Exploring Santa Clara
Santa Clara, capital of the province of Villa Clara and head of the municipality of the same name, is a city located in the vicinity of the geographical center of the Republic of Cuba. Essential cultural square and significant industrial and scientific enclave of the Caribbean country, it is internationally known for the battle of the same name that finally gave victory to the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959 and for hosting in its soil the remains of the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla commander, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and his comrades in struggle in Bolivia.
The city of Santa Clara was founded on July 15, 1689 by residents of the town of San Juan de los Remedios who moved to the center of the island motivated, according to documents of the time, by the permanent siege of corsairs and pirates, although historical research noted, however, its final seat in the local geography resulting from family economic interests. The event took place on the banks of the Sabana River, now War, a few meters from El Carmen Park, where a commemorative monument has been erected, since 1951, around a tamarind, heir, it is said, of the one who saw his shadow officiate at the founding mass of the settlement.
- Vidal Park
- Site-Museum Action Against Armored Train
- Abel Santamaría Provincial Museum
- Tobacco Factory Constantino Pérez Carrodegua
- La Caridad Theatre
- Museum of Decorative Arts
- Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
- Parque del Carmen – Headquarters of the City Foundation.
- Park of the Martyrs.
- Pastora Park.
- Justice Park.
- Parque del Tren Armindado, National Monument of Cuba.
- Che Guevara Mausoleum (Monument and Mausoleum of Ernesto “Che” Guevara).
- Cathedral of Santa Clara de Asís.
- Boulevard 1889.
- El Mejunje Cultural Center (El Mejunje Cultural Center).
- Loma del Capiro, hill overlooking the city.
- Provincial Museum of Villa Clara, with a collection of art, social and natural history.
- The University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas is the secondary school of the province.
Santa Clara is peppered with comic book–style murals, the work of a local graphic artists’ collective called Melaíto, which produces a monthly supplement to the local Vanguardia newspaper. The cartoons change regularly, but there are usually a good selection splattered on the walls around the Vanguardia office near Parque Vidal.
Museo de Artes Decorativas
Something of a sleeping beauty on Parque Vidal, this 18th-century mansion turned museum is packed with period furniture from a whole gamut of styles that seem to ape Cuba’s architectural heritage. Look for baroque desks, art nouveau mirrors, art deco furniture and Veláquez’ epic Rendición de Brega (Surrender of Brega), reproduced on a china plate. Live chamber music adds to the romanticism in the evenings.
The eastern side of Parque Vidal is guarded by the thick columns of the neoclassical Palacio Provincial (1902), today home to the Martí library (9am to 5pm) and a rare-book collection.