Guanabacoa - Encyclopedia




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GUANABACOA (an Indian name meaning "site of the waters"), a town of Cuba, in Havana province, about 6 m. E. of Havana. Pop. (1907) 14,368. Guanabacoa is served by railway to Havana, with which it is connected by the Regla ferry across the bay. It is picturesquely situated amid woods, on high hills which furnish a fine view. There are medicinal springs in the town, and deposits of liquid bitumen in the neighbouring hills. The town is essentially a residence suburb of the capital, and has some rather pretty streets and squares and some old and interesting churches (including Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, 1714 - 1721). Just outside the city is the church of Potosi with a famous "wonder-working" shrine and image. An Indian pueblo of the same name existed here before 1555, and a church was established in 1576. Already at the end of the 17th century Guanabacoa was the fashionable summer residence of Havana. It enjoyed its greatest popularity in this respect from the end of the 18th to the middle of the 19th century. It was created a villa with an ayuntamiento (city council) in 1743. In 1762 its fort, the Little Morro, on the N. shore near Cojimar (a bathing beach, where the Key West cable now lands), was taken by the English.

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