Trinidad, Cuba - Encyclopedia

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TRINIDAD, a town near the southern coast of Cuba, in Santa Clara Province, about 45 m. south-east of Cienfuegos, and 3 m. from its seaport, Casilda, which lies due south.

Pop. (1907), 11,197. There is a small local railway, not connected (in 1909) with the central trunk line of the island. The city lies on the slope of La Vigia hill (900 ft.) amid higher mountains, and on the banks of the Jayoba (San Juan) river. The streets are narrow, broken and tortuous, and the general aspect of the town is medieval. There are some attractive buildings and a very fine market square. The fine scenery in the neighbourhood, and the climate, which is possibly the healthiest in Cuba, make the place a favourite resort for natives and foreigners. Casilda (pop. in 1907, 1246) has a landlocked, shallow harbour; but Masio Bay, a trifle farther distant, accommodates larger craft; and there are excellent deep-water anchorages among the quays off the coast. The Manati river is navigable for about 7 m. inland, and is used as an outlet for sugar and molasses crops. These and honey are the chief exports; tobacco and various vegetables and fruits are of minor importance. Trinidad is one of the seven original cities of Cuba established by Diego Velasquez. It was founded in 1514 on the coast, but after being attacked by pirates was removed inland. It was thrice sacked by English buccaneers - in 1642, 1654 and 1702; and in the following years, up to and for a time after the peace of Utrecht (1713),(1713), it maintained ships and soldiers. Indeed, throughout the first half of the 18th century it was on a continuous war footing against English corsairs, making reprisals on British ships and thriving at the same time on a large contraband trade with Jamaica and other foreign colonies. In 1818 Casilda was opened to legal commerce under the national and foreign flags.

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