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98km (61 miles) E of Havana; 40km (25 miles) SW of Varadero
Matanzas is a city of many names: City of Bridges, City of Rivers, and the Venice of Cuba. They all refer to the fact that the city is divided by two major rivers, and connected back by a series of pedestrian, auto, and rail bridges. Due to its slow pace and laid-back nature, Matanzas is also sometimes called Cuba's Sleeping Beauty. However, the city is probably most proud of its moniker as the Athens of Cuba for its pivotal role in the development of poetry, theater and music on the island.