Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cienfuegos - French Vibe in Cuba

Hanging out in Marti Park, January 2017.
Cienfuegos is an unusual city in Cuba. It is the capital of Cienfuegos Province, on the southern coast of Cuba. It was settled by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, and therefore has a much more French appearance than other cities in Cuba, which are almost completely Spanish.
My fellow travelers and I only had a few hours in town, and it immediately reminded me of  New Orleans. But the big difference is the historic architecture in New Orleans is largely wood, while in Cienfuegos it is stone. Nevertheless, the arches and shaded sidewalks looked familiar.
Decorative elements have a Beaux Arts exuberance.
Hanging out in Marti Park.
The cultural and tourist center of town is the Parque José Martí, a handsome rectangle with grass, trees, park benches, and a fountain. The prominent buildings face the park, including the imposing Teatro Tomás Terry, built between 1887 and 1889.
The Teatro Terry, between 1880 and 1901, glass negative from the Detroit Publishing Company, from the Library of  Congress:

Teatro Tomás Terry, January 2017.
Casa de la Cultura Benjamin Duarte, with an impressive spiral stair leading into the dome.
Chevrolet, Cienfuegos, Cuba
Cienfuegos does not have as exuberant collections of old American cars as you see in Havana, but they are present in various states of preservation or decay.

Photographs taken with a Leica M2 rangefinder camera with Kodak Tri-X 400 film, developed in Kodak HC-110 developer.

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