Today we leave Havana for our long drive east to Trinidad located in central Cuba. En route we stopped in Santa Clara founded in 1689 and was the last battle ground of the Cuban Revolution which toppled the Batista government in 1958. One of these guerrilla columns that attacked and captured Santa Clara was led by Che Guevara. Even if you don’t know exactly who he is, there is no doubt you must have seen an image of Che Guevara printed on a T-shirt or a graffiti of him tagged on a wall. Che Guevara met the Castro brothers and joined their 26th of July Movement. Soon he rose to second-in-command and was pivotal in his role that led to the ousting of former President Batista.
Revolution Square in Santa Clara
Che Guevara mausoleum at Revolution Square houses his remains as well as 16 of his fellow combatants killed during the Bolivia campaign.
Also in Santa Clara is the Tren Blindado or Amoured Train which was created in memory of the events of the Battle of Santa Clara in 1958 during the Cuban Revolution. The site consists of a sculpture park, an obelisk dedicated to Che Guevara, and a monument to the bulldozer used by Guevara to derail the train. The derailment and capture of the armoured train marked the victory for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution. The armoured train was sent by Batista carrying 373 soldiers, ammunitions, and provisions in an attempt to defeat the revolutionaries. Che Guevara derailed the train by bulldozing 30 meters of the track and proceeded to capture the weapons and ammunitions on board.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad
Plaza Mayor is the main square in Trinidad and although only a few blocks in size, it is the perfect mirror into its storied past with cobblestone streets and colonial mansions in pastel colors.
La Parroquial Mayor Church
Currency from numerous countries hanging from the ceiling of this tiny watering hole.
Casa de la Musica is located next to the cathedral in Plaza Mayor. Every night, there is a live salsa band and people sit on the steps next to the cathedral to enjoy the free music.
Other than enjoying the free music on the steps, it is also an internet hotspot here so there are also many people here checking their phones all hours of the day.
Palacio del Gobierno or City Hall
A compass inlaid into the cement at Parque Jose Marti marking “kilometre zero”, the central point of Cienfuegos.
Teatro Tomas Terry was built between 1887 and 1889 to honour Venezuelan industrialist Tomas Terry. The architecture is both French and Italian with beautiful gold-leafed mosaics on the front facade.
Main Lobby of Teatro Tomas Terry
The beautiful frescoes inside and the original box seats recall the splendour of the days when many famous singers like Enrico Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt performed here.
Cathedral de la Purisma Conception built in 1833-1869
Arco de Triunfo which is the only such monument in Cuba and is dedicated to the Cuban Independence.
Palacio del Valle at the end of Punta Gorda peninsula is built with a combination of Moorish, Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles. It is a bit of a mess and this ornately decorated structure that reminded me of a Moroccan kasbah is now an upscale restaurant.
Looking out to the Caribbean from the roof terrace of Palacio del Valle
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