The Conquerors called it
Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe in 1514, but the aboriginal name was the
one that prevailed to name the area. Others know
it as the city of large earthenware jars. Camagüey takes pride in having the
largest historical site of Cuba, declared World Heritage Site due to the
excellent condition of its original atmosphere and architecture. Enjoy the
hospitality of Camagüeyanos (Those originally from Camaguey) in their Casas
Particulares (Private Lodging Facilities), listen to them tell their legends
while feeling the air in an inner courtyard, savor delicious traditional dishes
such as Matajíbaro, rice, beef and ripe bananas, and the best cheese of Cuba.
Hike winding streets, narrow cobbled streets, dead end alleys, due to a labyrinthine layout to protect themselves from attack by pirates; sit at any square of the sixteenth century and admire the large windows with wooden bars, the red roofs of the houses, Mudejar arches influence, large earthenware jars in every corner of the city. Camagüey has temples of great historical value. Many also consider it a bastion of the Catholic Church in Cuba.
Visit the image of the Holy Sepulcher, murals and catacombs at La Merced Church, the main altar of San Juan de Dios Church, the baroque frescoes of “Nuestra Senora de la soledad” (Our Lady of Solitude), the Gothic Church: “the Sacred Heart of Jesus” and its spectacular stained glass windows; or the Museum of San Juan de Dios, a former nursing home, which today allows a journey through the history of Camagüey.
The city is also characterized by its culture. Here was born the first Cuban literary work, “Espejo de Paciencia” (Mirror of patience). It has been the birthplace of people such as Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Nicolas Guillen, Fidelio Ponce, Ignacio Agramonte, Enrique Jose Varona, Carlos J. Finlay; and its Main Theater is the headquarters of the important Ballet of Camagüey. If you travel by June, do not miss “San Juan”, carnivals celebrated at the end of the month and in which you can try the exquisite and peculiar taste of “Ajiaco Camagüeyano” (a typical thick sauce originally from Camaguey).
The city has an asymmetric layout that resembles in some places a cobweb. The colonial city preserves its original architecture and atmosphere.