Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo


Standing back from the disorganized melee of Calle 83 behind shady Plaza de la Iglesia is Matanzas' main church, a neoclassical structure with two unequal towers founded in 1693 (although the existing building dates from the 1730s). Despite being made a cathedral in 1912, the church suffered terribly from years of neglect in the 20th century. It reopened in 2016 after eight years of renovation. The interior is relatively plain, but handsome, and is once again a hub of local life.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matanzas attractions

1. Palacio de Gobierno

0.07 MILES

Dating from 1853, this muscular building with its huge arched portales forming a grand covered walkway fills the whole east side of Parque Libertad. These…

2. Parque Libertad


A few blocks directly west of Plaza de la Vigía is Parque Libertad, the anchor of Matanzas' cultural life and home to several of the city's most…

3. Museo Farmaceútico

0.11 MILES

Museo Farmaceútico is one of Matanzas' showcase sights. Founded in 1882 by the Triolett family, the pharmacy was the first of its type in Latin America…

4. Galería-Taller El Garabato

0.11 MILES

The workspace and gallery of local painter Adrián Socorro is fortuitously located next to Taller-Galería Lolo, inviting you to witness a double-whammy of…

5. Taller-Galería Lolo

0.12 MILES

Imagine. You're tramping through Matanzas' tatty streets wondering whether the 'Athens of Cuba' moniker is just a local joke when you stumble upon this…

6. Palacio de Justicia

0.16 MILES

This is one of several impressive constructions on the Plaza de la Vigía opposite the Teatro Sauto, first erected in 1826 and rebuilt between 1908 and…

7. Plaza de la Vigía

0.17 MILES

The original Plaza de Armas still remains as Plaza de la Vigía (literally 'lookout place'), a reference to the threat from piracy and smuggling that…

8. Museo Palacio de Junco

0.17 MILES

This double-arched edifice on the Plaza de la Vigía showcases the full sweep of Matanzas' history from pirate incursions to the cruel reign of slavery…