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General Data of the Municipal Museum of Baracoa
The Municipal Museum of Baracoa or Museo Fuerte Matachín, as it is also known, is located northwest of the city of Baracoa, at Punta de Esteban, in front of the inlet of the Miel River, in the opposite direction to the old Fort of Majana. It was inaugurated on October 10, 1981.
It is located in one of the three fortifications that protected the city from attacks by corsairs and pirates during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The museum shows archaeological collections from the aboriginal stage and from the history of the Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa.
There are also samples of the flora and fauna of the place and it reflects the passage of famous people through the city.
Fort Matachín was the second fortification built by royal decree on the island and was part of Baracoa’s defensive system in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It is located in Punta de San Esteban.
At first it was made up of a small battery called Esteban in memory of the place where it is located.
It was a guard post of the Spanish army to register and recognize those who left the Villa or entered it.
From the beginning of the 19th century it began to be called Matachín because two cattle a day were sacrificed there to feed the Spanish troops.
In the pseudo-republican era it served as accommodation for several families.
Characteristics of the Fort
El Matachín was conceived with a main building to house 50 soldiers.
It is surrounded by a wide stone wall with loopholes. It has firm and double walls like the perimeter wall, they are made of masonry 0.62 meters thick with loopholes.
The prop is 3.53 m with a floor level of 0.60 m. Its doors have a spill for better opening.
The roof is made of tiles with a square wooden structure covered in redoblón.
The powder keg is underground with a barrel vault roof, it also has a perimeter corridor with a double wall to deal with impacts. It also has a cistern to collect water.
Archaeological collections from the aboriginal stage and others from the history of the Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, the first founded by the Spanish in Cuba in 1515, are kept and exhibited in the museum.
In addition to reflecting the culture of the city, it collects testimonies of the passage of famous people, such as La Rusa, who inspired the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, turning her into the Vera of his famous novel The Rite of Spring.
Rooms that make up the Museum
In this museum you can find different rooms. Among them are the ones on Archaeology, the one on Conquest and Colonization, the one referring to corsairs and pirates and the one that tells about the French presence in Baracoa.
Others are added that collect a lot of local history, among them are the one referring to the Wars of Independence, the Pseudo-Republic and the Cuban Revolution and the Polvorín, the only one that is preserved in America and the Caribbean.
Baracoa is a city located in the eastern Guantánamo province. It was the first town founded by the Spaniards in Cuba and the country’s first cathedral was erected there.
It is the oldest city on the island and was born with the name of Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa, on August 15, 1511.
Its name is of Arawak origin and means highlands.
It is also known as the First City of Cuba, Landscape City, City of Waters and City of Mountains.
Declared a National Monument, among its natural attractions are the Toa, Yumurí and El Yunque rivers.