Trinidad, Cuba

General Information

Regional secretariat


Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

Registration Year


Historical function

Industry (sugar).

Location and site

Trinidad is situated in south central Cuba and up against the mountainous region of El Escambray. Its port, which has good mooring conditions, opens into the Caribbean Sea.

Urban morphology

The plan developed downwards from the summit, where the Plaza Mayor is located; the ensemble comprises narrow rectilinear streets. Certain arteries radiate outwards from this square and extend outside the city. The streets, which generally intersect at different angles, make up an irregular grid.

The large buildings that frame the Plaza Mayor include a palace, a church and a convent. Early colonial dwellings, churches and convents make up the rest of this uniform urban fabric. The traditional domestic architecture is characterised by multicoloured low houses with roofs inspired by the “Mudéjar” style and wide awnings.

Registration criteria

Criterion (iv) : Shaped by the region’s 18th- and 19th-century sugar industry, the exemplary city of Trinidad owes to sugar its continued existence and its historical raison d’être, which is clearly legible in the existing built environment of the city and the nearby Valley de los Ingenios.

Criterion (v): The Valley de los Ingenios is a remarkable testimony to the development of the sugar industry and a living museum featuring 75 former sugar mills, plantation houses, barracks and other facilities related to this vulnerable industry.

Historical reference

  • In 1518, the port of Trinidad was the point of departure for the expedition of Cortés to Mexico. From the end of the 16th century on, the strategic function of this port city was supplanted by its economic function.
  • On the island of Cuba, the 17th century witnessed the development of cattle rearing and of sugar cane and tobacco plantations. Trinidad became increasingly prosperous as the Spanish demand for these products grew.
  • The sugar industry was established in the Valley of “los Ingenios” at the end of the 18th century. In Trinidad, monumental architecture appeared in the 19th century, at the same time as the sugar factories multiplied in the valley. This was when Trinidad reached the peak of its prosperity as the third largest city in the country. By this time, the urban plan, laid out in the 18th century, had attained its present-day appearance.

Source :



Sra. Tania Gutierrez Fontanills

Asamblea Municipal del Poder Popular

Calle Antonio Guiteras 1 entre José Martí y Francisco Petersen
Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba

[email protected]

Sr. Duznel Zerquera Amador

Oficina del Conservador de Trinidad y el Valle de los Ingenios

Calle Media Luna N° 18
Trinidad, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba

[email protected]