There's been a church on this site since 1514. The current edifice dates from 1740 but got devastated in the 1869 fire, so much of what you see results from building work in 1919. One original section surviving the fire is the Capilla de la Dolorosa with its gilded wooden altar.
A highlight of the main church is the central arch, which exhibits a mural depicting the blessing of the Cuban flag in front of the revolutionary army on October 20, 1868. Outside, Plaza del Himno Nacional is where the Cuban national anthem, 'La Bayamesa,' was sung for the first time in 1868.