Caribbean Cuba Destinations

Santiago de Cuba: Revolution & Sunset

Santiago de Cuba

Revolution & Sunset in Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is a very important place in Cuba for what happened on the morning of the 26th July 1953. Fidel Castro led a group of over 100 rebels on an attack on an army barracks, generally accepted to be considered the start of the Cuban Revolution.

The attack itself was more or less a complete failure and most of the rebels were either killed or captured and then executed shortly afterwards. Fidel and his brother Raul were both captured and after trial were sentenced to 13 years in prison. Although, they were eventually released as a P.R. exercise by Batista, we all know what happened after that…..

Moncada Barracks with bullet holes

Moncada Barracks with bullet holes

 

The barracks is now a school and has a small museum as well. After the revolution in 1959, Castro ordered that all barracks be turned into a school or hospital. Apparently on his return to the barracks in Santiago de Cuba, he was angry that the bullet holes and damage to the barracks had been covered over. So he ordered that the ‘filling’ be removed to show the damage done to the building.

 

Who Is Jose Marti?

Not too many people outside of Cuba will have heard of Jose Marti but in Cuba he is very important and regarded highly as Fidel (if not more so).

Jose Marti was a poet who started the first war of independence, which failed, against the Spanish in the 1800’s and he has a very large tomb in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in the city.

Many other famous people are buried here, including Emilio Barcardi and Compay Segundo – one of the founding members of the Buena Vista Social Club.

The monument to Emilio Barcardi

The monument to Emilio Barcardi

 

The monument to Compay Segundo

The monument to Compay Segundo

 

The monument to Jose Marti

The monument to Jose Marti

 

The tomb of Jose Marti

The tomb of Jose Marti

 

Sunset at Castillo del Morro

This was possibly my favourite evening in Cuba. Going to an old Spanish military fort and UNESCO world heritage site at the very bottom of Cuba.

The fort itself is a maze of beautiful walls, canons and amazing views. My first night in Santiago de Cuba might have been strange, but tonight was just perfect and I was able to get a brilliant view of the sunset. I took so many pictures at this place that I could easily have created a slide show but here are some of my favourite ones instead:

 

Canons and old stone! I love this!

Canons and old stone! I love this!

 

The sun slowly beginning to fade away....

The sun slowly beginning to fade away….

 

A beautiful sight

A beautiful sight

 

Enjoying one last look (while waiting for dinner)

Enjoying one last look (while waiting for dinner)

 

 

Goodbye Santiago de Cuba

It is safe to say that I didn’t really enjoy my first day in Santiago de Cuba but today was so much better. Looking back it was one of the highlight of my time in Cuba for sure! I would love to return but I am not sure that I could live with the heat and humidity! Next stop, back to Havana and then Vinales….

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Jocelyn
    September 21, 2015 at 00:17

    I so need to start learning about Cuban history with it opening up to the US…it is something that isn’t really focused on in our history classes with everything else involved. Any suggestions?

    The sunset looks beautiful!

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      September 21, 2015 at 13:41

      Hmmm I didn’t really know a lot before I arrived but there are tours you can do to learn some information and also this is another great thing about meeting people from couchsurfing – learning the history from someone that has lived and experienced it.

  • Reply
    melody pittman
    September 19, 2015 at 00:09

    I have a feeling Havana is going to be much more pleasant. Wow, what a tomb…fancy!

  • Reply
    Julius @ Traveltipy
    September 18, 2015 at 08:38

    Very nice sunset! I like sunsets and this one in Cuba reminded me one I enjoyed in Sicily!

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      September 18, 2015 at 12:40

      Thanks Julius! I can imagine it looking similar with lots of old Roman ruins too. Sadly I’ve not yet been to Sicily.

  • Reply
    Tim
    September 18, 2015 at 00:36

    An amazing city in an amazing country. I too was able to enjoy the fort during the evening and swam at the beach down below. I still have the ends of some spines in my fingers from a pissed off sea urchin.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      September 18, 2015 at 12:40

      Thanks Tim. I agree Cuba really is an amazing country. I had a lot more fun than I thought I would

  • Reply
    A Swede Abroad
    September 17, 2015 at 02:54

    I can totally understand why the sunset was your favorite part! Looks spectacular! Thanks for showing us a part of Cuba.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      September 18, 2015 at 12:39

      Tack! I do love sunrises and sunsets

  • Reply
    Tami
    September 16, 2015 at 23:07

    Going to Cuba has never been something I’ve wanted to do. But it would be a shame to miss all the information and photos you’ve gathered here. Thanks for taking the time to share them with all of us!

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      September 18, 2015 at 12:38

      Thanks Tami. Hopefully I have been some use!

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