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Cuban architecture

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba Province is the second most populated province in the island of Cuba. Santiago de Cuba province has been the site of many battles, both during the war for independence and the 1959 Cuban Revolution, where much of the guerrilla fighting took place in the mountainous province. Prior to 1976, Cuba was divided into six historical provinces. One of these was Oriente province, which was, prior to 1905, known as Santiago de Cuba province. The present day province comprises the south-central region of Oriente.

The province is rich in material resources such as iron and nickel. The economy, however, relies mostly on agriculture, with large plantations growing bananas, cacao and coffee dotting the landscape. Industry is growing around the capital, as is tourism. The natural beauty of the area is attracting many tourists from both the rest of Cuba and from overseas.

Its most dominant geographical feature is the Sierra Maestra mountain range which runs from Niquero near the Gulf of Guacanayabo to east of Santiago de Cuba past the Gran Piedra National Park. The country’s highest elevation, the Pico Real del Turquino, forms part of this range. Cuba’s second city is hot, hilly and exhausting but at the same time seductively languid. Built on a sequence of hills overlooking a large bay with the Sierra Maestra in the background, it is certainly one of Cuba’s most picturesque cities.

The territory is also known for its patriotic history: it was here that some of the most important events in Cuba’s revolutionary history took place, and it is here, at El Cobre, that the shrine of the Virgin of Charity, Cuba’s patron saint, is located. Santiago has the necessary infrastructure to become a major site of tourism of events and congresses. And its mountainous and maritime surroundings render it appropriate, too, for the enjoyment of nature tourism and tourism of adventure as well, for nautical activities, cruising, and health tourism.

Places to go:

  • CÉSPEDES PARK: This park is no a doubt the most lively place in the city. it is surrounded by buildings of great architectural value, from the Diego Velázquez House and Museum to the cathedral, the old City Council ,The Casa Granda Hotel, Casa de la Trova and the Bacardí Museum.
  • PADRE PICO STREET: Is the only street that turns into stairs in Cuba. It sets the boundaries between the lower and the upper Santiago and reaches all the way to the well-known neighborhood of Tivolí, site of the famous Santiago Carnivals.
  • CASTILLO DE SAN PEDRO DE LA ROCA DEL MORRO: Military fortress of Roman style .Its construction began in the 16 century, but it was not completed until more than two centuries later. Today it houses the Museum of Piracy.
  • SANTA IFIGENIA CEMENTERY: One of the most important funeral monument of Latin American and the Caribbean.
  • SANTUARIO DE LA VIRGEN DE LA CARIDAD DEL COBRE:Is only 18 kilometers from Santiago de Cuba city, the basilica stands on top of a hill. It treasures offerings of the most dissimilar origins, among them the gold medal that Ernest Hemingway was presented with in 1954 he won the Nobel Prize of Literature.
  • LA GRAN PIEDRA:  Ideal  for climbing and for flora and fauna observation.
  • ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM LA ISABELICA: This ethnographic museum is located at  the house of an old French coffe estate, one of many that existed at La Gran Piedra.
  • BACONAO: Declared by the UNESCO as a Reserve of the Biosphere.
  • SIERRA MAESTRA NATIONAL PARK: An ideal scenario for mountaineering.

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