Sancti Spiritus Tourist Attractions
Sancti Spiritus, the capital of Sancti Spiritus Province, is the oldest inland city in Cuba. Originally founded in 1514 on the Rio Tuinicu, the town was moved to its present site on the Yayabo River in 1522. Unfortunately pirates burned the town to the ground in 1665 and much of the history prior to this was lost, including archives and architecture. The city flourished in the late 17th and 18th Centuries. Today Sancti Spiritus is a beautiful colonial town with colorful architecture and cobbled streets, many of which are for pedestrians only making it a pleasant place to stroll and sightsee. The area near the old bridge on the westside of the Yayabo River is the oldest portion of the city with small side by side houses painted in a variety of colors. The old city center of Sancti Spiritus is a national monument.The city is in the process of becoming a tourist center, with more hotels and tourist facilities available. However, it is still not over run or hugely affected by tourism.
Parque Serafin Sanchez
The main activity hub in Sancti Spiritus is Parque Serafin Sanchez. In this lovely square visitors will find locals, particularly men, sitting around the edges in park chairs conversing seemingly forever. Parque Serafin Sanchez, at the heart of the city, is a very pleasant shady place to relax and enjoy an afternoon and people watch. Surrounding the park are neo-Classical buildings. Some of the more impressive buildings on the square are the Centro de Patriamonio, the Biblioteca, the Hotel Perla de Cuba, the Hotel Plaza, and the Hostal del Rijo, among others. Parque Serafin Sanchez is a national monument.
Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo
The Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo in Sancti Spiritus is the oldest church in Cuba. The original church on this site was built in 1522 and made of wood construction but was rebuilt in 1680 in stone. Today the Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo is a Romanesque and baroque design. Highlights of the church are the fantastic wood ceiling and the 30m / 98ft bell tower.The church is also famous for the sermon of Fray artolome de las Casas that he delivered here, and became the beginning of his effort to help the Amerindians. The Parroquial Mayor del Espiritu Santo is a national monument.
Yayabo Bridge (Puente Yayabo)
The old Yayabo Bridge (Puente Yayabo) which spans the Yayabo River is a national monument. It was built in 1825 and is the only way to access the city from the Trinidad side of Sancti Spiritus. The old stone structure has four rounded arches that reflect into the calm water making a picture perfect sight on windless days. The area around the bridge is the oldest portion of Sancti Spiritus. Avenue Menendez is the road running over the bridge and leading into the city center. Apart from the trains station there is very little to see on the southeastern side of the bridge.