Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba on the map of Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in Cuba and the capital of the province of Santiago de Cuba. The city has 506 037 inhabitants ( census 2012).


Santiago was founded on July 25, 1515 by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar. From 1523 to 1556 it was the capital of Cuba and main base of the Spanish Armada in the Caribbean. In addition, it was the arrival port for the slave ships from West Africa. Even today, here is the largest part of the population of African descent.

To protect the city from the sea side of the city, the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca was built in 1637 southwest 10 km away. This fort is best known under the name of Castillo del Morro and is recognized by UNESCO as part of our World Heritage.

Formative influence on the social, economic and cultural characteristics of the city had the immigration of French settlers and their slaves from Haiti as a result of the Haitian Revolution from 1791 was. Most visible of this French influence long located in the immediate south of the colonial city core Neighborhood Tivoli, which during this wave of immigration arose.

In 1862 the distillery Bacardi & Ca in Santiago de Cuba. from which Sitges ( Spain) derived "Don" Facundo Bacardi Massó ( 1814-1887 ) founded the internationally known and most successful Cuban economy companies.

In ( and ) Santiago de Cuba, the decisive and final battles were conducted in the summer of 1898 that led to the end of Spanish colonial rule in Cuba as part of the Spanish - American War: The Battle of the hills of San Juan outside the eastern city limits, and a few days later, the naval battle before Santiago de Cuba. Since 1868 the surrounding Santiago east of the island had been the center of the Cuban armed independence movement.

At the time of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista took the armed struggle, by a group led by the young lawyer Fidel Castro in Santiago with the storming of the Moncada barracks on 26 July 1953 its beginning. While the neighboring mountain range Sierra Maestra in 1956 became the core area for the guerrilla war against the government forces, Santiago de Cuba was also the center of the listed by Frank País civil resistance. January 1, 1959 Fidel Castro announced in Santiago de Cuba, the victory of the Cuban Revolution, after the military, the city had surrendered without a fight the rebel army after Batista's flight from the country.

On 1 January 1984 gave President Fidel Castro of the city of Santiago for the particular merits of its citizens to the revolution is the only city in Cuba the honorary title " Hero City of the Republic of Cuba."

The official motto of the city, which is part of the coat of arms is: " Yesterday rebellious, hospitable today, always heroic ." The historic, dating from the Spanish colonial city coat of arms bore the motto: " Very reverend and very loyal ."

To the south is the international airport of Santiago de Cuba.

On October 25, 2012 Hurricane Sandy taught throughout the city and surrounding areas Santiago to great damage.


Natural Park ( Parque ) Baconao

The nature park was acquired by the UNESCO list of Biosphere Reserves in 1987. For nature lovers there is there from about 20 km from the city, a very beautiful natural environment, with several hotels and a varied Vegation. With 80,000 acres ( according to other data see Park Baconao 92360 hectares ), it offers numerous attractions for visitors, and there are also some smaller villages for the local population. Diversified is a visit to the Gran Piedra mountain, 1234 meters in height, with a short front of it botanical garden. Also located on the site of the Museo del coche, a classic car museum.

Revolution Square with Antonio Maceo monument

Museo Bacardi

Customs building at the harbor

View of Santiago de Cuba in the evening time

Parque Céspedes and the house of Don Diego Velázquez of 1516