The Parque Independencia is home to the Baracoa's cathedral, built in 1833. The church is best known for preserving the Cruz de la Parra that Columbus supposedly used when he came ashore in 1492 to claim Cuba for Spain and Christianity. Indeed, carbon dating has confirmed that the cross was fashioned in the late 1400s and is old enough to have been brought by the explorer. One pesky detail pokes holes in the story, though: the cross is made of hardwoods native to the island and could not have been brought here by Columbus. No matter. It can be stated with certainty that this is one of oldest crosses (perhaps the oldest) in the New World. For years, parishioners were permitted to carve slivers of wood from the cross to keep as relics. That practice is no longer permitted.
Calle Antonio Maceo 152, Baracoa, Guantánamo, 97310, Cuba