Music and Art in Trinidad, Cuba

On the streets, the first group we encountered was “Los Pimos”, playing traditional Cuban music, Trinidad, Cuba; like music groups around the world, they were selling their CDs, in a

On the streets, the first group we encountered was “Los Pimos”, playing traditional Cuban music, Trinidad, Cuba; like music groups around the world, they were selling their CDs, in addition to seeking tips

 

We had the opportunity to hear quite a bit of Cuban (think “Buena Vista Social Club”) and Afro-Cuban music in Trinidad as we walked around town, as well as a performance featuring Afro-Cuban music and dance at Casa de la Música.  On the street we were greeted by musicians all around town, and many groups were playing in paladares and bars.  We stopped in several art galleries featuring local artists in varied media, all reflecting the local culture and traditions.

 

The most interesting art we saw was in this gallery by a local woman who told her stories through teapots (metal sculptures), Trinidad, Cuba

The most interesting art we saw was in this gallery by a local woman who told her stories through teapots (metal sculptures), Trinidad, Cuba

 

The teapot theme continued in watercolors, Trinidad, Cuba

The teapot theme continued in watercolors, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Seeking shelter from the rain under a tree in the square, this guitarist drew a large crowd (mostly tourists who were out walking the streets in the rain), Trinidad, Cuba

Seeking shelter from the rain under a tree in the square, this guitarist drew a large crowd (mostly tourists who were out walking the streets in the rain), Trinidad, Cuba

 

A quartet played through our luncheon at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor, Trinidad, Cuba

A quartet played through our luncheon at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Once it stopped raining, more musicians came out and played around town, Trinidad, Cuba

Once it stopped raining, more musicians came out and played around town, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A trio at the paladar Casa de la Trova, Trinidad, Cuba, where afternoon coffee was popular

A trio at the paladar Casa de la Trova, Trinidad, Cuba, where afternoon coffee was popular

 

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Trinidad, Cuba

A bird_s eye view of Trinidad, Cuba, from the top of the tower in the Historical Museum (a former convent), looking south to the Caribbean Sea, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away

A bird’s eye view of Trinidad, Cuba, from the top of the tower in the Historical Museum (a former convent), looking south to the Caribbean Sea, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away

 

On our second day in Cienfuegos, we traveled by van for a little more than an hour hour to the province of Sancti Spíritus to see the well-preserved Spanish colonial outpost town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988.  Located about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of the southern Cuba coast, Trinidad is known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets.  Aside from the occasional car, it looks as it did in the late 18th and 19th centuries when wealthy sugar merchants built their mansions.  Trinidad’s neo-baroque main square, Plaza Mayor, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings.  The town was founded early in Cuba’s Spanish settlement era, on December 23, 1514. The well known Spanish explorer who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire in Mexico, Hermán Cortés, recruited heavily in Trinidad for his 1518 expedition.  Regarding the contemporary economy, Wikipedia notes: “Nowadays, Trinidad’s main industry is tobacco processing.  The older parts of town are well preserved, as the Cuban tourism industry sees benefit from tour groups.  In contrast, some parts of town outside the tourist areas are very run down and in disrepair, especially in the centre.  Tourism from Western nations is major source of income in the city.”

 

Plaza Mayor, the central square in Trinidad, Cuba, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings and cobblestone streets

Plaza Mayor, the central square in Trinidad, Cuba, is surrounded by grand colonial buildings and cobblestone streets

 

We spent the morning exploring the casco histórico (historic district), walking along the cobblestone streets surrounding Plaza Mayor.  Our lunch was at the popular paladar (privately owned restaurant) Casa de los Conspiradores, just off Plaza Mayor.  Afterward, we enjoyed a private performance featuring Afro-Cuban music and dance at Casa de la Música.

 

Down the street from Plaza Mayor is Convento de San Francisco de Asis, Trinidad, Cuba

Down the street from Plaza Mayor is Convento de San Francisco de Asis, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A local paladar, a family-owned restaurant, Trinidad, Cuba

A local paladar, a family-owned restaurant, Trinidad, Cuba

 

Water delivery to the paladar (restaurant), Trinidad, Cuba; for western visitors, bottled water is the best bet

Water delivery to the paladar (restaurant), Trinidad, Cuba; for western visitors, bottled water is the best bet

 

A typical cobblestone street in Trinidad, Cuba

A typical cobblestone street in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A rare sighting of an American 1950s “classic car” in Trinidad, Cuba; note that the majority of the restored cars in Cuba are to be found in Havana

A rare sighting of an American 1950s “classic car” in Trinidad, Cuba; note that the majority of the restored cars in Cuba are to be found in Havana

 

A view of the street from inside the Historical Museum, Trinidad, Cuba

A view of the street from inside the Historical Museum, Trinidad, Cuba

 

A cobblestone residential street in Trinidad, Cuba

A cobblestone residential street in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A nicely restored colonial era building in Trinidad, Cuba

A nicely restored colonial era building in Trinidad, Cuba

 

A local resident walking home with his fresh loaf of bread, Trinidad, Cuba

A local resident walking home with his fresh loaf of bread, Trinidad, Cuba

 

One of the well-restored colonial era buildings adjacent to Plaza Mayor in central Trinidad, Cuba

One of the well-restored colonial era buildings adjacent to Plaza Mayor in central Trinidad, Cuba

 

Typical tourist ware in a street stall in Trinidad, Cuba

Typical tourist ware in a street stall in Trinidad, Cuba

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.