The area was called the Cacicazgo de Jagua by the early Spaniards, and was settled by indigenous people.
The city was settled by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, led by Don Louis de Clouet, on April 22, 1819. Its original name wasFernardina de Jagua, in honor of Ferdinand VII of Spain. The settlement became a town (Spanish: Villa) in 1829, and a city in 1880. The city was subsequently named Cienfuegos, sharing the name with Cienfuegos, a Captain General in this time, in the island.
In 1969 and 1970, Soviet Union naval vessels visited the city. This appeared to be in violation of the Kennedy-Khrushchev agreements of 1962. However, there was no notice given by the United States, and no confrontation ensued.
Castillo de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua - fortress
Arco de Triunfo - the only Arco de Triunfo in Cuba
Cathedral de la Purisma Concepción - cathedral with stained glass work, built 1833-1869.
Delfinario - dolphins and sea lions in a saltwater lagoon
Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos - 97 hectares of botanic garden
Museo Provincial - furniture and porcelain museum
Palacio de Valle - built 1913–1917 in neo-gothic style
Palmira Yorubá Pantheon - museum of religious afro-catholic syncretism
Parque José Martí - park in Plaza de Armas
University of Cienfuegos "Carlos Rafael Rodríguez" (UCF) - the province's secondary education institution.
Rancho Luna Beach
Sunset at Rancho Luna Beach