Santiago de Cuba – Cuba
Rebels yesterday, hospitable today, always heroic
Reaching our last point in our tour through Cuba, arriving from Camaguey into Santiago de Cuba. 3 more nights here, before returning to Havana for one last night full day before the start of our way back to Europe, to the winter once again. That’s as usual the hardest part in this kind of trips we generally do from the end of December to the middle of January escaping the cold for a hot place in the sun. Thereafter, it will be a while until the next proper longer holiday, (Easter time), but first, plenty of the usual weekend trips around Europe, easy and fast to reach.
Santiago is the second largest city in Cuba, and was the first capital in the island right after the Spanish foundation in 1516. Surprisingly, from this period there is one house completely preserved. It is said to be not just the oldest house in Cuba, but in the Americas from the colonial times still standing! It was the home of the first Spanish governor in Cuba, Diego Velazquez de Cuellar. But there’s more, and plenty more to see and do in one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the country. The cathedral for example, was the first one built in the island too, and so the first museum in Cuba, and the first copper mine in the whole of the Americas.
The city is also very well known for being the birthplace of the world famous rum brand Bacardi, which was started by the wealthy Catalan from Sitges, Facundo Bacardí Masso in 1862 who emigrated to Cuba. In the very same building you have now the museum that displays the extensive art collection of the Bacardí family. And lastly, an event that changed the history of Cuba forever. It was January the 1 of 1959, when Fidel Castro proclaimed the victory of the Cuban Revolution from a balcony in the City Hall. These are just a few facts of what you are about to experience in the city, and why it really should ranks high if you ever consider a trip to Cuba. This country is not just about Havana and Varadero, but so, so much more! Santiago was a fascinating end point in our tour which we are glad to have done and include. (more…)