Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

sights / Religious

Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción information

Location
Santiago de Cuba , Cuba
Opening hours
Mass 6:30pm Mon & Wed-Fri, 5pm Sat, 9am & 6:30pm Sun
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Santiago's most important church is stunning both inside and out. There has been a cathedral on this site since the city's inception in the 1520s, though a series of pirate raids, earthquakes and dodgy architects put paid to at least three previous incarnations. The present cathedral, characterized by its two neoclassical towers, was completed in 1922; the remains of first colonial governor, Diego Velázquez, are still buried underneath.

The church was being comprehensively restored both inside and out at last visit in time for Santiago's quincentennial in 2015. Expect a thorough upgrade of the intricate ceiling frescoes, the hand-carved choir stalls and the altar that honors the venerated Virgen de la Caridad. The adjacent Museo Arquidiocesano is rather a disappointment by comparison, housing a dullish collection of furniture, liturgical objects and paintings including the Ecce homo , believed to be Cuba's oldest painting.