Santa Clara in Cuba

Saturday, 16 March 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Monumento Memorial Che Guevara © Man-ucommons/cc-by-sa-3.0

Monumento Memorial Che Guevara © Man-ucommons/cc-by-sa-3.0

Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It is centrally located in the province and Cuba. Santa Clara is the fifth-most populous Cuban city, with a population of nearly 245,959.

Santa Clara was the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution in late 1958. Two guerrilla columns attacked the city; one was led by Ernesto Che Guevara and the other by Camilo Cienfuegos. Guevara’s column first captured the garrison at Fomento. Using a bulldozer, Guevara’s soldiers destroyed railroad tracks and derailed a train full of troops and supplies sent by Batista. At the same time, Cienfuegos’s column defeated an army garrison at the Battle of Yaguajay not far from town. On December 31, 1958, the combined forces of Guevara and Cienfuegos (along with other revolutionaries under William Alexander Morgan) attacked Santa Clara. The battle was chaotic, and the defenders became demoralized. Some fought; others surrendered without a shot. By the afternoon, the city was captured. This victory for Castro’s troops is seen as the decisive moment in the Cuban Revolution, as Batista fled Cuba less than 12 hours later.

Calle y Parque © Lezumbalaberenjena Monumento Memorial Che Guevara © Man-ucommons/cc-by-sa-3.0 Panoramic view of Carmen's park (Parque del Carmen) © Lezumbalaberenjena/cc-by-sa-3.0 Parque Vidal © Ji-Elle/cc-by-sa-4.0 Teatro La Caridad © Dudva View from Loma del Capiro on Santa Clara © Alexandra/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Panoramic view of Carmen's park (Parque del Carmen) © Lezumbalaberenjena/cc-by-sa-3.0
Parque Vidal is located at the center of the city, taking up an entire square block. In the park, there is a statue of Marta Abreu, who is admired by the people of Santa Clara. Bordering the park is the Santa Clara Libre (formerly the Santa Clara Hilton), Gran Hotel, Teatro La Caridad (a National Monument of Cuba), Plaza del Mercado Central, the former city hall, and the Colonia Española de Santa Clara center of dance, exhibiting the most attractive and unique traditional customs of hinterland Cuba.

Parque Vidal is one of the most quintessential Cuban places in Cuba. During the afternoons, people, especially singles, visit the park to meet others. Although not widely practiced in recent times, the custom was to walk around the park. The women walk along the inner part of the park, while the men walk along the outer side. Another lost custom is for locals to set up a platform and perform improvisations with their guitars on late Sunday afternoons. They dressed for that day with their guayaberas and highly polished shoes.

Santa Clara is home to a mausoleum that houses the remains of Che Guevara and sixteen of his fellow combatants killed in 1967 during the Bolivia campaign. There is also a reconstruction of Guevara derailing the train during the Battle of Santa Clara.

Prior to January 1, 1977, Santa Clara was located in Las Villas Province. On that date, as part of a general administrative reordering of Cuba’s provinces, Las Villas Province was reordered into the provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Sancti Spíritus. Santa Clara is in the province now known as Villa Clara.

Read more on Wikivoyage Santa Clara and Wikipedia Santa Clara (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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