Central Cuba Sights

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Plaza de San Juan de Dios

Plaza de San Juan de Dios Review

This splendid cobbled square, surrounded by meticulously restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings (most still private homes), has been declared a national monument.

On the eastern edge of Plaza de San Juan de Dios, the old Hospital de San Juan de Dios now holds the offices of several cultural organizations. In the portico of its large garden you'll find a simple museum with exhibits on the building's history, some old photos, and surgical instruments from days of yore—thank goodness for modern medicine. More interesting is the view from the roof. Plaza de San Juan de Dios, Camagüey, Camagüey. 32/29–1388. 1 cuc. Weekdays 9–5.

Camagüey's oldest church is the Iglesia de San Juan de Dios, which was built in 1728 to replace the original (1686) St. John's. It underwent some structural changes in 1847 and an extensive restoration in 1986. Its simple, traditional interior has a terra-cotta floor, white-stucco walls, and a sloped wooden ceiling. Four ancient hardwood altars stand along the walls, each of them dedicated to a different saint—St. John's is the second on the left. The main altar is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and is unique in that the Holy Spirit is represented as a man instead of as the usual dove. Plaza de San Juan de Dios, Camagüey, Camagüey. No phone. Free. Mon.–Sat. 7–11 and 3–6.

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