Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

Founded in the early 16th century in honour of the Holy Trinity, the city was a bridgehead for the conquest of the American continent. Its 18th- and 19th-century buildings, such as the Palacio Brunet and the Palacio Cantero, were built in its days of prosperity from the sugar trade.

Trinidad et la vallée de Los Ingenios

Fondée au début du XVIe siècle en l'honneur de la Sainte-Trinité, la ville était une tête de pont pour la conquête du continent américain. Ses bâtiments des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, comme le Palacio Brunet et le Palacio Cantero, ont été construits à son époque de prospérité due à l'industrie sucrière.

ترينيداد ووادي لوس إنجينوس

تأسست المدينة مطلع القرن السادس عشر تبجيلاً للثالوث الأقدس وهي كانت رأس حربة في غزو القارة الأمريكيّة. شُيّدت مبانيها التي ترقى إلى القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر مثل بالاسيو برونيت وبالاسيو كانتيرو في خلال حقبة ازدهارها بفضل صناعة السكّر.

source: UNESCO/ERI

特立尼达和洛斯因赫尼奥斯山谷

特立尼达是16世纪初期为纪念复活主节而建立的,是征服美洲大陆的桥头堡。其18世纪和19世纪的建筑,包括帕拉西奥-伯尼特宫殿和帕拉西奥-坎特罗宫殿,都是在食糖贸易最繁荣的岁月建造的。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Город Тринидад и долина Де-лос-Инхеньос

Основанный в начале XVI в. в честь Святой Троицы, город был своеобразным плацдармом для завоевания американского континента. Его здания XVIII-XIX вв., такие как дворцы Брунет и Кантеро, были построены в дни процветания города благодаря торговле сахаром.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Trinidad y Valle de los Ingenios

Fundada a principios del siglo XVI en honor de la Santísima Trinidad, la ciudad de este mismo nombre fue cabeza de puente en la conquista del continente americano por los españoles. Sus edificios de los siglos XVIII y XIX, como el Palacio Brunet y el Palacio Cantero, fueron construidos en la época de prosperidad de la industria azucarera.

source: UNESCO/ERI

トリニダードとロス・インヘニオス渓谷

source: NFUAJ

Trinidad en de Vallei de los Ingenios

Trinidad werd in de vroege 16e eeuw gesticht ter ere van de Heilige Drie-eenheid. De koloniale stad was een bruggenhoofd voor de verovering van het Amerikaanse continent. Het heeft haar historische kern behouden, met het hoogste percentage overgebleven antieke gebouwen en openbare pleinen. In de 17e eeuw waren vee, tabak en smokkelwaar de economische pijlers van de grotendeels Spaanse bevolking. Tegen het einde van de 18de eeuw werd de suikerindustrie stevig verankerd in de Valle de Los Ingenios, wat Trinidad voorspoed bracht. Toen bouwde men onder meer het Palacio Brunet en het Palacio Cantero.

Source: unesco.nl

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Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios © Silvan Rehfeld
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Trinidad, located in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spíritus, was founded in the early 16th century but owes its existence and its historical raison d’être to the sugar industry that flourished there and in the nearby Valley de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. The exemplary city of Trinidad’s prosperity during this period is clearly legible in its existing built environment, its buildings ranging in expression from modest, vernacular variants to elaborate, luxurious edifices. The Valley de los Ingenios is a remarkable testimony to the development of the sugar industry. A living museum of Cuban sugar production, it includes the sites of 75 former cane sugar mills, plantation houses, barracks and other facilities related to this vulnerable industry, which has witnessed a gradual and progressive decline.

Trinidad’s urban ensemble of domestic buildings has an exceptional typological continuity and homogeneity in terms of construction and design, in a vernacular fashion nuanced by small- to medium-sized lots, in which early 18th century buildings strongly marked by Andalusian and Moorish influences blend harmoniously with more elaborate 19th-century models that splendidly mix European neoclassical forms, superimposed on traditional spatial patterns. The heart of the 37-ha historic centre is Plaza Mayor, on which, overlooked by the campanile of the Convento de San Francisco, stand two noteworthy edifices: the Palacio Brunet, which provides the most authentic picture of the golden age of the city; and the neoclassical-style Palacio Cantero, which now houses the municipal history museum. In addition to its architecture, much of Trinidad’s urban fabric, including the irregular system of squares and plazas, cobblestone streets and other historical and urban elements, has been preserved.

Twelve kilometres northeast of Trinidad are three interconnected rural valleys – San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer – that make up the 225-km2 Valley de los Ingenios. More than fifty sugar mills were in operation here at the industry’s peak in the 19th century, and in 1827 more than 11,000 slaves were working in the mills. A long, gradual decline in Cuba's sugar industry accelerated significantly in the 1990s. The former plantations, mill buildings and other facilities and archaeological sites in the Valley de los Ingenios represent the richest and best-preserved testimony of the Caribbean sugar agro-industrial process of the 18th and 19th centuries, and of the slavery phenomenon associated with it.

Criterion (iv) : Shaped by the region’s 18th- and 19th-century sugar industry, the exemplary city of Trinidad owes to sugar its continued existence and its historical raison d’être, which is clearly legible in the existing built environment of the city and the nearby Valley de los Ingenios.

Criterion (v): The Valley de los Ingenios is a remarkable testimony to the development of the sugar industry and a living museum featuring 75 former sugar mills, plantation houses, barracks and other facilities related to this vulnerable industry.

Integrity

Within the boundaries of Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios are located all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value, including buildings, structures, public spaces, landscape components and archaeological remains. Population growth areas have been located outside the property. The 225.37-km2 property is of sufficient size to adequately ensure the complete representation of the features and processes that convey the property’s significance, and it does not suffer from adverse effects of development and/or neglect.

The historical process of land degradation in the valley, one of the reasons for its decline the past (along with water shortages), has led to a decrease in the cultivation of sugarcane. Although most farms are in ruins, as a whole they have a high degree of integrity due to the presence of a large proportion of the attributes that enabled them to function as a system, such as roads, the railway, the river, etc. It was strongly recommended in 1988 that the environment of the city, sugar mills and valley be protected from tourism development.

Authenticity

Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios is authentic in terms of locations and settings, forms and designs, and materials and substances. Because Trinidad is comprised predominantly of single-family houses, the overcrowding common to other historic centres has been avoided, thereby contributing greatly to the retention of the original interiors. The use of centuries-old techniques and building materials has persisted, including traditional lime mortar, wood, terracotta clay roofing tiles and cobbled streets. The Valley contains vestiges of farms in different states of conservation, many houses and huts, the components of the sugar industry, and remains of the main activity – sugarcane cultivation – and of the rail and road network. The property’s attributes thus express its Outstanding Universal Value truthfully and credibly.

Protection and Management requirements

Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios is largely owned by the Cuban state, with some parts owned by private individuals or legal entities. The inscribed property is protected by provisions in the Constitución de la República de Cuba (Constitution of the Republic of Cuba) of 24 February 1976 and by National Monuments Commission Resolution 3/1978 designating Centro Histórico Urbano Trinidad and Resolution 3A/1989 designating Valle de los Ingenios as National Monuments, in application of the Ley de Protección al Patrimonio Cultural (Law on the Protection of Cultural Property, Law No. 1 of 4 August 1977), and the Ley de Monumentos Nacionales y Locales (Law on National and Local Monuments, Law No. 2 of 4 August 1977). In addition to national laws and regulations, the city is protected by local provisions such as the Reglamento para la protección del centro histórico urbano de Trinidad y los monumentos de su municipio (Regulations for the Protection of the Historic Urban Centre of Trinidad and the Monuments of the Municipality), adopted in 1982 by the Executive Committee of the Asamblea Municipal del Poder Popular (Municipal Assembly of People’s Power). These Regulations determine the limits of the Historic Urban Centre and the Zone of Protection, and the permissible actions in each case as well as those advisable for monuments in the city.

The property is administered by the municipal and provincial Asambleas del Poder Popular. In 1997, the Oficina del Conservador de la Ciudad de Trinidad y el Valle de los Ingenios was created to manage the property. In 1996, a team of professionals from different disciplines developed the Plan de Manejo de la Ciudad de Trinidad (Trinidad City Management Plan), and in 1999 the Esquema de Ordenamiento Territorial del Valle de los Ingenios (Outline Zoning Scheme for the Valle de los Ingenios) was prepared. Both documents are being updated by the technical staff of the Oficina del Conservador.

Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time will require updating, approving and implementing an integrated Conservation Management Plan for the entire inscribed property; mitigating the historical process of land degradation in the valley; ensuring that the environment of the city, sugar mills and valley are protected from tourism development; ensuring that the Outstanding Universal Value as well as the authenticity and integrity of the property are not compromised by identified or potential threats; and establishing monitoring indicators.

Long Description

Trinidad is an outstanding example of a colonial city; it has maintained its historic core, featuring the highest percentage of surviving antique buildings and public squares and bringing together architectural, historic and cultural elements of great value. The city is representative of the colonial human settlement and the Valle de Los Ingenios is testimony to the development of the sugar industry.

After Spain decided to conquer and colonize the island of Cuba, Don Diego Velázquez was sent to the New World. Between 1512 and 1519 he founded the first seven Cuban townships: Nuestra Señora de La Asunción de Baracoa, San Salvador de Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, Santísima Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe (now Camaguey) and San Cristóbal de La Habana.

In 1514 Velasquez founded a new town in honour of the Holy Trinity; he chose a site not far from the southern coast of Cuba, midway between the island's two tips. Protected on the north by a mountainous region of El Escambray, and lying at the edge of the Caribbean Sea on the south, Santísima Trinidad, or simply Trinidad, was one of the bridgeheads for the conquest of the American continent. It was the departure point for the expeditions led by Francisco Hernández de Córdova in 1517 and by Cortez in 1518. At the end of the 16th century, Trinidad's economic role increased, relaying the town's strategic utility.

In the 17th century, cattle, tobacco and contraband were the economic mainstays of a largely Spanish population. Towards the end of the 18th century, the sugar industry was firmly established in the Valle de Los Ingenios and Trinidad prospered. By 1796 Trinidad was the third-largest city in Cuba and a Lieutenant Governor was appointed there.

The urban layout of Trinidad dates for the most part from the first two centuries of its existence. Stone buildings were rare prior to the big sugar industry period, and the present city owes its charm to its 18th- and 19th-century buildings.

All the streets in town lead to the Plaza Mayor, on which, overlooked by the campanile of the Convent of San Francisco, two large edifices are worthy of special attention. The Palacio Brunet located on the corner between the church and the Calle Bolávar dates back to the 18th century and provides the most authentic picture of the golden age of the town, and the Palacio Cantero in neoclassical style now houses the municipal history museum.

Elsewhere, other 19th-century public buildings constructed between 1824 and 1857 are landmarks easily identifiable by their size and quality in an area of extremely homogenous streets. Characteristic of the city's domestic architecture are the single-storey houses whose verandas, wide awnings and, sometimes, wood balconies stand out against their polychromatic background of multicoloured walls, with door frames and windows often in a contrasting colour.

The nearby Valle de Los Ingenios is a living museum of the sugar industry, featuring 75 ruined sugar mills, summer mansions, barracks, and other facilities related to the field. The famous Manaca-Iznaga Tower, built in 1816, is 45 m high, and the tolling of its bells once marked the beginning and end of working hours on the sugar plantations.

The central park is composed of four small gardens separated by white-painted cast-iron fences; it is divided by two perpendicular walkways, one of which opens on to two bronze statues of greyhounds, and is adorned with fountains from the beginning of the 19th century. In the centre is a statue of Terpsichore, the muse of dance.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC