Camagüey is a city and municipality in central Cuba and is the nation's third largest city. It is the capital of the Camagüey Province. After almost continuous attacks from pirates the original city (founded as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe around 1515 on the northern coast) was moved inland in 1528. The new city was built with a confusing lay-out of winding alleys that made it easier to defend it from any raiders. There are many blind alleys and forked streets that lead to squares of different sizes. There is only one exit from the city; should pirates ever return and succeed in entering the city, the hope was that the local inhabitants would be able to entrap and kill them.

In July 2008, the old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The symbol of the city of Camagüey is the clay pot or tinajón, used to capture rain water to be used later, keeping it fresh. Clay pots are literally everywhere, some as small as a hand, some large enough for two people to stand up in, either as monuments or for real use. Local legend has it that if you drink water from a girl's personal tinajón, you will fall in love with the girl and never leave her.

The main secondary education institutions are the University of Camagüey & the Instituto Pedagógico de Camagüey. 


In 2004, the municipality of Camagüey had a population of 324,921. With a total area of 1,106 km2 (427 sq mi), it has a population density of 293.8 /km2 (761 /sq mi).

Notable residents

Camagüey is the birthplace of Ignacio Agramonte (1841), an important figure of the Ten Years' War against Spain in 1868–1878. Agramonte drafted the first Cuban Constitution in 1869, and later, as a Major General, formed the fearsome Camagüey cavalry corps that had the Spaniards on the run. He died in combat on May 11, 1873; his body was burned in the city because the Spanish feared the rebels would attack the city to recover his body.

The outline of Ignacio Agramonte's horseback statue in the Park that bears his name is a symbol of Camagüey. It was set there in 1911, uncovered by his widow, Amalia Simoni.

The Plaza of the Revolution features a bronze Agramonte standing followed by his troops.

The city is also the birthplace of the Cuban national poet Nicolás Guillén.

Camagüey is also the hometown of volleyball player Mireya Luis, Gertrudis Gomes de Avellanada (poet) Carlos J. Finlay (doctor and scientist), Silvestre de Balboa (1563–1649), Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, Marquez de Santa Lucia. Studied in Philadelphia, where became an Engineer; served as Mayor of Camaguey. Organizer of the Masonic Lodge "Tinima", and a signatory of the Guaimaro Constitution of 1869 and Jimaguayu of 1895. The park Casino Campestre is located on land donated by him to the City of Camaguey.

Father José Olallo Valdés worked there, and was beatified in the city on November 29, 2008.


The old city layout resembles a real maze, with narrow, short streets always turning in a direction or another. After Henry Morgan burned the city in the 17th century, it was designed like a maze so attackers would find it hard to move around inside the city.


Camagüey has its own international airport, Ignacio Agramonte International Airport. Most tourists going to or leaving the Beach of Santa Lucía do so through the airport.


Although it is not the only high school in the City, the Pre-Universitario, sometimes referred to as "Vocational School" but formally known as "Instituto Pre-Universitario Vocacional de Ciencias Exactas" (IPVCE)Maximo Gomez Baez es:Instituto Preuniversitario Vocacional de Ciencias Exactas - or, in English, Vocational Pre-University Institute of Exact Sciences Maximo Gomez Baez- is the largest of its kind in the province of Camagüey.

To be admitted into the IPVCE, students must take an entrance exam after completing the preparation of the Basic Secondary Education (7th to 9th grade). During the following 3 years they receive intensive preparation in order to gain acceptance to College.

The size of the institution qualifies it as a "learning city".

The students, during the three years period (10th to 12th grade), are influenced by bonds of brotherhood and learning that last a lifetime.

This center is homologous to others existing in the rest of the country's provinces. Students certainly form bonds of friendship that endure for a lifetime. However, on the downside, family bonds could be broken and "traditional" moral attitudes suffer as teenagers spend weeks, away from their family.

In Camagüey City, there are other high schools, as well as schools for athletes ( ESPA, and EIDE ), for artists ( The School of Art ), and the Military High School "Camilo Cienfuegos" ( also known as "Camilitos", in honor of Camilo Cienfuegos, hero of the Cuban Revolution ).

The University of Camagüey, is located in the city, with engineering and basic and humanitarian sciences programs. There are separate university colleges for Medical education (Carlos J Finlay UNiversity of Medical Science) and Pedagogical Science.


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