Museo de Historia Provincial

Top choice in Holguín

Now a national monument, the building on the northern side of Parque Calixto García was constructed between 1860 and 1868 and was used as a Spanish army barracks during the independence wars. It was nicknamed La Periquera (Parrot Cage) for the red, yellow and green uniforms of the Spanish soldiers who stood guard.

The prize exhibit is an old axe-head carved in the likeness of a man, known as the Hacha de Holguín (Holguín Axe), thought to have been made by indigenous inhabitants in the early 1400s and discovered in 1860. Looking even sharper in its polished glass case is a sword that once belonged to national hero and poet, José Martí.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Holguín attractions

1. Parque Calixto García

0.05 MILES

This wide, expansive square is more about atmosphere than architecture. It was laid out in 1719 as the original Plaza de Armas and served for many years…

2. Casa Natal de Calixto García

0.07 MILES

To learn more about the militaristic deeds of Holguín's local hero, head to this house situated two blocks east of the namesake park. The hugely…

3. Biblioteca Alex Urquiola

0.09 MILES

In the southwestern corner of Parque Calixto García is the Biblioteca Alex Urquiola, named after a local revolutionary and housing Holguín’s biggest book…

4. Centro de Arte

0.09 MILES

In the southwestern corner of Parque Calixto García is this bright gallery, Holguín's best. It shares space with Biblioteca Alex Urquiola.

5. Museo de Historia Natural

0.13 MILES

You'll find more stuffed animals here than in a New York toy store – everything from the world's smallest frog to the world's tiniest hummingbird. There's…

6. Parque San José

0.13 MILES

Holguín's youngest park is also its shadiest, dominated by the Iglesia de San José. The cobbled central square is also known as Parque Céspedes, named for…

7. Galería Holguín

0.13 MILES

Situated in a colonial building, the Galería Holguín displays a revolving cache of good local art.

8. Iglesia de San José

0.14 MILES

The Iglesia de San José features a distinctive dome with a bell tower (1842), once used by the Independistas as a lookout.