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Holguín Cathedral

Visit the San Isidoro Cathedral and discover the Moorish style decorating the historical church of Holguín.

Holguín Cathedral
San Isidoro Cathedral
© Eric Alarie

Belonging to the Catholic Church, this parish was moved a year after the birth of the city of Holguín in 1719 from Las Guazumas, Hato las Cuevas. Thus, it was not until the 3rd April 1720 when it was consecrated as the first church of Holguín and the following day the first mass of the city was organized.

Years later, in 1730 it was demolished and erected again, but this time using materials which are currently preserved, namely muddy with roof tiles, carving woods and floors of mud and bricks. Later on, it was lengthen with two side naves and a sacristy.

This parish, with a roof with the shape of a Latin T, was raised to the status of Cathedral in 1979 and, later on, was consecrated in 1996. In recognition of this act, it was build in the Cathedral a statue dedicated to the Pope Juan Pablo II.

You can access to it by the square of the church or Plaza San Isidoro Square, which take the name of Julio Grave de Peralta in 1898. This way the square was on its origins the first political-religious center of the city.

The first construction of the church was the work of the governing Don Diego de Ávila y de la Torre and lasted until 1815. Since the church was seriously damaged, it was decided that it will be rebuilt and enlarged as of 1800. From this remodelling came the Virgen del Rosario Chapel, built on the right side, and the Jesús Nazareno Chapel, currently Virgen de la Caridad Chapel, on the left side. Although the reconstruction was officially over in 1815, the remodelings kept going along the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.

On its first centuries of existence, 18th and 19th centuries, it hosted valuable golden painted altars and complementary images with gold, silver and precious stones; just as other golden objects. However, it lost its rich furniture because of the II Vatican Council. Nevertheless, the Cathedral has Moorish insides, still originals, with the precious carved roofs , more beautiful exponents than the ones preserved of Mudejar style in the city of Holguín; and the artistic beauty provided by the chapels’ ceilings.

An important fact related to the church is that its space allowed between 1922 and 1940 the installment on its inside the first public library in the city.

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Calle Libertad e/ Aricochea y Luz Caballero. Holguín, Cuba

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