Central Cuba Sights

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Nuestra Señora de la Merced

Nuestra Señora de la Merced Review

Originally erected in 1748, this church was reconstructed in 1848, repaired after a fire in 1906, and renovated yet again in 1998. The clock on its facade was the city's first public timepiece, made in Barcelona in 1773; its current machinery was imported from the United States in 1901. The church's interior has massive square columns and a vaulted ceiling decorated with faded art-nouveau frescoes dating from 1915. The painted wooden altar was made in 1909 to replace one destroyed by the 1906 fire, but the paintings on the walls around it date from the 18th and 19th centuries. To the right of the altar is the Santo Sepulcro: a Christ figure in a glass casket that was made in 1762 using the silver from 22,000 Mexican coins. It's carried out of the cathedral and back every Good Friday in a religious procession that was prohibited for nearly four decades. The crypts beneath the altar have been partially excavated and converted into a tiny museum of tombs, icons, and other antiquities; it's not for the claustrophobic. If the church is closed, enter through the convent next door.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Calle Independencia y Av. Ignacio Agramonte, Camagüey, Camagüey
  • Phone: 32/292–783
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Daily 8–11 and 3:30–6
  • Location: Camagüey

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