Chapter

Athens of Cuba

MIGUEL A. Bretos

in Matanzas

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813038100
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041568 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813038100.003.0008
Athens of Cuba

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At the heyday of the nineteenth-century sugar boom, Matanzas's civic boosters launched a campaign to have the city recognized as “the Athens of Cuba.” The idea may well have been inspired by Boston (known as the “American Athens”), a city with which Matanzas had close commercial ties. There was, in fact, some substance to the boast. From early on, Matanzas developed important cultural institutions such as the Liceo Artistico y Literario (1859). Education was prioritized. In fact, La Empresa School, an initiative of prominent local educators, was authoritatively considered the best in Spain and her colonies. Matanzas, moreover, fostered distinguished literary talent such as that of Jose Jacinto Milanes, a romantic poet and playwright.

Keywords: Liceo; Boston; education; La Empresa; Milanes

Chapter.  6545 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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