Orgullo (pride) surges through Ciego de Ávila in improbably large doses for a settlement of such diminutive stature. But proud or not, Ciego isn't one of Cuba's more interesting provincial capitals, although its colonnaded streets are attractive enough. Founded in 1840, the city grew up originally in the 1860s and '70s as a military town behind the defensive Morón–Júcaro (Trocha) line; it later became an important processing center for the region's lucrative sugarcane and pineapple crops (the pineapple is the local mascot). Ciego's inhabitants refer to their city as 'the city of porches,' a reference to the ornate, colonnaded house-fronts which characterize the center.
Famous avileños include Cuban pop-art exponent Raúl Martínez and local socialite Ángela Hernández, the rich widow of Señor Jiménez who helped finance many of the city's early 20th-century neoclassical buildings, including the Teatro Principal.
Ciego are currently Cuba's best baseball team, having won the national series thrice since 2012.