Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


The Athenian spirit of the city of Matanzas II (+ photos and video).

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 21 agosto, 2018

The Matanzas 325 comprehensive rehabilitation plan has not lacked thrust during the last phase of its development. It is true that just two months separate us from the birthday celebration of the Athens of Cuba but, without falling into triumphalism, the image of the city of Matanzas is far from the one that, years ago, worried, saddened and angered many people from Matanzas and visitors.

There is political and governmental will, the projects in execution have budgets whose assignment is stable and according to the demands and, although there have been deficiencies in the compliance of some processes, in a general way the reconstructive tasks advance.

Among the difficulties that were faced to the 90 workers of the non-agricultural cooperative Cabildo, in charge of the rehabilitation of the former building of the Land Customs, today headquarters of the Office of the Conservator, is the treatment of the roofs, due to its bad state of conservation.

“We work on almost all fronts mainly in the subject covered. We have all the forces and resources necessary to complete the task.”Regarding the structural part of the building, we comply with the schedule in the masonry works. We do not have problems to deliver the building in the month of August, if all supplies arrive on time.

“In order to develop the difficult restoration of the roofs, we lifted the tiles and roofing paper that was in poor condition, repaired the structural elements of wood, replaced the boarding and relocated the paper and the slats that serve as support for the tiles and protected the covers before the inclemencies of the time “, explained Leovigildo Castillo Moreno, Head of Works of Cabildo.

The recovery of the roofs is a complex process, in addition, by the construction techniques used in the first neoclassical building built in Cuba. We also work on the restoration of the facades. The workers maintain the commitment to delivery, despite the challenges imposed on them every day by a heritage work of important dimensions, confirmed José Samé Lamurú, among the most experienced carpenters of those dedicated to the rescue of buildings.

“The greatest difficulties arose because the roofs were very damaged: it had termites and in some places the wood was rotten. Our maximum commitment is to comply with the work schedules so that the work is ready for the city’s birthday, that is our main motivation. ”

Juan Carlos Benítez referred to other difficulties that occurred in the work of masonry. “We had to take very complex actions. We demolish many interior structures that were added over the years to the building. They were uncomfortable jobs, which involved dangers for the workers. ”

Edgar Eleven, carpentry assistant, from his youth understands the high responsibility that represents to assume a work of patrimonial restoration. “It is an important challenge not only for me but for the entire cooperative. We are facing a very old work, built in 1826. The form, the style and the construction techniques of that time represent a constant challenge. The level of deterioration that we found was incredible and we did not have restoration experiences as deep as this, but we face it and today the face of the property is very different. ”

As it was observed, the pace of work is strong and, to date, they have the necessary resources and materials to meet the schedule, said Renny Pérez Masó, Project Director of the Matanzas 325 Plan. “We sat down with the direction of the cooperative Cabildo and we present a program that ends in the month of August.

“That allows us to have the month of September and the first 12 days of October for the start-up of the system and some details that have to be repaired. The most complicated activity is the multipurpose room that will have a capacity for 131 lunettes, but it is already contracted with the artists of the Cultural Assets Fund “.

Among the priorities in each area of ​​work highlights the safety of operators and the proper use of means of protection, Juan Carlos Benítez. “We have all the resources to protect us: ropes, helmets, work uniforms, tools in good condition. Without them nobody can climb any scaffolding to work, “Samé Lamurú added that” although we have all the means of security, we must always be careful to preserve life. ”

After a history that has accompanied the city through the centuries, the former building of the Land Customs of Matanzas, the oldest neoclassical building on the island (1826), is a faithful testimony of the beauty with which the first city was conceived modern of Cuba.


The appearance of  Narváez river walk has varied radically, a fact that can be seen by those who daily move this heritage area of ​​the city of Matanzas. Where before was a continuity of dark streets, transformed into garbage dumps, with little or no visual appeal, today the lights of a city that reborn at each step appear.

“This was a very abandoned space from the early twentieth century to the present because it originally belonged to areas of automotive workshops, garages. We were neglecting one of the best landscaping and urban areas of this city with a permanent river, large, because it crosses the neighborhoods of Pueblo Nuevo and Matanzas.

“The specialists of the EMPAI made a very interesting project and already today the Narváez area seems another site. Here they have recovered areas where before there were dumps that contaminated the river, deepened Leonel Pérez Orozco, Conservator of the City of Matanzas.

Gastronomic and technological services and varied cultural options in which the artists of the city will come together, join the extraordinary landscape that distinguishes the area interríos in Matanzas to become one of the most welcoming and beautiful sites of the City of Bridges.

“It will have a tavern, cafeterias, a room with 3D services for those interested in learning about the natural and urban heritage of the city, unique in the country, one of the four squares of artisans that the city will have, the Ciber Café with provision of gastronomic and technological services. Besides will be added the gallery workshop of Osmany Betancourt (Lolo) and other artists who will be included in the cultural proposals with their works.

The project aims to organize the area from cultural initiatives in the garages, homes, buildings and public spaces of Narvaez. “The decorative elements take into account the trees, the lights, the benches. Undoubtedly we are in the presence of one of the best areas of the city for walking and rest, a cultural enclave where artists and craftsmen will have their space “.

The work that is undertaken in the Narváez river walk represents a happy sample of the balance and beauty that the historic center of Matanzas, National Monument (2013), will exhibit in its totality, after the rehabilitation actions of the Athens of Cuba conclude.

The parking lot of the historic center, with space for about 30 cars, has been completed, while efforts are now focused on the construction of administrative offices and dressing rooms that will belong to the Sauto theater at the intersection where Medio and Ayllón streets meet,  by La Concordia cooperative.

Matanzas, the city that the world was  lack of.

Landscape and urbanism complement each other to make this one of the most beautiful cities of Cuba.

…Video  on line.















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