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SANTIAGO DE CUBA


Santiago de Cuba is the heartland of Cuban history and culture. Founded in 1514, Santiago was the political capital of Cuba until 1607. Between 1633 and 1693 a massive fortress was constructed at the harbor mouth to protect this Spanish colony from pirates and the English.

The last battles of the war of independence unfolded here in 1898, and in 1953 the Cuban Revolution began at Santiago de Cuba's Moncada Barracks as insurgents led by Fidel Castro attacked Batista's troops. Although the attack failed and Castro was captured, the fighting continued in the nearby Sierra Maestra until the revolution's success in 1959.

Santiago de Cuba's culture is rich, with painters, poets, dancers, and musicians thick on the ground. Like most Cuban cities, the downtown core of Santiago de Cuba is largely unchanged since the 1950s, and it offers the sightseer and photographer a fascinating assortment of monuments and museums.

The stunning Caribbean highway shown in our travel photo allows cyclists and motorists to see some of Cuba's finest scenery. For the beach lover, the coastal region of Baconao southeast of the city hosts a string of unpretentious resorts.

All the photos on Cuba-Pictures.com are by David Stanley, original author of Lonely Planet Cuba.
The images on this page are details. To view the complete photos, click on the thumbnails.

The 17th century Castillo del Morro
at the mouth of Santiago de Cuba Bay.
Cuba welcomes visitors. This Caribbean country offers a unique and very different travel experience.

The former Moncada Barracks, scene of the 1953 rebellion.

Cafe with a view of the twin towers of Santiago de Cuba Cathedral.

Fishermen tending their nets on a beach at Baconao.

Domino players next to Calle Padre Pico steps, Santiago de Cuba.

A hands-on performance, Ballet Folklorico Cutumba.

A coffee drying platform south of Cruce de los Banos, Sierra Maestra.

The waterfall at El Salton north of the Sierra Maestra.

The Caribbean highway between mountain and sea west of Santiago.