Photos of Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest Cuban city, Cuba

OzOutback
Images of the World
Flag of Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest Cuban city

Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest city of Cuba and the capital of the Province of the same name, about 870 kilometres southeast of Havana. It was the fifth village founded by Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, on 25 July 1515. The settlement burned down in 1516, but was immediately rebuilt. From 1522 until 1589, Santiago was the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba and the first cathedral was built in 1528. The present Cathedral, in the heart of the city, is built on the same site. Opposite it, the official residence of the island’s first governor, the Casa de Don Diego Velázquez, is still standing; built in 1522, it is Cuba’s oldest house.

Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
 
Cupola, Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
 
Casa de Don Diego Velázquez, Santiago
 
Ayuntamiento, Santiago de Cuba
 
View from Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
 
View from Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
 
View from Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
 
French quarter, Santiago de Cuba
 
Padre Pico steps, Santiago de Cuba
 
Calle Heredia, Santiago de Cuba
 
Bacardí Museum, Santiago de Cuba
 
Plaza de Dolores, Santiago de Cuba
 
Music group, Santiago de Cuba
 
Plaza de Marte, Santiago de Cuba
 
Plaza de Marte, Santiago de Cuba
 
Street junction, Santiago de Cuba
 
Abel Santamaría monument, Santiago
 
Abel Santamaría monument, Santiago
 
Cuartel Moncada, Santiago
 
Museum, Cuartel Moncada, Santiago
 
Public bus, Santiago de Cuba
 
Loma San Juan Tree Peace Park
 
Loma de San Juan, Santiago de Cuba
 
Loma de San Juan, Santiago de Cuba
 
Unknown Mambí soldier monument
 
Mambí monument, Santiago de Cuba
 
Che Guevara monument, Santiago de Cuba
 
Poster of Hugo Chávez, Santiago de Cuba
 
Antonio Maceo monument, Santiago
 
Antonio Maceo monument, Santiago
 
Poster of Fidel Castro, Santiago de Cuba
 
Quiet park, Santiago de Cuba
 
Back street, Santiago de Cuba
 
Back street, Santiago de Cuba
 
Tower house, Santiago de Cuba
 
View from Jesús Rabi, Santiago de Cuba
 
Museo de la Lucha Clandestina
 
Frank País' house, Santiago de Cuba
 
Antonio Maceo's house, Santiago de Cuba
 
Quiet street, Santiago de Cuba
 
Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, Santiago
 
José Martí mausoleum, Santa Ifigenia
 
José Martí tomb, Santa Ifigenia
 
José Martí mausoleum, Santa Ifigenia
 
Guard house, Santa Ifigenia
 
Changing of the Guard, Santa Ifigenia
 
Changing of the Guard, Santa Ifigenia
 
Changing of the Guard, Santa Ifigenia
 
Tomás Estrada Palma's tomb
 
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes' monument
 
26th of July Movement graves
 
Grave of Frank País, Santa Ifigenia
 
Cuban revolutionary leaders, Santiago
 
Fortín Yarayó, Santiago de Cuba
 
Bas relief, Hatuey brewery, Santiago
 
San Pedro de la Roca Castle
 
View from San Pedro de la Roca Castle
 
View from San Pedro de la Roca Castle
 
San Pedro de la Roca Castle
 
San Pedro de la Roca Castle entrance
 

Spanish conquest expeditions departed from Santiago: Juan de Grijalba and Hernán Cortés to the coasts of Mexico in 1518 and Hernando de Soto's expedition to Florida in 1538. The city was plundered by French pirates in 1553 and by British privateers in 1603 and 1662. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries there was an influx of French and British immigrants, many coming from Haiti after the Haitian slave revolt of 1791, adding to the cultural mix. And it is here, at San Juan Hill on 1 July 1898, during the Spanish–American War, the Spanish troops faced their main defeat and surrendered to the United States two days later.

On 26 July 1953, the Cuban Revolution began with an ill-prepared armed attack on the Moncada Barracks by a small contingent of rebels led by Fidel Castro. Most participants were killed, but Castro's July 26 Movement became the main force in the overthrow of Batista’s corrupt regime. Fidel Castro proclaimed the victory of the Cuban Revolution from a balcony on Santiago de Cuba's city hall on 1 January 1959. His ashes are now interred in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago, next to those of the 19th Century Cuban independence hero, José Martí.

Santiago de Cuba is well-known for its cultural life, traditional music, dances and its Carnival. There are also a relatively high number of residents that adhere to Afro-Cuban religions. It is a great place to visit and wander, with its the steep streets, colonial buildings with huge windows and crowded balconies in multiple architectural styles, from Baroque to neoclassical. And about 10 kilometres southwest of the centre of the city is the local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles”. It was designed in 1637 as a defence against raiding pirates to replace an earlier, smaller, fortification that had been built between 1590 and 1610.