Pinar del Rio City was originally called Nueva Filipina but the name was changed in 1778 when the Cuban provinces were founded. It was named after pine groves on the banks of the Guama river. Nowadays, the pines no longer grow there in such abundance, but the fresh air and Colonial atmosphere of Pinar del Rio remain unchanged. Pinar del Rio is also famous for the number of battles fought in the area by General Antonio Maceo in 1896 –1897. These battles were critical to the Cuban victory in the 3rd war of Cuban independence. It's also the main centre for tobacco growing and processing in all of Cuba.