The area around what is now the city of Cienfuegos was originally called Cacicazgo de Jagua by the indigenous peoples. In 1819, the city became the only one in Cuba to be founded by French immigrants, who arrived from Bordeaux and Louisiana. The city’s original name was Fernardina de Jagua, in honour of the king of Spain, Ferdinand VII but after 10 years it was renamed Cienfuegos as a show of thanks to the Spanish Governor who had originally given the French permission to settle in Cuba.

In 2005, Cienfuegos’ central square was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Imposing structures here include the domed Palacio del Ayuntamiento, the home of the provincial assembly, and the Palacio Ferrer, distinguished by its cupola with blue mosaic decoration. Cienfuegos is also home to a thermal power station and could have been the site of Cuba’s first nuclear power station if the Cubans hadn’t closed the project after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. There must be a law in Cienfuegos that states you can’t paint your house in the same colour as your next door neighbour. Sage greens, light blues, faded yellows and understated oranges all make for a photographer’s delight.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734