Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

sights / Religious

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción information

Baracoa , Cuba
Street Antonio Maceo No 152
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Lonely Planet review

A topic Baracoans lament about pretty frequently is the renovation of their main church. There's been a building on this site since the 16th century, but this is the least notable version: refurbished in 2011 and (despite looking attractive enough) keeping few features true to its previous incarnation, dating from 1833.

Its most famous artifact is the priceless Cruz de la Parra , a wooden cross said to have been erected by Columbus near Baracoa in 1492. Carbon dating has authenticated the age of the cross (it dates from the late 1400s), but has indicated it was originally made out of indigenous Cuban wood, thus disproving the legend that Columbus brought the cross from Europe.

Facing the cathedral is the Bust of Hatuey , a rebellious Indian cacique who was burned at the stake near Baracoa in 1512 after refusing to convert to Catholicism. Also on triangular Plaza Independencia (this being Baracoa, they couldn't have a square plaza) is the neoclassical Poder Popular , a municipal government building which you can admire from the outside.