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Wandering on the urban labyrinth of an unvisited city, walking down its streets, being amazed by the new findings and pleased for the place that has fulfilled general expectations, are reasons that match with the city tourism nowadays.

It is also gratifying to make a halt in a plazuela (1), sit down on a bench under a tree, query on somebody’s address, without being burglarized in this peaceful city.

This is the city tourism that any visitor can enjoy in the old Villa de Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, today Camagüey.

Alleys and Back Streets

Alleys and back streets of the city of Camagüey, a 495-year-old city, has the largest colonial area in the Island, which is the best-preserved area within Cuba.

A joined effort by the Office of the City Historian, the local government and the people from Camagüey have made possible the conservation of this old, welcoming, traditional, proud and cultivated city.

The town features 60 alleys, all of them with their own history that make them beautiful and interesting for those who scout original relics.

The smallest one, Tula Oms alley, or the Alley of the Misery as it is also known is located in the Bedoya square, and it is 15 meters in length, and 3.80 meters width. Simply, a curiosity for the one who collects interesting data.

The Callejón del Cura, that is the Priest's Alley or the Alley of the Silence, is the narrowest street in the whole nation. This curious lane is located between Plácido and May 20th streets, and it is so tight that is only 1.40 meters wide. A road only recommended for thin people and for those who do not suffer from claustrophobia!.

About Names and Forms

The Callejón del Cura, that is the Priest's Alley or the Alley of the Silence, is the narrowest street in the whole nation.Aruca, Alegría, Apodaca, Soledad, Triana, Cucaracha, San Juan Neponuceno, Risa, Tío Perico, Káiser, Cañón, Cuerno...are some familiar names for those who visit the city, shoot photos in corners and appreciate the worn-out bricks and the paving stones which have gone dark for the passing of the years.

At the beginning of the colonial age, the roads and streets adopted the names of the people who used to live or work on them. So, nowadays we can find streets with the following designations: Los Martínez, Las Micaelitas, Los Ángeles, Los Sacristanes, Cárcel and El Templador.

The Callejón del Cuerno (Alley of the Horn) has a special shape. It is like the horn of an ox, it is curved and its width goes from wider to thinner.

Why Does Camagüey Have this Outline?

Callejón Funda del Catre (case of cot) compare the man and the width of the alley Many people have written on the strange urban structure of Camagüey city. Its narrow and serpentine streets, its labyrinthine arrangement and its amazing small squares delight the visitors who fall in love of their secrets and styles.

Some authors have characterized the town as a medieval city. In the very beginning the dwellers, in their need to protect themselves, built the villages with these features and always next to the rivers.

Another reason to define Camagüey as a medieval city is its natural growth, since it was not designed previously by the Spaniards that settled down here. They recalled their old villages in Spain and did something similar on the virgin plains of this territory.

The construction of several Roman parish churches contributed to widen the squares and plazuelas (1). That is why, the city of Camagüey is also known as the City of the Churches.

Today the town has grown, but the Old City is still the main treasure for the inhabitants of this place like a gift the past left to them as well as to the national and foreign tourists.

For them all, the beauty and authenticity of this old city.

(1) plazuela: A typical small square of Cuba’s colonial cities where their founders built Roman chapels and churches.


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