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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Travel

Moron: A Centuries-Old City in Eastern Cuba

Posted August 12, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Travel.
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dtcuba.com

Ciego de Avila province, in the eastern part of the largest Antillean Island, boasts major attractions that support the dynamic development of the leisure industry in that region, visited by thousands of vacationers every year.

Exuberant nature, unique cultural traditions and a centuries-old history go hand in hand to meet the expectations of vacationers, many of whom are interested in visiting the city of Moron.

The city was founded 460 years ago, in May 1543, by families from Sancti Spiritus and seamen who sailed along the province’s northern coast in search of adventures and fortune.

According to legend, there are several stories about the origin of the city’s name, one of which is linked to the foundation of the village on a low hill, which coincides with the geographic definition of “moron”, which means a small mound.

Another story links the name of the city to the fact that one of the first settlers came from the town of Moron de la Frontera, in Seville, Spain, so he named the place after his hometown.

The third version says that Mr. Ramon Moron granted the land where the town was founded in 1525 by decision of Puerto Príncipe’s City Hall.

The centuries-old city is also known as the City of the Rooster, in allusion to a local symbol, based on a legend that dates from Spanish colonial times and that has become a special attraction for tourism.

The city’s buildings are mostly eclectic, including houses with baseboards decorated with different kinds of tiles, in addition to wooden verandas and iron-wrought railings depicting geometric shapes.

Besides, the buildings have plain or decorated architraves and arches, some of which can still be seen in the city’s historic center.

Moron also has a Catholic church, the oldest architectural relic and the only one in the country with a battlemented tower and loopholes on the wall.

The building was used as a military garrison during the wars of independence, the so-called “Guerra de la Chambelona” (Lollipop War) and the latest war for national liberation.

Precisely, in the area in front of the church, the first bullfight in Cuba was held by Spanish bullfighters in 1851.

Among the city’s historic peculiarities are the publication of the first newspaper, “El Faro de Moron”, by Francisco Fernández in 1855, and the first horse-drawn carriage running on the city’s streets that same year.

Many details complement the traditions of the city, which has become an option for the expansion of the leisure industry in the province, which boasts other attractions to develop nature, sun and beach tourism.
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