The Eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, founded like a village on 1514 by the Spaniards, later had the honor of being the first capital of the Island and figures today like one of the more attractive tourist zones of the country.
In 1522 it received the title of City and throughout 16th and 17th centuries was the target of numerous attacks of privateers and pirates, who took to intense works of fortification for the authorities of that time.
By that strategy emphasizes the castle of San Pedro of the Rock - declared by UNESCO like a Patrimony of the Humanity -, constructed between 1638 and 1643 by the famous Italian engineer Juan Antonelli Baptist and considered next to the Socapa castle and the Star castle - that integrate the defensive system of the bay like the greatest and complete example of applied European Renaissance military engineering to the conditions of the Caribbean by a colonial power.
Rival city of Havana in all relative to Literature, music and policy, Santiago de Cuba is considered the "cradle of the revolution", because of the fundamental paper that it carried out at the moment for overthrowing to the Batista regime. Unlike other Cuban populations, it has a remarkable Caribbean aroma, due to the influence of the French colonists and the Haitians who settled down themselves during 19th century. Its own history is animated as the one of the capital (the first mayor was Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico).
It lodges the palaces and older museums of Cuba, like the House of Diego Velázquez and the Municipal Museum Bacardí. In Santiago de Cuba many houses present balconies with beautiful forged iron railings, windows of capricious forms and narrow outer stairs. The Cemetery of Santa Ifigenia is the place of eternal rest of many famous revolutionaries, like the Cuban hero Jose Martí.
Surrounded by the heights that integrate the mountainous system of the Sierra Maestra (Masterful Mountain range) and the sea, the city of Santiago de Cuba is like a large city of hills and inclined streets, with numerous sites of tourist interest and a always tie history to the fights by independence.
The city, with an African and Spanish inheritance, sum in addition a strong French component to the Antillean emigrants, mixture that defined the color and character of its settlers.
Excellent tourist facilities and the permanent smile assure a happy stay in this Eastern province, in which to request a "macho asado” (roasted pork) is to be able to savor the most exquisite baking of the pork in Cuba, while one cold beer in the middle of the characteristic santiaguero heat hurries. At the end of any Creole food, or presiding over a conversation, the smoky cup of strong and black coffee, is something that cannot either lack.