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Bariay Park, National Monument

Bariay Park, National Monument, approximately is located 37 Km of the North coast of the county of Holguin in Cuba and the same one constitutes a penicayo with an area of approximately 25 Km2, and it is delimited by the bays of Jururú (West) and that of Bariay (East). Its natural and historical wealth goes from its bay and river, scenarios of Cristobel Colon disembarkation, until its diverse ecosystems.

Bariay Park has enough attractiveness, because it has excellent beaches and a very rich and peculiar flora and fauna.

It’s shows up in Bariay Park the following vegetable formations: mangrove, complex of vegetation of rocky coast, complex of vegetation of sandy coast, heath coastal xenomorphic, forest ever green, forest semideciduo, secondary heaths and secondary forests.

In the case of the flora in Bariay Park has been identified a total of 359 species, belonging to 294 genres and 77 families.

The infrastructure of Bariay Park joins more than three parks and a hundred of paths to travel through more than 40 kilometers of steep costs, where it can be enjoyed 13 beaches –like those of Guardalavaca, Esmeralda and Pesquero-, six bays, three rivers, seven keys, some 170 caves and numerous archaeological places. To this it’s joined natural forests and the proximity of the Recreational-cultural Park Chorro de Maíta. The place also possesses an extraordinary submarine platform, with several coralline barriers and flotsam.

From Bariay Park is possible to admire two of the most attractive places in the geography of Holguin: the mountainous elevations La Silla de Gibara, mountain named this way for the Admiral Cristóbal Colón, due to its likeness with a saddle, and Colón’s Mosque, place that recreates a beautiful Andalusian legend.

Today it constitutes a confirmed fact that the bay of bag of Bariay was the first point of our geography touched by La Niña, La Pinta and La Santamaría, the three ships commanded by Cristóbal Colón -reason for which Bariay Park has been transformed into National Monument- and the beauty of its environment gets rich with the rescue of the history and the bold efforts to return its original appearance to the place.

One enters to Bariay Park for the Spanish Fort, small construction appeared during Independence War of Cuba (1895-1898), entirely built wooden hard and mounted on piles; with floor of planks, wooden lined roof of palm leaves that also has loopholes. In its interior objects are conserved of those that used in that time the Spaniards in Cuba.

Inside Bariay Park, the place where it anchored Colón’s ships it is marked by a buoy, which presents a banderole in its superior part with the Admiral Cristóbal Colón's coat of arms.

From there the navigators could see the roofs of the houses of an aboriginal village. From there Colón ordered to toss anchors and he ordered to disembark to arrive to earth and to take possession on behalf of Catholic Kings.

They were, in fact, the archaeological excavations carried out by the Dr. José Manuel Guarch del Monte (1931-2001) and their collaborators in Bariay Park -whom previously had discovered the village and cemetery tainos of Chorro de Maíta- those that put to the overdraft the remains of the village of fishermen that Colón found in his first trip, and of which has been carried out a copy, very near the museum lifted exactly where it’s found the archaeological evidences, which offers a sample of the life, customs and form of life of those communities in Holguin. Of then to here, new archaeological discoveries have been summed up as part of a politics directed to rescue the historical and cultural patrimony, and to develop its knowledge, protection and appropriate handling.

Another important construction, in the extreme more far from Bariay Park and already next to the waters of Atlantic, it is the Commemorative Monument of the Middle Millennium of the Encounter among the Two Cultures, fact that cannot stop to be kept in mind by its extraordinary historical meaning, although it has come loaded with barbarism.

The monument –work of the plastic artist of Holguin Caridad Ramos- presents the ruins of a European neoclassical construction next to the copy of objects made by the native ones and found it in the near excavations, to show in a concrete way the encounter, everything amid an exuberant nature very characteristic of Cuba.