Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2008
Size of heritage: 54 ha
- Buffer zone: 276 ha

Longitude: -76,081°
Latitude: 21,379°


One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban centre of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. Settled in its current location in 1528, the town developed on the basis of an irregular urban pattern that contains a system of large and minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys and irregular urban blocks, highly exceptional for Latin American colonial towns located in plain territories. The 54 ha Historic Centre of Camagüey constitutes an exceptional example of a traditional urban settlement relatively isolated from main trade routes. The Spanish colonizers followed medieval European influences in terms of urban layout and traditional construction techniques brought to the Americas by their masons and construction masters. The property reflects the influence of numerous styles through the ages: neoclassical, eclectic, Art Deco, Neo-colonial as well as some Art Nouveau and rationalism.

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Historic Centre of Camagüey: A Glimpse into Cuba's Rich History

The Historic Centre of Camagüey, located in the Camagüey Province of Cuba, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a fascinating glimpse into the country's rich history and architectural heritage. Spanning an area of approximately 54 hectares, this historic center is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture and labyrinthine street layout.


The city of Camagüey was founded in 1514 by Spanish colonizers, making it one of the oldest settlements in Cuba. Initially established as a coastal city, it was later moved inland to its current location due to frequent pirate attacks. This relocation led to the development of a unique urban layout characterized by winding streets, narrow alleys, and hidden squares, designed to confuse and deter potential invaders.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Camagüey prospered as a center for trade and agriculture, particularly in the sugar industry. This economic growth fueled the construction of numerous grand mansions, churches, and public buildings, many of which still stand today. The architectural styles found in the Historic Centre of Camagüey reflect a blend of Spanish, Caribbean, and Moorish influences, creating a distinctive aesthetic that sets it apart from other colonial cities in Cuba.

Current State

The Historic Centre of Camagüey remains remarkably well-preserved, with its original street layout largely intact. The city's historic buildings have undergone extensive restoration efforts, ensuring their continued existence for future generations to appreciate. The use of traditional building materials and techniques has helped maintain the authenticity and charm of the area.

One of the most notable landmarks within the historic center is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, a stunning church dating back to the 18th century. Its intricate baroque facade and ornate interior make it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Exploring the narrow streets of the Historic Centre of Camagüey is like stepping back in time. The vibrant colors of the buildings, adorned with wrought-iron balconies and wooden shutters, create a picturesque atmosphere. The city's plazas, such as Plaza del Carmen and Plaza de los Trabajadores, serve as gathering places for locals and visitors alike, offering a glimpse into the daily life of Camagüey's residents.

Today, the Historic Centre of Camagüey is not only a living testament to Cuba's colonial past but also a vibrant cultural hub. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues, showcasing the talents of local artists and musicians. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of the city, enjoying traditional Cuban music and dance performances.

In conclusion, the Historic Centre of Camagüey is a captivating UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the architectural and cultural heritage of Cuba. Its well-preserved colonial buildings, winding streets, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into the country's rich history.