Cardenas, a maritime city of Cuba, capital of the civil district of its own name, in the Western department, 103 m. E. of Havana; pop. about 11,000, comprising 7,700 whites, 500 free negroes, and 2,800 slaves. This city, situated in one of the finest sugar-producing districts in the West Indies, was founded in 1828; but it has grown so rapidly as to be at present one of the principal commercial centres of the island. The treets are broad, regularly laid out, and lighted with gas; a spacious square in the centre is embellished with a bronze statue of Columbus; and the houses, a number of which have two stories, are neat, well built, and solid. The port, protected by a neck of land stretching N. W. of the city, though shallow, is commodious, and is much frequented by shipping, the loading of which is facilitated by a number of good wharves, extending for the most part a long distance from the shore. Cardenas is the headquarters of the military district; it is connected by rail with Havana and Matanzas in one direction, and with Yucaro in the opposite direction; and several lines of steamers and coasting vessels ply to various other points.
A large proportion of the mercantile community are Americans, to whom the place is said mainly to owe its importance; whence it is commonly called the "American city." The chief exports are sugar, molasses, and some coffee, of the first of which commodities 115,-000 boxes are on an average furnished annually from a single one of the surrounding plantations.