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Cienfuegos, Cuba: Its lost (and found) palaces
In addition, close to it, two other palaces (in excellent condition) are worth a look. The first one is the Palace Club Cienfuegos. This neoclassical palace now houses the Cienfuegos Yacht Club, a tennis court and a bar-restaurant. Close to it, the Hotel Palacio Azul is a beautiful neoclassical blue palace surmounted by a cupola. From the cupola, very nice view over the city. If your wallet says "ok", you can stay there!But the jewel of Punta Gorda is the Palacio de Valle. It is an incredible Arabic style palace. It was built in 1917 by a Spanish (Alsisclo Valle Blanco), with a creative architectural style. Batista wanted to transform it into a casino. Nowadays, the palace is a restaurant. You might be lucky enough to meet Carmencita Iznaga, who is a pretty but no longer young Creole woman. She will surely play the piano for you, with one (or more) glass of rum. Then she will try to sell you her CD. You would be wrong to refuse to buy it. Finally, return back to the center of the city, to discover the ruins of the imposing Colegio de Jesuitas Palace. This palace was built in 1884 by the Jesuits. It is now half abandoned and falling apart into ruins. These are some of the best palaces to discover in Cienfuegos. But if you look, you can explore and discover some others in that city, and much more in Cuba.
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Augustin Marck is the founder of the ExploGuide travel database, a website dedicated to travelers who want to discover off the beaten track locations. He now runs the site and its member community. Passionate about travel, Augustin is also a freelance writer for travel blogs, and for another travel website dedicated to his native Provence region in France.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author
Published: June 26th, 2013
Updated: August 7, 2016