Manaca Iznaga Tower Architecture, Trinidad. Cuba
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- Valley of the Sugar Mills, Trinidad. Cuba
- Destination: Trinidad
- Open: Daily
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Today one can still admire as a vestige of the ancient grandeur of the surrounding area of Trinidad, the elegant bell tower of the Manacas-Iznaga sugar mill, declared together with the city of Trinidad, a National Monument. One can also see the house of the ancient Bella Vista sugar mill, built in the fourth decade of the nineteenth century by the wealthy Don Pedro Malibrán, in the most severe roman style. Also outstanding due to its authentic native style, is the house of the Guáimaro sugar mill, one of the most productive of that period. Among the remains of the Manacas-Iznaga “batey”, there are some “bohíos” from a settlement of slaves, considered among the largest in 1857. The colourful vegetation of the Valley of the Sugar Mills (Valle de los Ingenios) surrounds these remains of Cuban past with their own magic. The tableau is completed with the Manacas-Iznaga tower, built in 1816.
Mapa de Manaca Iznaga Tower
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Manaca Iznaga Tower is located in Trinidad
As if it were stagnant in time, Trinidad gives the visitor the extraordinary charms of a vivacious museum-city embedded between the sea and the mountain. Trinidad comprises an area of 1 165Km2 and it is located to the center-south of Cuba, facing the Caribbean Sea, in the mountainous skirts of Guamuahaya or Escambray Mountains, belonging to the province of Sancti Spíritus. You can get there by roads that connect it with the rest of the country, and it has an airport for small and medium size airplanes.
Proclaimed World Heritage by UNESCO in 1988, the old Villa de la Santísima Trinidad founded in the 16th century shows togeher with its multiple architectural values, a wealth of traditions and cultures where Hispanic and African traits are combined. A culture of craftsmanship and ceramics has been transmitted notably from generation to generation. In this area the gentle atmosphere of small cities reigns, where the creative capacity and their residents' wisdom have contributed to preserve from the past their most important values.
Together with historical and cultural values of the territory, the attractiveness of the mountainous Escambray area, its beaches and the beauties of its sea bottoms, as well as its people's hospitality, are the particular features of this city. Trinidad is one of those cities that invites you to travel all around them. Its museums, squares and stone-paved streets make it possible to go back in time. Once in the territory you are invited to know the symbolic Manaca- Iznaga Tower, from where you can see the Valley of the Sugar Mills; Ancón and María Aguilar beaches, Caburní Waterfall, the Cave of the Skulls and Zaza Lake, host of periodic trout fishing tournaments. To visit its nearby keys among which Key Blanco of Casilda stands out are of great interest for those who are keen in the art of deep diving.
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Pedro Iznaga built an extensive hacienda in the middle of the San Luis Valley with the fortune he made from the slave trade. He also erected a 44-meter high watchtower close to the main house, from which he could control the slaves who were more than willing to escape. The tower marked the hour by the tolling of a bell and gradually became the symbol of this legendary region. From it, visitors can see a panoramic view of Trinidad.
Manaca Iznaga Tower
Faintly resembling a small Tower of Pisa without the tilt, this tower, erected by the largest slave-owning family in Trinidad (the Iznagas), is a silent memorial of a past characterised by cruelty in the pursuit of riches. Now a well-known local landmark, the tower was built in 1816, reputedly to imprison Alejo Iznaga's unfaithful wife, and contains three bronze bells, originally rung to signify the end of the day's work or an escape by a slave. For a small charge it is possible to climb to the top and enjoy some breathtaking views. Open: daily
“Interesting Little Visit ”
The tower has an interesting legend behind it that I won't ruin with spoilers. As others have said the locals will be on you the second you get out of the vehicle but they do so without being threatening. They're just there to try and beg or sell you something and if you show no interest they move on quickly.... More
“Go by steam train if you can ”
The Steam train was not consistently running while we were in the area so we ended up setting a private tour with a driver, we were glad we did not miss it. My husband loves to climb all sorts of towers and he found lots in Trinidad but I think this was the highest he went and loved it of... More
“Worth the drop in Visit ”
If you're on the road look out for the small sign and turn in here. For $CUC1 they'll watch your car in the minute car park. Ladies will persistently try to sell you (very beautiful) hand embroidered and applique tablecloths but continued friendly "no gracias" works. The site is interesting but very small. Climb the tower for $CUC2. Don't be... More
“A little bit of history ”
A nice wee trip to the tower filled in part of a touring day. You can climb to the top for 1 CUC, might as well since you're there. Nice views from the top and local ladies sell hand made crafts along the avenue to the tower.
“Amazing views ”
No trip to this area would be complete without visiting this tower. The view from the top is spectacular but be warned the climb is steep - very steep - and the upper levels have to be reached by rickety ladders rather than stairs, not for the mobility impaired or vertigo sufferers! The only downside, for me, was the persistent... More
“It's a nice visit on the way ”
Travelling on the way to Trinidad de Cuba, we saw some sugar cane fields and visited this place, which was used when these fields were all around. The tower is nice, the view is beautiful (especially being here just before sun set). It's not very easy to climb..
“A place to visit if you are in the area. ”
A short visit is worth. A nice view from top of the tower, provided you can climb so many steps. good place for som shopping, you can buy nice table cloths and other textile goods. A tour with the steam train is also recommended. Unfortunatelly could not make it.
“Amazing Views from the top of tower ”
I had climbed all the way to the top of this tower on some very loose and rickety wooden steps, this was some challenge; Quite a few tourists were climbing up and coming down these very steep stairs so there was quite a bit of traffic. The views were stunning at the top looking across the vast valleys. Highly recommendable... More
“A must ”
If you are travelling to or from Trinidad it is easy to visit .A baroque style seven storey lockout tower .Gives you an idea of days gone by when it would have been used to call the slaves in from the sugar cane fields ??I didn't climb to the top but people from our tour group who did said the... More
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