de Cuba (ca. 500' innbyggere) er hovedstaden i provinsen Santiago
de Cuba, og ligger i det sørøstlige hjørnet
på Cuba (se kart
884 kilometer fra hovedstaden Havana.
de Cuba dekker et område på 1024 km² og
har innenfor sitt område kommunene Antonio Maceo, Bravo, Castillo Duany, El
Caney, Guilera, Leyte Vidal og Moncada.
byen har lenge vært den nest viktigste byen på Cuba etter
Havana, og fremdeles
er den størst, og er en viktig havneby.
Castillo del Morro
de Cuba ble grunnlagt av spanske Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar 28.
juni i 1514.
I 1516 ble nesten hele
bebyggelsen brannherjet, men ble omgående gjenreist. Dette
var utgangspunktet for ekspedisjoner som ble ledet av Juan de Grijalba og Hernán
Cortes til kysten av Mexico i årene 1518, og i 1538 av Hernando de Soto 's
ekspedisjon som gikk til Florida. Den
første katedralen i byen ble reist i 1528. Fra
1522 til 1589 Santiago ble hovedstad i den spanske kolonien av Cuba. Videre
i historisk sammenheng ble byen
i 1553 plyndret av franske
styrker, etterfulgt i 1662 av britiske
styrker under ledelse av Christopher
slutten av det attende, og i begynnelsen av det nittende-århundre opplevde Santiago
de Cuba en stor tilstrømning av franske innvandrere. En stor del av disse kom
"via" Haiti. Som en naturlig følge av denne invandring har byen en variert
og rik kultur.
var også oppholdstedet til revolusjonshelten Frank Pais. En sen
julidag i 1953 startet den cubanske
revolusjonen med et væpnet angrep på Moncada
kaserner ledet av Fidel
The Cathedral of Santiago (Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción)
1955 innledet organisasjonen til Pais et nært og viktig samarbeid med
Castro. Dette førte til at País ble
leder for den nye organisasjonen i Oriente-provinsen .
Fidel Castro seier av den cubanske
revolusjonen fra en balkong i Santiago de Cuba's city hall.
et "rearrangement" av provinsinndelingen i landet i 1976 var Santiago de Cuba
provinshovedstad i den tidligere Cubanske provinsen Oriente
som den gang innkluderte de nåværende provinsene Holguín,
Granma og Santiago
The feast more representative in Santiago de Cuba is without
doubt the Carnival, which is not celebrated in the pre-Lenten period (February
or March) such as at the rest of the world. Here the carnival is celebrated in
July when in Cuba it is summer.
Nevertheless the carnival was brought to Cuba by Spanish colonists and at the
beginning it was celebrated in winter, but the actual feast began to celebrate
in the XVII century and it is related with the religious holidays of St. John
(June 24th), St. Peter (June 29th), St. Christine(July 25th), St. James Apostle
the patron of the city (July 25) and St. Anne(July 26).
Since that time the feast also has been called “Fiesta de los Mamarrachos”
(party of crazies) and it was a good excuse to dance and drink large quantities
of alcohol. In that time the feast was supported mainly by black slaves who
found in the carnival a perfect excuse to enjoy few days of happiness. Then the
white men of Santiago began to call to the carnival Fiesta de los
Mamarrachos” because of the participation of the black people. In the
XIX century the carnival of Santiago was already the main feast of the city and
many of the actual traditions like eating “ajiaco”, “empanadas”,
“roast pork” or wearing costumes and masks were already installed.
Now the parades and the street performance of “Comparsas” (groups of dancers
and musicians) are the main traditions of the Carnival. Although today the samba
and others features of the Brazilian Carnival have influenced so much the
Santiago’s Carnival. Then it is common to see beautiful girls with tiny
garments dancing in the streets such as the carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
Nevertheless American traditions like the Mardi Grass and Spring break also have
influenced the feast, but the Cuban flavor continues to be the trademark
of this carnival.
The carnival lasts three days (officially) and it serves also to commemorate the
beginning of the revolution on July 26. During this time you can see since
traditional “barrio congas” and “masked devils” until rock concerts, in
addition to colored costumes and representations of Orishas (Gods of
African descent). The main activities of the carnival are organized along “Jesús
Mendez” and “Victoriano Garzón ” avenues.
Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival)
This is a festival in honor to “Caribbean Culture” which is a prelude of the
carnival. The fire feast usually is celebrated the first week of July. Every
year the feast is dedicated to a Caribbean country, so artists from this nation
travel to Santiago and present their show in the feast. The feast offers a great
variety of entertainment like traditional bands and music, sound systems
playing, processions of decorated cars amongst others. During this feast the
entire city seems as a big dance party.
Others festivals are:
Festival de Rumba (mid January)
Day of St. John (on June 24th)
Festival Bolero de Oro (a music festival after carnival)
of Santiago de Cuba (Emilio Bacardi)
This is one of the most ancient museums in the Island, now it is called
“museum Emilio Bacardí” in honor to a famous industrialist who was
associated mainly with the Rum industry and whom the museum owes many of its
collections since this man was who bought the most part of museum’s pieces.
The museum has a important hall of archaeology which saves many pieces of famous
and ancient cultures mainly from South America and Egypt. The highlights in this
hall are the mummies of the Peruvian culture Paracas and the Egyptian mummy (it
belong to a women and it is almost two thousand years old) which were brought
from Luxor (former Thebes and Capital of ancient Egypt) by Emilio Bacardi
The museum also owns a very important and complete collection of colonial
paintings as well as several historical objects used in the Independence war
like a torpedo which was used against the Spanish in the XIX century.
The museum is located at “Pio Rosado” street and opens from Tuesday to
Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00 and Sundays from 9:00 to 13:00.
This building is completely dedicated to Antonio Maceo the greatest hero of the
Cuban Independence War and was constructed during the first third of the XIX
century. The house has a simple style; its walls are made of twigs covered with
lime and sand. This place was the site in where Maceo was born on June 14, 1845
and now saves several objects which belonged to Maceo and pictures of his feats.
Antonio Maceo fought against the Spanish between 1868 and 1895 and his most
prominent interventions are “the Baragua Protest” where he refused to
surrender after 10 years of war and the “East to West invasion” this last is
one of the greatest military feats in the Cuban history. Finally Maceo was
killed in 1895 just before the final battle against the Spanish troops when he
was 51 years old and had dedicated 32 years of his life to the Cuban
The museum is situated at 207 “Los Maceo” street and opens from Monday to
Saturday between 8:00 and 18:30. Besides, the Antonio Maceo museum you can visit
also the monument in honor to Antonio Maceo which is a impressive sculpture,
perhaps the most beautiful in the city.
It works in the former house of Mariano Gomez who was treasurer of the company
Bacardí , the enterprise that produces the famous rum which has the same name.
Its halls tell us the history of the Sugar industry in Cuba as well as the
invention and evolution of the rum. Besides, the museum owns a impressive
collection of Barrels of aging, bottles and labels. The place is located at 358
“San Basilio” street.
The halls of this museum are whole dedicated to the Santiago de Cuba’s
Carnival history. The museum owns a beautiful collection of costumes, musical
instruments and photos related with the Carnival feast, the more important
festival in Cuba
The museum works inside the famous Morro Castle and is dedicated to the Piracy
history in Cuba. The place of the museum is absolutely ideal since this place
was constructed in XVII century to defend the city against the pirates.
The museum has several samples of piracy attacks that happened in Santiago de
Cuba like the attack did by the French pirate Jacques de Sores who attacked the
city in the XVI century with 4 ships and took 80000 gold pieces. The museum
opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 to 18:00.
This national monument was the point which was used by Castro and his men to
hide the night before the attack to Moncada Barracks on July 26, 1953. The fact
that marked the start of the Cuban revolution. This farm is located at the
outskirts of the city at Km 13.5 “Siboney” road and saves a collection of
objects and documents related to these events. You can sit this place from
Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00.
It is located in a former French Coffee Plantation to east of the city, in
where usually worked landowners from Haiti. This beautiful house owns a
collection of furniture, farming implements and some archaeological objects that
were found in the zone. Besides, it is a great location because usually there is
a good weather and a wonderful view of the “Sierra Maestra”(the biggest
peaks range in Cuba). It is situated at Km 14 “la Gran Piedra “road and you
can visit this place from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00.
Santiago de Cuba Nightlife
Talking about Cuba is talking about nightlife and obviously
Santiago is not the exception. Santiago has a very agitated night on which music
and joy always are present.
There are a great number of nightclubs and bars, where you can dance to the beat
of delicious Cuban music or only hear the beautiful Cuban “Trova” of famous
singers like Pablo Milanes, Aute or the great “Silvio Rodriguez” the
greatest icon of the Cuban Music after the revolution.
One of these wonderful places is without doubt “La casa de la Trova”
house) where you can hear the best selection of the Cuban music within the walls
of this legendary live music venue, which is a meeting place for Cuban music
lovers. In this local usually play great Cuban musicians like Buena Vista
Social Club or Eliades Ochoa. Besides, the house has a nice view from the
balcony on the street life at night. This place is situated at 304 “Heredia”
street between “Pío Rosado” and “Porfirio Valiente”. Admission costs $1
same as drinks. It is a great place for to take a “Mojito”.
But if you prefer a environment more intimate, you could go
to “Casa de las Tradiciones” (Traditions’ house) in the “Tivoli”
district also known as “La Casona” by Santiago citizen. There the walls are
decorated with many paintings and photos. This local also has a nice dance
floor. Don’t worry if you don’t know to dance, the persistent Cubans without
doubt will teach you. "La Casa de las Tradiciones” is located at 154
"Rab"i street and you can pay $1 for entry.
The “Tropicana” of Santiago (National Highway Km 1.5) is
another exciting place in where to spend the night. This cabaret is less
expensive than the “Tropicana” of La Havana and presents a similar Show,
here admission costs $35. Nevertheless there are several others cabarets cheaper
than it like “San Pedro del Mar”; there admission only costs $10 for a
couple or Santiago Café where the cover is just $5.
Other nice places in Santiago are:
La Casa del Caribe
Discoteca la Iris
Patio de ARTEX
Patio de los Dos Abuelos
Transport in Santiago de Cuba
There are many ways to arrive to Santiago, the most comfortable and fastest
is flying. Traveling from La Havana to Santiago by plane costs $100
approximately and there are several airlines which do this route like “Cubana
de Aviación” (this airline fly 3 times per day from Havana to Santiago) or
“AeroCaribbean”. The trip lasts almost two hours. But also it is possible to
fly directly from some European countries to Santiago airport (“Antonio Maceo
International Airport”) mainly in summer and also there several flights from
Santo Domingo as well as some charter flights.
Another way is by car, but there are many options like bus, taxi, rent a car
or traveling by trucks. If you decides to travel by bus, the “Viazul” bus is
a good option, the buses are very comfortable since they have air-conditioned.
The trip lasts 16 hours approximately and it costs $51. Nevertheless usually
this service is used only by tourists and privileged Cubans, the local people do
the trip by “Astro” which is a company of buses cheaper than “Viazul”
(it costs just $4) or by truck that is still cheaper but also more dangerous and
uncomfortable. The buses “Viazul” leave from Havana to Santiago three times
per day at 09:30, 15:00 and 18:15 and arrive at 01:35, 06:50 and 07:15
Rent a car in Cuba cost around $15 per day, the advantage of this option is
that you can go everywhere. But you must bring the car back the day that you
said because you must pay a charge double for each day past the return date of
The train is other way, by train the trip lasts around 14 hours. It costs
between $30.50 and $50; it depend if you travel in special class or first class.
It is cheaper than “Viazul” buses; besides, the wagons have air-conditioned.
You usually have to pay with American dollars in the stations of "FerroCuba"
the company that manages the trains in Cuba.
The Santiago de Cuba city is not very large, and then you can go almost
anywhere walking. Only there are two places which are far away and they are
the” Morro Castle” and the beach. You can arrive to these places by truck,
but it is very hard and packet thought also very cheaper (it costs only 1 Cuban
peso). Anotherr way is to take a taxi which bring you to the castle for $8
including return with the driver waiting for you there until for two hours. To
the beach by taxi costs between $16 and $20, it depends if you know how make
business, the tariff includes return.
There are two options more, which are rent a car (around $15 per day ) or
rent a bike(around $2 per day). Both have very reasonable prices and they allow
you to move more freely.