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Céspedes Park

Céspedes Park constitutes for this way to tell it the political, religious, administrative and social center more important of the city. In their perimeter were located by disposition of the Laws of Indias, the representative buildings of the power: Town Hall, Cathedral, the house of the governors and the mansions of the main families of the village.

This park, old Plaza de la Catedral (square of the Cathedral) that takes their name, because there it was found Santiago's The Cathedral, it was built in XVI Century, with the objective of using it as Square of Weapons (Plaza de Armas), so that the Spanish soldiers carried out the military exercises and parades.

Later on it was called Plaza de la Reina Isabel or Isabel la Católica in homage to the Queen from Spain.

Cespedes Park and City HallCespedes Park

La Plaza de Armas or Parque Céspedes like well it is known at the present time was built, being based on some of the ordinances of the laws of Indies.

Santiago de Cuba, in spite of it’s a city with coasts, was considered like a mediterranean city, with the Square located in the center of the town.

Also, among the ordinances figured that the Square should be rectangular and the long one, once and half more than its width.

In the XVIII century it were carried out military activities for the practices of the troops, they surrendered honors to the Kings, it’s proclaimed and announced the real orders, the religious parties and processions were made and it had as focal point the Cathedral.

In 1812 a constitutional pyramid is built surrounded by an iron grate in allusion to the constitutional régime established in Cuba in that time.

In 1823 the grate is eliminated to place Fernando VII's equestrian sculpture.

In 1836 the statue disappears and it is placed a pyramid and the Square takes the name of Plaza de la Constitución, but three months later the name is changed again, calling it then Plaza de La Reina.

In 1842, the Governor Don Juan Tello ordered to redraw the Square, and it were added four streets, gardens, and a marble’s foundry in the center part where a Minerva appeared.

In 1871 it was ordered one more time, to change the name, and called Plaza de La Reina Victoria, until to the end of the XIX century it recaptures the name of Plaza de Armas.

At the beginning of the XX century, December 31 1904 it’s inaugurated the illumination, instead of beacons of petroleum was used gas of acetylene providing it a bigger illumination.

In the first decades of this century, the Square receives the name of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and experiences a total transformation. In 1953 the bust of El Padre de la Patria was erected, done in brass on a pedestal. It is the Cuban sculptor's work Montero.

In the monument an inscription that indicates the date of birth and death of Céspedes appears, as well as his sentence..." Mi lema es la unión y la salvación de la República "... His head is crowned by two bay leaves that symbolize the force and the justice.

In the back of the monument we can found out a badge with a fragment of his address in Guáimaro April 11 1869, and under this, another one with the date of inauguration of the monument.

During the revolutionary stage it has not been made, practically any structural change of the Square, which now everybody knows as Parque Céspedes, and in turn constituting the heart of the Santiago de Cuba city.