The most beautiful churches in Cuba

Havana Cathedral, photo by jodastephen on Flickr

Religion has always played an important part in the history and culture of the Caribbean, whether we’re talking about the religions of the original inhabitants, which have all but disappeared by now, the religions of the slaves brought from various African countries, the Christianity of the colonizers or any mix of the above. Cuba is a traditionally Catholic country, although other religions such as Santeria are also quite strong. But when it comes to colonial heritage, it is particularly strong in the case of Christian religious architecture. If you are a fan of churches for whatever reasons, you should definitely take a look at some of the most beautiful churches in Cuba.

Cathedral of San Carlos De Borromeo, Matanzas

The first stone of this scenic church was laid down at the end of the 17th century, but the original church was destroyed by a storm not long after it was built. A second church was finished in 1735, and by the middle of the 18th century it was the most beautiful and heavily decorated church in Matanzas. The frescoes on the walls and on the ceilings are still visible but in bad repair; however, the former beauty of this cathedral is not difficult to see.

Cathedral of St Christopher, Havana

Cathedral of Santa Clara, photo by hellosputnik on Flickr

The Cathedral of St Christopher is the most famous church in Havana, built by Jesuits in the 18th century on the site where a much older church used to stand. The baroque facade of the church is thought to be unique because it doesn’t have symmetrical features, one of the towers being wider than the other. The cathedral is located in the Plaza de la Catedral, and it is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city.

Cathedral of Santa Clara, Santa Clara

Santa Clara’s cathedral is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Clara of Assisi. The church is fairly new, dating back to 1923, but its construction was very controversial. The church was built after the previous cathedral was pulled down, but it is a wonderful piece of Neo-Gothic architecture, and it houses several interesting relics, like a statue of the Virgin Mary that used to be on the road to Havana during the revolution, some incredible stained glass windows, and a monstrance that it said to be made of pure gold.

Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar, Havana

Iglesia de Jesus de Miramar is the second largest church in Cuba, built at the middle of the 20th century in a Romano-Byzantine style. The murals on the walls and ceiling of the church are its most remarkable features – there are fourteen of them in total, representing over 250 figures. The church also hosts the largest pipe organ in Cuba, as well as a copy of the grotto of the VIrgin Mary from Lourdes, France.

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