Santi Spiritus Cuba
Exploring Sancti Spiritus
Santi Spiritus Cuba, the origin of this city, which belongs to the province of the same name, dates back to the 16th century. Typical squares, tortuous streets and civil and religious domestic buildings, testify to the work of the architecture of several centuries. Architectural mosaics with diverse influences and a strong local nuance.
Name of the capital city of the province of Sancti Spíritus. Founded in 1514 on the western bank of the Tuinucú River, in the indigenous territory of Magón, an aboriginal word that means “country that has no end” and then moved to the banks of the Yayabo River. This name was possessed by its cacique. Santi Spiritus Cuba or Holy Spirits was the original name given to this village by the Spanish colonizers, to exalt one of the figures of the Holy Trinity, being the fourth among the first seven villas founded on the Island and the only one with a Latin name.
Places of interest
- Guayabera House
- Yayabo Bridge
- Serafín Sánchez Park
- Nature and Man Foundation
- Iglesia Parroquial Mayor del Espíritu Santo (Greater Parish Church of the Holy Spirit)
- Colonial Art Museum
- City Interpretation Center
- Provincial Museum of Santi Spiritus Cuba
- Honorato Square
- Church of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad
Casa de la Guayabera
The favored uniform of South American strongman presidents and blushing grooms at Mexican beach weddings, the guayabera shirt was purportedly ‘invented’ in Santi Spiritus Cuba by the wives of agricultural workers who sewed the trademark pockets into the garments so that their men could safely store their tools and packed lunches. This new museum honors the iconic shirts displaying guayaberas worn by Hugo Chávez, Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Fidel.
The complex, set on a lovely riverside patio in front of the city’s famous packhorse bridge, also has a bar and lovely garden where public social and cultural events take place after hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Those wishing to order a guayabera must wait two days for its completion.
Looking like something out of an English country village, this quintuple-arched bridge is Santi Spiritus Cuba signature sight. Built by the Spanish in 1815, it carries traffic across the Río Yayabo and is now a national monument. For the best view (and a mirror-like reflection) hit the outdoor terrace at the Taberna Yayabo.
It’s flanked by cobblestone streets – the most arresting is narrow Calle Llano, where old ladies peddle live chickens door to door, and neighbors gossip noisily in front of pastel houses. Also worth a wander are Calle Guairo and Calle San Miguel.
Museo de Arte Colonial
This small museum had a 2012 refurb and displays 19th-century furniture and decorations in an imposing 17th-century building that once belonged to the sugar-rich Iznaga family.