Parroquia de San Juan Bautista de Remedios

Top choice in Villa Clara Province

One of the island's most interesting and oldest ecclesiastical buildings, Remedios' main church dates from around 1550, although much of the current structure is the result of extensive 18th-century renovations. The wooden ceiling was once the hull of a boat, while the gold-leaf high altar is carved from Cuban cedar in classic baroque style. The church's main curiosity is a rare carving of a pregnant Inmaculada concepción made in Seville, Spain.

Other important statues include San Salvador (north side) and Carmen (south side), depicting the two neighborhood patrons represented in the town's Las Parrandas festival (December). The statue of the Virgen del Cobre (Cuba's patron saint) is the second oldest in Cuba after the Santiago original.

Entrance to the church is through the small rear door. Get one of the assistants to show you around, as its precious artifacts deserve a full explanation.

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