The town of "El Cobre" will be declared National Monument for its
heritage and cultural values, said Omar Lopez, the curator of the
eastern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba, who added that this place is
likely to be included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site List, given its
significance in the history of mining, slavery and religion in this area.
During a lecture in the Seventh International Meeting on City Image and
Memories, he gave details on a plan of conservation and management,
which includes several institutions of the territory in the preservation
of this site.
Since the 16th century, "El Cobre" became the most important copper
mining field in Cuba, until its closure in 2001. In 1519, it was also
the place where the first African slaves began to work and where their
first uprisings took place.
The Monumento al Cimarron, located in one of the highest mountains on
the nearby area, pays tribute to those first riots of slaves, and is
included in the Slaves Route sponsored by UNESCO.
The El Cobre Shrine shelters la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, the
patroness of Cuba, which is worshiped by thousands of Cubans and
foreigners in rituals that date back to the 17th century.