Cuba is a country with a rich and fascinating history that includes periods of colonialism, revolution, dictatorship and communism. All of these have left several marks in the form of monuments and statues in Cuba that you can still visit nowadays. If you want to get to know the essence of the most beautiful island in the Caribbean or you just simply want to learn more about its history, there are several historical monuments in Cuba that you should definitely add to your itinerary.
Must-see landmarks in Havana
As the capital of Cuba, Havana stands out for having a large number of different monuments and statues. To give you a peek, we have selected four that symbolize different periods of Cuban history. However, you can find more ideas and important landmarks of Havana on this other blog.
- El Cristo De La Habana. Across the bay from Old Havana, you will find a 20 meters statue of Jesus Christ made out of Italian marble. The figure dates from 1958 and it was inaugurated on Christmas day of that same year. But, what is a figure like that doing in Havana? El Cristo de La Habana is the result of a promise that the wife of Fulgencio Batista made when his husband survived a terrorist attack on the Presidential Palace in 1957.
- Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana. Perhaps one of the most impressive monuments in Cuba is Havana’s Cathedral. Designed by the Italian architect Francesco Borromini, this baroque building is an architectural treasure finished in 1767 and declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.
- Hemingway ‘s home: Finca Vigía. The writer Ernest Hemingway fell in love with Cuba and ended up buying a house in east Havana in 1940. Nowadays, the house has become a museum that can be visited to learn more about the life of the writer and his work.
- José Martí Memorial. Right in the center of Havana, in Plaza de la Revolución, you will see the tallest structure in the city. This ginormous building of 129 meters is a memorial to José Martí, a poet, journalist, and Cuban symbol during the independence from Spain. Inside, you will find a museum of Cuban history and on the rooftop a fantastic view of the city.
Other important monuments and statues in Cuba
Monuments in Cuba are not only limited to Havana, you can also find other important landmarks all over the Caribbean island.
- Che Guevara Mausoleum. Santa Clara is home to one of the most important historical monuments in Cuba: Che Guevara ‘s commemorative sculpture and mausoleum. This place holds the remains of the most iconic figure of the Cuban Revolution and of other 17 revolutionaries that were assassinated in Bolivia.
- Castle de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro. The fortress of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, also known as Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro, is the best preserved military building in Cuba. The fortress is located in Santiago de Cuba and dates back to the XVII century when it was used to protect the Bay of Santiago. Nowadays, it serves as a museum but still has great historical and architectural value. In fact, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
- Toma del Tren Blindado Monument. On the east side of Vidal Park took place over 70 years ago the Battle of Santa Clara. During the battle, Che Guevara and his revolutionaries derailed a train and defeated 350 armed soldiers. This incident meant the end of the dictatorship of Batista and the beginning of Fidel Castro’s era. Toma del Tren Blindado Monument commemorates this battle with a recreation of the wagons and a giant obelisk that describes the incident.
- Loma de La Cruz. Emerging at 261 metres above sea level, you will find one of the most fascinating monuments in Cuba. Loma de la Cruz, in the city of Holguín, is known for its wooden cross. Legend says that a Franciscan friar set it up in 1790 to end a dry season in the region. Since then, Loma de La Cruz celebrates las Romerías de Mayo and, each year, hundreds of pilgrims walk up to the top.
If you are interested in visiting these monuments and statues in Cuba, contact Espíritu Travel. As specialists in traveling to Cuba, we can create a bespoke timetable for you that covers all your Cuban must-sees. To get some inspiration check our trip ideas section on our website. Don’t hesitate more and start planning your trip to Cuba now!