National Geographic : 1898 May
CUBA unrepresentative of the local customs and sentiments of pro vincial Cuba. Its commerce is ordinarily enormous, while large pleasure drives, parks, clubs, and public institutions give it picturesque variety. Conspicuous among notable objects are the wharves, fortifications, hospitals, the university, the botanical garden, government palaces, and several churches, including the cathedral, which claims to possess, like Santo Domingo, the re mains of Columbus. This city was founded early in the 16th century (about 1519) nearly 100 years before the first coloniza tion of our seaboard. Until recently it was badly supplied with water, and its sewerage is still abominable. In 1895 a modern system of waterworks was installed by New York engineers, who also prepared plans for the solution of the sewerage problem. The foreign trade of Habana amounts to $50,000,000 yearly, and is chiefly carried on by American steamers. From the city radiate several lines of railway, which bring to it the products of the interior. The only cable connection with the United States is made here. West of Habana there are several small ports, such as Mariel, Cabanas, and Bahia Honda, which are similar in their forma tion to that of Habana, but are places of secondary importance. South and east of the city were flourishing places, the largest of which is Guanabacoa, crowning a hill which commands a fine panoramic view of the capital. its roadsteads and environments. Habana has easy access to the south coast by rail, terminating at the miserable village of Batabano, 25 miles distant, which is an entrepot for the city. Here the coastal cable from Santiago touches and from this point radiate various lines of steamers along the coast and to the Isle of Pines. The second city and seaport of central Cuba is Matanzas, about 75 miles east of Habana. This city was founded in 1693. It is the chief outlet for that part of the sugar region which stretches south and east toward Cardenas, and which includes the most fertile lands in Cuba. The harbor, like many others, through the laissez faire policy of the Spanish government, has been allowed to fill with sediment, and hence the larger steamers are obliged to load in the roadstead.* Cardenas, founded in 1828, is one of the few towns of Cuba which can boast of having been born in this century. It lies on * In view of the strategic importance which Matanzas is assuming in the campaign which has opened since this article was written, the several illustrations given of this vicinity will prove of interest.