is a city in the Villa
Clara Province in the center of Cuba. Close
towns include Zulueta (to the north), San Juan de los Remedios (to the
northeast), Cabaiguán and Fomento (to the east), and Santa
Clara and Camajuani (to the west). The town
is also known as La Villa
de los Laureles because of its wild
laurel trees. Placetas is also a municipio, one of 13 subdivisions of the
Villa Clara Province. Cuba's geographical center, Guaracabuya, is located
in this municipality.
was founded on September
9, 1861 mainly due to the sugar production industry. Nowadays, the
main produce of the area is tobacco. The main contribution to its foundation
came from Jose Martinez-Fortun y Erles, a Spanish Marques and former colonel in
the Spanish Army. The town is located on the Carretera Central road, which cuts
through the town. The town's position on this road has allowed it to serve as a
stop for many travellers. Placetas has grown considerably over the years, being
declared a town in 1881 and a city in 1925. In 1879 it was established as its
own municipality. Placetas is also known by the great carnavals which take place
in July and Christmas and new years eve.
2004, the municipality of Placetas had a population of 71,837. With a total area
of 601 km². The city proper has a population of 42,000.
is also called, "Villa de los Laureles" due to the characteristic
trees that are planted in strategic places around the town. The city is
registered as the place where the river Zaza is born, the river runs from the
outskirts of the town into the sea. The river Zaza is currently an environmental
preservation area. The area is primarily a sugar producing region, with three
"centrales" sugar producing factories. Placetas also has mayor
railroad industries that operate from its area. The municipality is divided into
the barrios of Cabecera, Guaracabulla, Hernando, Nazareno, San Andrés, Sitio
Potrero and Tibisial.
common with other Cuban towns, the city of Placetas was originally divided in
barrios. These were: Cabecera, Guaracabulla, Hernando, Nazareno, San Andres
Sitio Potrero and Tibisial. Annual celebrations displaying the local pride of
each barrio used to take place until the 1990s, when the government stopped
main Catholic church in the town is called San Atanasio de Placetas, after the
town's patron saint. As of 1996, it had one library, a main post office, three
middle-high schools (13 de Marzo, Rodolfo Leon Perlacia and Julio Antonio Mella),
one police station and many recreational areas. Most of the town's structures
were built before the Communist regime of Fidel Castro, and little of the town
has been renovated since 1959.