Manaca-Iznaga Tower, Cuba

Manaca-Iznaga Tower, Cuba

June 2014 Issue

Manaca-Iznaga Tower, Cuba


Manaca-Iznaga Tower

Looking down from the top of Manaca-Iznaga Tower over the Valle de Los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Cuba, is an experience that was limited to only a few privileged individuals a couple of centuries ago.

Pictured in the April 2014 issue, the tower was built in 1816 by Alejo Maria Iznaga y Borrell, a plantation owner who wanted to make sure others recognized his power and wealth. The bell that hung in the tower announced the start and end of each workday for slaves working in the sugar mills and plantations, but it also sounded an alarm should any of them escape. At one time, more than 30,000 slaves worked in cane sugar mills throughout the three valleys.

A 184-step stairway in the center of the 147-foot tower, 12 kilometers northwest of the town of Trinidad, takes visitors all the way to the top. Divided into seven levels of different geometric shapes, the tower is made of mud bricks and a mortar of lime and sand.

Five correct answers were submitted, and JOYCE RENEE LEWIS of Camano Island, Washington, won the drawing. We thank Diana Butler of El Sobrante, California, for contributing the photo.

Correct answers were submitted by:

T.M. Elefant, San Jose, CA; Wendlandt Hasselle, Tunica, MS; Signe Haugen, San Carlos, CA; WINNER: Joyce Renee Lewis, Camano Island, WA; Mark A. Varnau, Indianapolis, IN.