08/14/13 - Solvisión - Baracoa 502 years of history and traditions
The city of Baracoa is celebrating its 502^nd birthday on Wednesday, August
15^th, with a long history, tradition and the legacy left by the Spanish,
African and native indigenous communities.
Located in the northeastern part of the Cuban province of Guantánamo,
between the Bays of Baracoa and Miel, it was the first city set up by
Spaniards in Cuba on August 15, 1511 and the headquarters of island's first
Named Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa by Spanish
conqueror Diego Velázquez, Baracoa is also known as the City of Landscapes,
the City of Rain, the City of Mountains, the City of the Waters or the
capital of wood, coconut and cocoa. Its name means "existence of the sea"
in the Arauac indigenous language.
The history of Baracoa, however, did not start on August 15, 1511, but on
November 27, 1492, when Christopher Columbus arrived in the area and,
amazed by its beauty, wrote in his dairy: "it is the most beautiful thing
in the world...Walking through the landscape was a wonderful thing, I
didn't want to go because of its trees and freshness, and its crystal clear
water, and the birds and beauties."
There is a unique material evidenceof that encounter: La Cruz de la Parra,
the cross that Admiral Christopher Columbus thrust on the ground four days
after its arrival in Baracoa and later found by Spanish conqueror Diego
Velázquez and its expedition members. It's the only existing cross of the
29 planted by Columbus during its voyage to Baracoa: 502 Anniversarythe
Americas. Its authenticity has been scientifically certified. In the 16^th
century, Bishop Morell de Santa Cruz ruled that the cross be transferred to
one of the altars at the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de
Baracoa, where it can still be admired.
Five centuries have passed and Baracoa still preserves the unequalled
beauty that Columbus found in the area. Baracoa's relief is predominantly
mountainous, including El Yunque, a small plateau named that way due to its
vertical slopes and flat summit. It is characterized by its biodiversity
and its flora and fauna are highly endemic, a natural paradise that
immediately seduces nature lovers.
500 years after its founding, Baracoa is one of Cuba's most beautiful
areas. It's not a great Spanish colonial city characterized by a thrilling
architecture and broad avenues or squares, but its streets still preserve
their original design and its wooden architecture is unique.
Located at the foot of a clean bay, Baracoa is a very Caribbean city of
sinuous streets and happy life. Residents live off forestry, cocoa, coconut
and coffee production.
Baracoa can be reached by plane from the Cuban capital or other eastern
Cuban cities, such as Guantánamo,through La Farola road, one of the most
beautiful and thrilling roads in the country. Lately it is known as one of
the sites where the famous Cuban film Honey for Ochúnby renowned Cuban
Director Humberto Solás was shot.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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