Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Matanzas is a city of many names. "City of Bridges," "City of Rivers," and the "Venice of Cuba," all reference the fact that the city is divided by two major rivers, and connected back together by a series of pedestrian, auto, and rail bridges. Due to its slow pace and laid-back nature, it is also sometimes called Cuba's "Sleeping Beauty." However, the city is probably most proud of its moniker as the "Athens of Cuba," a name reflecting Matanzas's important cultural tradition and history. The first danzón , a languid and lyrical original dance and musical form, was originally composed and played in Matanzas in 1879 by native son Miguel Faílde, and Matanzas has a rich legacy of prominent poets, writers, painters, and musicians. Still, today's reality is that aside from its beautiful old city center, Matanzas is a relatively unappealing industrial port city of only passing interest to travelers. While it is a popular destination for day trips out of Havana and Varadero, there are no notable hotels or restaurants in Mantanzas.

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