Camagüey is a city and municipality in central Cuba and is the nation's third largest city. It is the capital of the Camagüey Province. After almost continuous attacks from pirates the original city (founded as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe around 1515 on the northern coast) was moved inland in 1528. The new city was built with a confusing lay-out of winding alleys that made it easier to defend it from any raiders. There are many blind alleys and forked streets that lead to squares of different sizes. There is only one exit from the city; should pirates ever return and succeed in entering the city, the hope was that the local inhabitants would be able to entrap and kill them.
In July 2008, the old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but in September it suffered damage as colonial columns were toppled and the ornate sculptures on the roofs of centuries-old buildings were smashed by Hurricane Ike.
The symbol of the city of Camagüey is the clay pot or tinajón, used to capture rain water to be used later, keeping it fresh. Clay pots are literally everywhere, some as small as a hand, some large enough for two people to stand up in, either as monuments or for real use. Local legend has it that if you drink water from a girl's personal tinajón, you will fall in love with the girl and never leave her.
The main secondary education institutions are the University of Camagüey & the Instituto Pedagójico de Camagüey.
In 2004, the municipality of Camagüey had a population of 324,921. With a total area of , it has a population density of .
The Plaza of the Revolution features a bronze Agramonte standing followed by his troops.
Camagüey is also the hometown of volleyball player Mireya Luis
Although it is not the only grammar school in the City, the Preuniversitario, sometimes referred to as "vocational school" IPVCE - Preuniversitario Institute of Sciences Maximo Gomez Baez - is the largest of its kind in the province of Camagüey.
To become part of their enrolment students must take a college entrance exam to complete the preparation of the Basic Secondary Education (7th to 9th grade). During the following 3 years they receive intensive preparation for the next test of entry to University.
The center is so extensive that it receives the category of city school.
Their students, during a period of 3 years (10th to 12th grade), are influenced not only in academia but rather create bonds of brotherhood that accompany a lifetime.
This centre is homologous to others existing in the rest of the country's provinces, and certainly forms bonds of friendship that endures for a lifetime, but on the other hand, separate the formation of a teenager in the family.
In Camagüey (city), for example there are very few possibilities of making high school from externally. With the exception of several schools for athletes (such as ESPA, EIDE & Manuel Fajardo) and The School of Art, and the Military School (better known as Camilitos) the only other option is the IPVCE or pre-university in Sierra de Cubitas (over 100 km from the city), located in the country site, in which students must perform agricultural work such as collecting oranges.
In November 2007 opens IPVCE.org, website dedicated to collecting and alumni of this institution purports to be the meeting point of all vocational transiting through the network.