt and direct confrontation with the authority of the Governor General. In the mid-eighteenth century the city had reached a certain height Trinidad distinguishing it from other cities of central and southern Cuba. The steady increase of trade with America and the Caribbean islands, the massive influx of slaves, favorable physical and geographical conditions, the existence of abundant forests that provide the energy needed to develop the profitable sugar production that develops under the influence of agriculture planting and the emerging industrial revolution, as well as other factors that influence the end of the century begins in Trinidad a rapid economic growth and social development without precedent, to become the third largest city in Cuba. From the beginning of the nineteenth century attract favorable economic migrants from around the world.
In the 1827 census was registered in Trinidad, only in the urban area, 12 543 inhabitants. They begin to erect great palaces, the squares, parks and streets of stone that give the city a unique setting. The mighty Trinidadians also erected large houses in the Valley playgrounds, not less opulent residences of the city (the Palace of Borrell, Iznaga Palace, the Palace of Don Justo Cantero, the Palace of Count Brunet and the Palacio de Becquer). Between the patricians are encouraged devotion to the magnificence and fostered the development of culture and the arts. Prominent personalities visiting the city during the first half of the nineteenth century and in the same sit also consulates of various countries.
But this splendor was named naturally not last, it was based on two fragile substrates: the production system of slavery and the exploitation of land and energy resources. Large landowners are beginning to move their capital to other regions most prosperous and better prospects as Sancti Spiritus and Port au Prince.
Some believe that the sugar barons out to recover from the blow suffered is attached to the southern slave states of the United States. Under this light is produced Armenteros Isidoro uprising in 1851, which is quickly aborted by the Spanish authorities. The war of independence started by Cespedes October 10, 1868 was not taken up in Trinidad, territory heavily dominated by the Spanish, until six months later when Juan Bautista Spotorno armed uprisings led by April 6, 1869.
Independence shares during this first stage of the struggle was confined to the destruction of coffee and plantations. The city, heavily guarded, could not be taken by the rebel forces, and in 1871 the territory was practically out of contention. In February 1898 the United States involved in war and in August the armistice was signed. Four months later, on December 3, 1898 Spanish troops leave Trinidad, and enter the city by the street called since "Independence" forces mambises. The mills in the valley began to disappear and economic bankruptcy of the former landowners, accentuated by the war, forced to sell land and properties at very low prices. The appearance of the sugar cane fields and the construction of Central Trinidad, which began in 1909 harvests, finally got our main wealth in foreign hands.
The Republic mediated born on May 20, 1902 for Trinidad did not bring any substantial change in the precarious situation. The isolation of the rest of the country, because communications with the capital and other cities was done only by sea, contributed further to make Trinidad, during the first decades of the twentieth century, in a shelter closed to the air from outside innovators that, especially in the architectural, swept most indigenous in many Cuban cities, especially those who benefited from the passage of the Central Highway.
But this was not the main factor that prevented the modernization of the city, but the economic poverty of its inhabitants, which made Trinidad one of the cities with the highest rate of migration from Cuba during this stage
The sanatorium Topes de Collantes opened in 1954, led to Trinidad to begin to be frequently visited by people all over the country. Many are unaware of the untapped bonanza that could turn the city into a tourist attraction unmatched in the entire country, because it combines factors together are hardly anywhere in the world: climate heavenly, fine sandy beaches, mountains with attractive geographical and biological unexpected and above all, a rich historic legacy, carefully preserved, with only walking through the streets of stone for the visitor becomes a time shift that exceeds all expectations. With these objectives, the hotel capacity is expanded from Motel Las Cuevas and built an airstrip for light aircraft.
In 1976 starts to play an intense and delicate task of rescue and preservation of cultural and architectural heritage of the city. The patient and dedicated restoration work is internationally recognized in 1988 when the "Urban Historic Centre of Trinidad" and the nearby "Valley Mills" are declared by the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A hastily began building an infrastructure to meet the demands of domestic and international tourism steadily increasing. Unfortunately, since 1990 the negative effects of so-called special period were felt in the thriving and growing economy of the territory.
However, from 1995 onwards, begins an unprecedented boom in tourism. Building new facilities for this purpose and encourages the development in that direction, reaching the city to become a major pole at the country level.
In 1998 he was created by Decree of the Cabinet Office of the Curator of the City of Trinidad, with its own legal entity subject to the Municipal Administration Council, which, based on the funding that will provide the various chains and tourist other companies that reside in the territory, carries out an ambitious plan of restoration and conservation of the city and the Valley of the Sugar Mills. Trinidad is again today, as before, a flourishing city, proud of the immeasurable riches of his tangible and intangible, which opens to the world at the threshold of the Third Millennium with the utmost confidence in the future.