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History of the Bariay Monument National Park
You enter the Bariay Monument National Park through the Spanish fort, a small construction that appeared during the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898), entirely built of hardwood and mounted on stilts; with plank flooring, wooden roof lined with palm leaves, which also has loopholes. Inside there are objects that were used by the Spanish in Cuba at that time.
Inside the Bariay Park, the place where the ships of Colón were anchored is marked by a buoy, which has a banner on its upper part with the coat of arms of Admiral Christopher Columbus.
From there, the sailors could see the roofs of the houses of an aboriginal village. From there Columbus ordered anchor and ordered to disembark to reach land and take possession in the name of the Catholic Monarchs.
It was precisely the archaeological excavations carried out by Dr. José Manuel Guarch del Monte (1931-2001) and his collaborators in the Bariay Park – who had previously discovered the village and Taino Chorro de Maíta cemetery – which uncovered the remains of the fishing village that Columbus found on his first trip, and of which a replica has been made, very close to the museum erected right where they were found the archaeological evidence, which offers a sample of the life, customs and way of life of those communities.
From then to here, new archaeological finds have been specified as part of a policy aimed at rescuing the historical and cultural heritage, and enhancing its knowledge, protection and proper management.
Characteristics of the Bariay Monument National Park.
The Bariay Monument National Park is located approximately 37 km from the North coast of the Holguín province. Its natural and historical riches range from its bay and river, scenes from the landing of Christopher Columbus, to its various ecosystems.
Bariay Park has enough attractions, as it has excellent beaches and a very rich and peculiar flora and fauna.
The infrastructure of the park gathers more than three parks and a hundred trails to be traveled through more than 40 kilometers of cliff coastlines, where you can enjoy 13 beaches – such as those of Guardalavaca, Esmeralda and Pesquero -, six bays, three rivers, seven keys, some 170 caves and numerous archaeological sites.
Natural forests and the proximity of the Chorro de Maíta Cultural Recreational Park are added to this. In addition, the site has an extraordinary underwater platform, with several coral reefs and sunken wrecks.
The Baria Monument National Park is a place of historical importance.
The Bariay Monument National Park is a place of historical importance because it is the scene of the meeting between the two cultures: the New and the Old World, an event that occurred with the arrival of Admiral Christopher Columbus and his three caravels: La Niña, La Pinta and La Santa María, on the quiet morning of Sunday, October 28, 1492.
The meeting of the two cultures is remembered there with a commemorative monument erected in 1992, in Punta de Sabaneta, on the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of that extraordinary event.
The monument perpetuates the scientific feat carried out by Christopher Columbus and the expeditionaries who accompanied him on the journey across the Atlantic to reach the American continent. But it is worth noting that it was not erected to the event of the conquest and colonization that continued after the arrival in the New World, events that brought with them the extermination of our native settlers.
Sites of interest in the Park.
The Silla de Gibara and the Mosque of Columbus.
From El Parque Bariay it is possible to admire two of the most striking sites in the geography of Holguín, the mountainous elevations La Silla de Gibara, a mountain named for Admiral Christopher Columbus, due to its resemblance to a saddle on horseback, and the Columbus Mosque, site that recreates a beautiful Andalusian legend.
In the Park there is an interesting archaeological museum that shows the vestiges of the village seen by Christopher Columbus, there has been a replica of it taking as reference the description made in his diary by the Admiral.
Also, in the Ranger House it is possible to appreciate the reconstruction works of the ecosystems that are currently being carried out there and at the same time know the habits and customs of those who protect the forests in the area.
Punta de Sabaneta.
Punta de Sabaneta is located in the eastern part of Cayo Bariay, a place selected for the monument because it is located at the mouth of the bay, which gives it a peculiar landscape beauty as it blends with Cuban nature and the blue of the Atlantic Ocean. sculptural and architectural.
It was in the fine sands of Bariay, the flagship of the Holguín province, that the Admiral set foot on American soil, thus discovering a new world that, in his own words, was “The most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen”.
Five centuries later, those who come to Bariay, in addition to recreating themselves with the knowledge of the historical episode, find the peace and tranquility typical of a singular tourist area, very appropriate for lovers of ecology.
Among its natural values, the Maniabón hills stand out, especially the orographic features of the Mughal form , on serpentine hill formations and the underlying plain.
Baray and its natural viewpoint.
It is then possible to admire in Bariay a spectacle that is hardly repeated on the Island or in the world; to this landscape are added the views of the bay and the panoramic view of the extensive coconut groves of Cayo Bariay from the hill, its natural viewpoint.
Puerto de San Salvador was the name given to the bay where Christopher Columbus made landfall for the first time, thinking that he had arrived in India, which is why the first settlers were named Indians.