Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos

Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos

The colonial town of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 in the Spanish territory but was initially settled by immigrants of French origin. It became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee. Situated on the Caribbean coast of southern-central Cuba at the heart of the country’s sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee production area, the town first developed in the neoclassical style. It later became more eclectic but retained a harmonious overall townscape. Among buildings of particular interest are the Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, the Ferrer Palace, the former lyceum, and some residential houses. Cienfuegos is the first, and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th century.

Centre historique urbain de Cienfuegos

La ville coloniale de Cienfuegos fut fondée en 1819, à l’époque où l’île était sous domination espagnole, mais elle fut d’abord colonisée par des immigrés d’origine française. Elle devint ensuite un centre de négoce de la canne à sucre, du tabac et du café. L’architecture de cette ville située sur la côte caraïbe, dans la partie centrale du sud de Cuba, au cœur de la zone de culture de la canne à sucre, de la mangue, du tabac et du café, fut d’abord de style néoclassique, puis devint plus éclectique, le paysage urbain conservant néanmoins une harmonie d’ensemble. Parmi les bâtiments les plus intéressants: le palais du gouvernement (Hôtel de Ville), l’école San Lorenzo, l’Evêché, le palais Ferrer, l’ancien Lycée et quelques demeures. Cienfuegos est le premier et l’un des plus remarquables exemples d’ensemble architectural traduisant les nouvelles notions de modernité, d’hygiène et d’ordre en matière d’urbanisme tel qu’il s’est développé en Amérique Latine à partir du XIXe siècle.

وسط سيانفويغوس التاريخي الأثري

تأسست مدينة سيانفويغوس المستعمرة عام 1819 يوم كانت الجزيرة خاضعةً للسيطرة الإسبانيّة ولكن استوطنها أوّلاً المهاجرون من أصلٍ فرنسي. وأصبحت في ما بعد مركزاً لتجارة قصب السكّر والتبغ والقهوة. وبنيت هندسة هذه المدينة القائمة على ساحل الكاريبي في الجزء الأوسط من جنوب كوبا في وسط منطقة زراعة قصب السكّر والمانغا والتبغ والقهوة على الطابع الكلاسيكي الجديد ثمّ تحوّلت إلى أسلوب انتقائي وحافظ المنظر الحضري على انسجام جماعي. ومن بين المباني الأكثر أهميّةً، القصر الحكومي (دار البلديّة)، مدرسة سان لورينزو، الأسقفيّة، قصر فيرير، الثانوية القديمة وبعض المنازل. وتشكّل مدينة سيانفويغوس أوّل الأمثلة عن مجموعة هندسيّة مميّزة وهي تعكس مفاهيم الحداثة والنظافة والتنظيم الحضري كما تطوّر في أمريكا اللاتينيّة بدءاً من القرن التاسع عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI

西恩富戈斯古城

西恩富戈斯殖民小镇于1819年建在西班牙领土上,但最初在此定居的却是法国移民。这里是一个甘蔗、烟草和咖啡贸易中心,位于古巴甘蔗、芒果、烟草和咖啡生产中心——中南部的加勒比海岸,始建风格为新古典主义,随后风格有所折衷,但仍保留了和谐统一的小镇风貌。小镇最引人瞩目的建筑是市政府邸(市政大厅)、圣洛伦索学校、教区、费雷罗宫,前文化宫和一些住宅。西恩富戈斯是19世纪拉丁美洲发展起来的建筑群中的第一个杰出典型,体现了城市规划中现代化、卫生和秩序的新观念。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Исторический центр города Сьенфуэгос

Колониальный город Сьенфуэгос, основанный в 1819 г. в испанских владениях, изначально был заселен иммигрантами французского происхождения. Он стал центром торговли сахарным тростником, табаком и кофе. Расположенный на берегу Карибского моря, на юге центральной части Кубы, в самом сердце района, производящего сахарный тростник, манго, табак и кофе, город сначала развивался в классическом стиле. Позднее его архитектура стала более эклектичной, однако до наших дней здесь сохранился гармоничный и целостный городской ландшафт. Среди наиболее интересных зданий - Дворец правительства (ратуша), школа Сан-Лоренсо, Епархиальное управление, дворец Феррер, бывший лицей, ряд жилых домов. Сьенфуэгос – это первый выдающийся пример архитектурного ансамбля, в котором отразились распространившиеся с ХIХ в. в Латинской Америке идеи модернизации, коммунальной гигиены и упорядочения градостроительства.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Centro histórico urbano de Cienfuegos

La ciudad de Cienfuegos fue fundada el año 1819 por colonos franceses, cuando Cuba se hallaba todavía bajo la dominación española. Con el correr del tiempo se convirtió en un centro comercial de productos como la caña de azúcar, el tabaco y el café. Bañada por las aguas del Caribe y situada en la parte central del sur de la isla, Cienfuegos se halla en medio de una región productora de café, tabaco, mango y caña de azúcar. Su arquitectura, neoclásica en un principio, evolucionó hacia formas más eclécticas, sin que por ello el paisaje urbano perdiera nunca su armonía de conjunto. Los edificios más notables son: el Palacio de Gobierno, el Colegio San Lorenzo, el Obispado, el Palacio Ferrer, el antiguo Liceo y algunas mansiones. Cienfuegos es el primer y notable ejemplo de conjunto arquitectónico y urbanístico en el que se plasmaron las nuevas ideas de modernidad, higiene y urbanismo surgidas en América Latina en el siglo XIX.

source: UNESCO/ERI

シエンフェゴスの都市歴史地区

source: NFUAJ

Historisch stadscentrum van Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos werd in 1819 gesticht op Spaans grondgebied, maar in eerste instantie gekoloniseerd door Franse immigranten. De stad ligt aan de Caribische kust in het hart van het productiegebied van suikerriet, mango, tabak en koffie en werd al snel een handelsplaats hiervoor. De stad ontwikkelde eerst een neoklassieke stijl, werd later meer eclectisch, maar behield een harmonieus stadsbeeld. Bijzondere gebouwen zijn het stadhuis, de San Lorenzo School, de bisschoppelijke kantoren, het Ferrer paleis, het voormalige lyceum en een aantal woonhuizen. Cienfuegos is de eerste stad die de nieuwe ideeën weerspiegelt van moderniteit, hygiëne en ordelijke stedelijke planning, zoals deze zich ontwikkelden in Latijns-Amerika vanaf de 19e eeuw.

Source: unesco.nl

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© M & G Therin-Weise
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Cienfuegos was established in 1819 on the Caribbean coast of south central Cuba. Although located in Spanish territory, many of its first settlers were of French origin from Bordeaux and French colonies such as Louisiana. A commercial port town, located in the heart of a fertile agricultural region producing sugar, cane, mango, tobacco and coffee, its prosperity was primarily linked to the 19th-century sugar boom. By the 1860s, Cienfuegos was the third most important city in Cuba, by economical wealth. 

The city's original centre was composed of 25 blocks, laid out in a grid plan with absolute geometric regularity, inspired by the Spanish Enlightenment. As an example of modern urbanism in Spanish American, this planned town reflected new socio-economic and cultural trends related to urban order, the role of public spaces, and public hygiene requirements for natural light and ventilation. 

Public functions were focused on Parque José Martí (formerly Square of Arms) the site of the church and public and government buildings. Notable amongst the 19th-century Neoclassical buildings are the Santa Iglesia Catedral de la Purísima Concepción (Holy Church Pure Concepción Cathedral), the Tomás Terry Theater, the Spanish Casino, Palatino Tavern (or White Palace), the House Lions, "The Union" Hotel, the house-warehouse of the Spanish merchant José García of the Noceda, and the Customs Building. 

Buildings dating from the early 20th century followed a more eclectic design but maintained certain proportions, construction materials and stylistic features creating harmony. residential buildings, for example, are one or two storey’s in height with plain facades, generally without porches. Masterful metalwork of wrought and cast iron is present in elegant grills, railings and fences. 

The inscribed historic centre covers 70 hectares surrounded by a buffer zone of 105 hectares that extends south along the eastern side of the port. 

Criterion (ii): The Historic town of Cienfuegos exhibits an important interchange of influences based on the Spanish Enlightenment, and its is an outstanding early example of their implementation in urban planning in Latin America, in the 19th century. 

Criterion (iv): Cienfuegos is the first and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order, in urban planning as these developed in the Latin America, from the 19th century. 

Integrity

The historic centre of Cienfuegos has retained its early 19th century urban fabric to a high degree. The grid plan defined the city's formal composition and spatial structure of plazas, square and wide avenues and has been respected and extended as the city grew beyond its original 25 block design. Integrity is also evident in the retention of many 19th century buildings along with the minimal alterations to the original building stock. Moreover, later buildings have largely respected the established height and general design proportions creating an overall harmony. 

One of the greatest threats to the historic centre is the pace of urban growth. To date, the historic core has retained its form and has not undergone any drastic changes. Due to its situation as a coastal community in a tropical region, Cienfuegos is at the risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes. 

Authenticity

The historic centre of Cienfuegos continues to functions as a vital urban area, the heart of the modern city. It has retained its original grid pattern an Illustration of the philosophical ideas of the Spanish Enlightenment on which it was based. The continuity of its urban form is visible its present spatial structure with the larger piazzas, smaller squares, wide streets, and streetscapes of classically-styles residences. 

Authenticity of the building stock within the inscribed area has been maintained in part through the use of traditional building material and construction techniques in both the rehabilitation and renovation of original building and new development. Consistency of use is evident throughout the area, in particular through the retention of port facilities and warehouses that speak to its ongoing value as a commercial port. 

As the city on the island whose founders were French, Cienfuegos has preserved a cultural link to these early settlers not only with the visible urban fabric but intangibly within an ethnic mix that also includes Spanish, African and Chinese heritage. 

Protection and management requirements

Legal protection exists at both the national and municipal levels. At the national level, principal legislation includes Protection of Cultural Heritage (1977), the law for National and Local Monuments (1977), and the 1995 declaration of Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos as a national monument. Additional protection includes Territorial Classification and Urban development (2001) and archaeological site preservation and conservation through the National Commission of Monuments of the Ministry of Culture (1979). The municipal government is also responsible for regular monitoring of the historic centre with the participation of several provincial level organizations. 

A management plan for Cienfuegos, completed in 2004, provides some policy to address areas of urban growth and tourism. The “interventions program” includes several levels of appropriate intervention including restoration of historic buildings with new compatible uses and infill construction in empty lots. The Office of Monuments and Historic Sites manages municipal legislation as well as development and management plans that focus on actions of inventory, conservation and restoration. Specifically, this body provides support at all levels of rehabilitation from research to support and training courses related to traditional building techniques and materials.

Long Description

The historic town of Cienfuegos exhibits an important interchange of influences based on the Spanish Enlightenment, and it is an outstanding early example of their implementation in urban planning in Latin America in the 19th century. It is the first and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning as these developed in Latin America from the 19th century.

Cienfuegos is located on the Caribbean coast of southern central Cuba at the heart of the country's sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee production. It was founded, as the Colony Fernandina de Jagua, in the Spanish territory in 1819, but settled by French from Bordeaux, Louisiana, Philadelphia and Guarico. This formal foundation followed a series of earlier attempts in this region, where the economy was based on cattle-raising and cultivation of tobacco. The town was laid out in a grid plan with 25 blocks that formed its original centre, limited by St Elena Street in the north, St Clara in the south, Velazco in the west, and Hourruitiner in the east.

From the 18th century, there was wax production, as well as timber and sugar. In the 1830s, the colony grew based on the increment of sugar production but also due to its favourable geographical location. The settlement was recognized with the category of 'Villa' as a confirmation of its urban aspect. It was authorized to trade in the domestic and foreign fields.

In the late 19th century, new functions were introduced into this emergent commercial port city, which continued growing. The original grid plan was multiplied towards the inland and along the coast.

After the War of Independence from Spain ended, there was new capital entering from North America. By 1914, American investors were proprietors of the most important sugar mills in the province. Trade developed mainly with the United States, the principal market for Cienfuegos. With the new administrative division of 1976, the city of Cienfuegos became the capital of the province with the same name, increasing its development further. The local administration remained concentrated in the downtown area. As a whole, this area has retained its historic fabric without such drastic changes as is common in many historic cities. Today, the city is still developing and has some 167,000 inhabitants.

The core zone of the World Heritage site is 70 ha, consisting of part of the 19th-century town. The buffer zone is 105 ha, covering one urban block on the landside and two blocks on the peninsula. In addition, it extends along the coast towards the south.

The original central square of the town, the Plaza de Armas, was enlarged with another block to the west in 1830. This area was reserved for public functions: government buildings, a church, and the customs building and similar. The town developed as a compact structure, initially in neoclassical style, later eclectic, forming an overall unity. Most of the buildings have one or two storeys. The facades are generally plain without porches.

The most representative buildings include the Government Palace (City Hall, current office of the Provincial Assembly of the Popular Power), San Lorenzo School, Bishopric, Ferrer Palace, former Lyceum building and some residential buildings. At present, in the historic centre, six buildings remain from the first half of the 19th century and 327 buildings from the second half. There are 1,188 buildings from the 20th century, most of them from the first half. In all there are some 300 public buildings, and the rest are mainly residential.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The city of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 as the Colony Fernandina de Jagua. The first inhabitants were partly Spanish, partly from various other origins, such as French colonies, and came from Bordeaux, Louisiana, Philadelphia and Guarico. This formal foundation followed a series of earlier attempts in this region, where the economy was based on cattle raising and cultivation of tobacco. From the 18th century, there was wax production, as well as timber and sugar. In the 1830s, the colony grew based on the increment of sugar production but also due to its favourable geographical location. The settlement was recognised with the category of "Villa" as a confirmation of its urban aspect. It was authorised to trade in domestic and foreign field. In 1840, there were already registered companies in the town, and the growth continued in the following decades. In the 1860s, it was the third city of the country. After the Independence War against Spain ended, there was new capital entering from North America. By 1914, American investors were proprietors of the most important sugar mills in the province. Trade developed mainly with the United States, the principal market for Cienfuegos. With the new administrative division of 1976, the city of Cienfuegos became the capital of the province with the same name, increasing its development further. The local administration remained concentrated in the downtown area. As a whole, this area has retained its historic fabric without such drastic changes as is common in many historic cities.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation