Most of the important buildings of Cienfuegos surround the central Parque José Martí, which contains an impressive marble statue, carved in 1902, of the Cuban revolutionary and intellectual for whom it was named. Near the park's western end is a tiny replica of the Arc de Triomphe, a nod to the city's French heritage, and just south of the Martí statue stands a domed kiosk, where the municipal band sometimes gives weekend concerts. East of the park, Avenida 54 is a pedestrian mall—lined with shops and restaurants—called El Boulevard.
At Parque José Martí's southwest corner stands the Palacio Ferrer, an elaborate mansion built in 1917 by Spanish businessman José Ferrer and now the Casa de Cultura. The corner room on the 2nd floor was once used by Enrico Caruso, and a spiral staircase leads from here up to a tower that offers a nice view of the plaza. Local musicians and dancers often rehearse here. Av. 54 y Calle 25, Cienfuegos,
Cienfuegos. 43/51–9722. 1 cuc. Mon.–Sat. 9–7.
The stately building southeast of the Parque José Martí's bandstand used to be the Casino Español, an elite club built in the late 19th century. It now houses the Museo Provincial, a museum dedicated to local history and furnished with antiques that once belonged to some of the casino's most respected members. Av. 54 y Calle 27, Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos. 43–519722. 1 cuc. Tues.–Sun. 8–4:30.