Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Top choice church in Santiago de Cuba

Image by jacquesvandinteren Getty Images

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 restored both inside and out for Santiago's quincentennial in 2015. Expect intricate ceiling frescoes, hand-carved choir stalls and a polished altar honoring the venerated Virgen de la Caridad.


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