The city was founded on April 22, 1819 by French and Spanish settlers under the command of Don Luis De Clouet y Favrot. At the time of settlement, the bay which the town is located by, served as a refuge for pirates and privateers. The streets were laid out forming squares and retains plenty of eclectic architecture with neoclassical decoration.
The Reina Cemetery is an exceptional example of its type, and its architecture is inserted in the prevailing neoclassical in the buildings constructed in the city. Is the only in Cuba that retains its niches for burials.
The Fortress of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Jagua is located at the entrance to the Bay of Jagua. Strategically located at the entrance to the Port of Cienfuegos, this castle was built in the 18th century (1745) to defend Cienfuegos from the assaults of pirates and buccaneers.