Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It is located in the most central region of the province, with a population near a quarter million, Santa Clara is the 5th largest Cuban city by population. Santa Clara was founded by 175 people on July 15,1689, one hundred and thirty-eight of them were represented by two large families already living in the area and, therefore, owners of the land next to the new city. The other 37 came from 7 other families, a priest, the population of Remedios was torn between the option of leaving their city, constantly besieged by pirate attacks, or staying in place. While most of them decided to stay, these 37 persons traveled south and. A mass was given under a supposed Tamarind tree and the city was born, since then, the place under the tree is known as “Loma Del Carmen”. A second generation church exists in a park along the place with a monument commemorating the event surrounded by a fourth generation Tamarind tree. At its beginnings, the settlement was called Cayo Nuevo, then Dos Cayos, Villa Nueva de Santa Clara, Pueblo Nuevo de Antón Díaz, Villa Clara, construction of the city began not far from Carmen’s Hill. Following the Spanish standards, a perfect squared layout with a plaza was developed. The first buildings erected were the Cabildo and a modest palm tree church. This building was enhanced in 1725 to a one, and stayed the center of the Parque Vidal until August 22,1923 when it was torn down in order to expand the plaza. Back then, and still nowadays, this decision, taken by the mayor, was highly criticized, the building, while not a gem of architecture, was not entirely unpleasant to the eye and certainly an example of the older colonial structure in the city. Soon after the foundation, a theater, a chamber of commerce, meeting clubs, public libraries and dance halls were erected as well. The position of the city, almost in the center of the country, made it as a perfect halt. By the 19th century, Santa Clara was bigger and more populated than the rest of the towns around, as a necessary stop between Havana and the east of the country, the city gained the title of Las Villas province capital. Marta Abreus acclaim is due to the projects she and her family promoted through their monetary donations intended to enhance the life of all citizens of Santa Clara. The theater can be admired in one of the corners of the Parque Vidal in the center of the city, Marta was the projects sole financial sponsor. She personally supervised its design and construction, the schools, one for girls and one for boys, were located just behind the theater
Street in Parque Vidal, the heart of Santa Clara city
Tamarind, Santa Clara's tree and foundation of city monument.