In 2005, UNESCO inscribed the Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos on the World Heritage List, citing Cienfuegos as the best extant example of the 19th-century early Spanish Enlightenment implementation in urban planning. The downtown contains 6 buildings from 1819-50, 327 buildings from 1851-1900, and 1188 buildings from the 20th century. There is no other place in the Caribbean which contains such a remarkable cluster of Neoclassical structures.
The UNESCO citation: The historic town of Cienfuegos exhibits an important interchange of influences based on the Spanish Enlightenment, and it is an outstanding early example of their implementation in urban planning in Latin America in the 19th century. Cienfuegos is the first and an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order, in urban planning as these developed in the Latin America from the 19th century.