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Churches Nominated for Cuban Prizes
The 'Iglesia de la Soledad Church was nominated for the National Preservation Prize, while the complex made up of the 'Convento de la Merced Convent and the 'Iglesia de la Merced Church was submitted for the National Restoration Prize.

Located in the citys historic center, which has just celebrated its 494th anniversary, both religious institutions were refurbished over the last few years, thus restoring them to their former architectural and artistic glory.

Ernesto Guzmán Lastre, director of the provincial office in charge of Monuments and Historical Sites, told AIN news agency that the restoration work carried out at the church was taken into account for the prize. The restoration works, which concluded in 2007, included the three naves of the church, built in 1779

Among the events at the 'Iglesia de la Soledad church, considered milestones in Cuban history, were the baptisms of renowned Cuban poet Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz, a prominent political and military leader of the first Cuban war for independence.

"The complex, made up of the 'Convento de la Merced Convent and the 'Iglesia de la Merced Church was nominated due to its great historical value," said Guzmán Lastre.

The construction of the three-nave church with a central tower was concluded in 1748 and was later refurbished in 1848 and 2004.

Considered one of the best preserved sites of its kind in Cuba, La Merced has a vault-like roof, considered a milestone in civil engineering in Camagúey.

It houses one of the most visited local attractions - a replica of the Holy Sepulcher.

The winers of the national prizes in both categories will be announced on April 18th at the Sevilla Hotel in Havana, on the occasion of the International Monuments Day.


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