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The city of Cienfuegos is located on the southern coast of Cienfuegos province.   The capital city of its province, Cienfuegos today has a population of 105,000, and is one of the more rapidly growing cities in Cuba.

As the capital of Cuba's most industrialized province, Cienfuegos is a major hub of industry, commerce, and trade; in fact, Cienfuegos is Cuba's third largest port.  With its expansive, deep bay (la Bahía de Cienfuegos), the city receives much of the shipping business for goods needed by other industrialized cities in the area, especially Santa Clara to the north.  Some of the island's largest oil refineries, cement factories, and steel mills produce the goods that the nation cannot afford to import.

Cienfuegos has always had its place among Cuba's major ports; the cultural influences of international trade have made Cienfuegos' cultural makeup somewhat more varied than is typical of Cuban cities of similar size.  This influence is noticeable everywhere from the cultural neighborhoods (Chinatown, etc.) to the city's architecture, music, and food.

La Bahía de Cienfuegos (Cienfuegos Bay) was one of the first discovered by Christopher Columbus in Cuba.  It developed into a hub for shipping during the 16th and 17th centuries, but the actual city of Cienfuegos was not established until well after the Spanish built a fortress to guard the site against pirate attacks.  Later on, in 1957, Cienfuegos was the site of a student rebellion against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.


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