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Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.
00:46 • Trinidad
03:27 • Valle de los ingenios
Trinidad is the third city founded by the Spaniards in 1514. It was founded by Diego Velazquez to whom we also owe the cities of Santiago, Sancti Spiritus and Havana. Its official name when it was founded was "Villa de la Santisima Trinidad. The city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
Trinidad is important for its turbulent history like that of many Cuban cities located on the coast. She had to face many pirate attacks. Piracy was the means of struggle between the colonial powers of the time. Some worked on behalf of the English or the Dutch.
Trinidad was the main sugar trading center in Cuba during the 18th and 19th centuries. Who says capital of sugar at that time also says capital of slavery. The sale of sugar produced by free workers has greatly enriched the landowners and many mansions are part of the colonial architectural heritage of this city. Trinidad has not always been a pleasant city to visit, with its cobbled streets and restored buildings.
Valle de los Ingenios
Around the city stretch 3 interconnected valleys, known as the Valley of the Mills. Their names are San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer. Sugar cane, introduced in 1512 by the Spaniards to Cuba, was the only crop in these valleys which would have more than 50 sugar mills and exploit more than 30,000 African slaves. The Africans succeeded the natives decimated by the diseases imported by the conquistadors, as well as the mistreatment that the invaders inflicted on them.
It was also to transport sugar quickly to important ports that Cuba built a railway line, more than 10 years before the first train circulated in Spain. A special line connected the Valle de los Ingenios with Trinidad and the port of Casilda.
Cuba was the world's largest exporter of sugar in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The valley was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the same time as Trinidad because of its historical importance and its testimony to the beginnings of the sugar industry in the West Indies.
Spoken comments in the film:
Trinidad is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Cuba. Located on the south coast in central Cuba, Trinidad was once the most important city in the region for the sugar trade. At the gates of Trinidad extends the Valley of los Ingenios (which means the valley of the mills). It is in this valley that were the large plantations of sugar cane as well as about fifty sugar mills at the time of the splendor of Trinidad.
The towers that we see in the Vallé de los Ingenios are watchtowers. They were built to watch over slaves and prevent them from escaping.
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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of cuban traditional music in "Trinidad & Valle de Los Ingenios, sugar capital • Cuba", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.