de Cuba - interesting places to visit.
Santiago de Cuba was founded by
Diego Velázquez in 1515. In the first half of the 16th
century it was the country's capital city and the official residence
of the Spanish rulers, until 1553 when the powers were transferred
to Havana. In order to protect the city from the attacks of
corsairs and pirates, in 1633 the Spanish authorities started
building a defensive system of which the Morro Castle and the
cannon pieces of La Socapa and La Estrella have lasted to our
Castle in Santiago de Cuba
Santiagos Morro Castle is a
master combination of both built and natural elements, located on
a steeped hill descending to the sea. It is a World Heritage Site.
The city is surrounded
by the Sierra Maestra mountains and has a particular topography
with narrow streets rendering this city a special atmosphere.
Colonial houses with wooden or iron balconies of fanciful designs
are still preserved. Padre Pico Street is outstanding for its
steeped steps. The former Colonial Square of Arms, currently
Céspedes Park, is located at the center of the town,
and surrounded by relevant buildings as the Cathedral, the Museum
of the Cuban Historical Ambience, the
Town Hall and the
Ayuntamiento in Santiago
early 20th century recently restored Casa Granda
Hotel. One of Santiago´s best attractions are the Traditional
Trova or popular music from the past, Carnivals and Caribbean Festivals.
Close to Santiago, within the lush vegetation of
the Sierra Maestra Mountains, are the remains of many coffee plantations
established by the French planters and their Haitian slaves who
settled here after the Revolution in Haiti at the end of the 18th
century. This immense complex of archaeological landscapes is another
World Heritage Site inscribed by UNESCO. A whole French Haitian
intangible heritage has persisted in Santiago de Cuba to our days.
See other places of Architectural Interest in Cuba:
to Cuban Architecture main page