The North-South Cuban Axis
prevailing plain in the city of Holguin resembles an irregular
shaped atar with the roads that lead to the four cardinal
points. The urban area, though, has a well defined north-south
axis. Its main streets today called Libertad and Maceo, two
paralel streets where the burg sprouted out in the mid 18th
century lies in the heart of the city whose population of
262.100 inhabitants ranks it fourth in Cuba.
Northern edge matches a considerable chunk of the hills that
slope down into the plains of and the funnel rainfall into
the Cauto River, Cuba's longest watercourse, some 50 km down
to the south. At the base of these hills today called the
Hill of the cross and formerly known as Bayado Park Libertad
and Maceo streets start off and weave up to six different
parks along the way.
of the fact that urban development plans for these first outdoors
spaces harks back to colonial times, further housing and landscaping
works in the burg gave Holguin the name of the City of Parks,
a moniker it's widely known for today.
Its accessible proximity for the neighbors derived in the
Cuba tradition of usually dropping in on these parks. Thus,
the funny chat gatherings were born, get togethers that under
the pretension of warding off the sweltering summertime heat
turned these squared blocks into true means of communication
and even makeshifts grounds for conspiracy buffs for the independence
of Cuba and against the neocolonial dictatorships that took
turns on the saddle later on.
wonder these chat gatherings during the Spanish colonial rule,
brimming with Cuban rebels and criticizers, were nicknamed
gossiping grounds by the hispanic authorities.
A Giant Gathering
a few door stands between the fine arts and handicraft galleries
attached to the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets (FCBC is the aconym
in Spanish) and the jaw dropping museum and building of the La Periquera
on the north side of the Calixto Garcia Park.
the west side, the Cultural House and the gathering grounds of both
professional and amateur artists are located, the place where old
timed troubadours and pop singers, theater performers, dancers,
the fanfare of literary workshops and attendees of other cultural
events develop in their respetive fields.
in the same shadowy porches on this side, passerbys can hear Cuban
melodies and tunes blaring out of the house of the Troubadours.
Not far from there, the Alex Urquiola Provincial Library can be
found, plus another art Galery a few blocks down the street. Sideling
and across from the Calixto Garcia Park, visitors will happen on
the Eddy Sunol Theater, the largest one in the province and host
all major dance, musical and theatrical companies. Holguin's Puppet
Theater is also nearby, as well as the amazing Plaza de la Marqueta.
A Monument to a Hero
by Libertad and Maceo, two parallel streets and across from the
San Isidoro Cathedral in the historic center, visitors will find
a park where a monument to Brigadier General Julio Grave de Peralta
y Zanas Bazan stands tall since 1916
Grave de Peralta y Zanas Bazan soon became a hero of Cuba's first
independence war, the man who conducted to siege of the makeshift
barracks at La Periquera and a brave warrior. This always crowded
public plaza, usually turned into a auditorium for the coveted perfotmances
of the Municipal Concert Band, was built over the outer boundaries
of the city's first ever cemetery once burials were no longer made
inside the San Isidoro Cathedral. Nor far from here, the first houses
in Holguin were built back in the 18th century. Today, some of those
neclassical style house still prevail. The studios of Tele Cristal,
the local TV station, are located near the beautiful Grave de Peralta