San Juan Bautista Church in Cuba
Travel, Travel Stories


Cuba is a communist country but interestingly there are a number of churches still open. And the church in Remedios is considered the oldest, or at least one of the oldest, in Cuba with a history dating back to the 16th century.

Remedios is located about four hours south of capital Havana and itself is considered one of the oldest settlements in the country, also dating back to at least the 16th century.

Remedios – Oldest Settlement

The city boasts of a rich architectural tradition with cobblestone streets and vibrant-looking colonial buildings.

It used to function as a major trading hub and transportation center connecting various parts of the country.

Today, it is mostly an agricultural region with sugar cane plantations and cattle ranches, but tourism is becoming a major source of income.

Its main square, Plaza Marti, is considered a national monument and the area becomes lively on Christmas eve with its famous Parrandas festival.

Cuba’s Oldest Church – in Remedios

The Church of San Juan Bautista itself has a rich history. It is considered one of the, if not the, oldest church in Cuba. The church consists of a chapel as well.

Church of San Juan Bautista, Remedios

According to many reports, the original chapel was built late 16th century and then the church was built around it.

It was built in the baroque style and is the only such church in the country. A bell tower was constructed in the 19th century but it was built in the neoclassic style.

Church of San Juan Bautista - Cuba's Oldest Church - in Remedios
Church of San Juan Bautista – Cuba’s Oldest Church – in Remedios

The 13 altars are made from gold though that reportedly became visible only during the renovations in the 1940’s.

Church of San Juan Bautista, Remedios, Cuba
Church of San Juan Bautista, Remedios, Cuba

The vaulted ceilings are stroked with floral decorations. The ceiling was reportedly built using a boat’s hull.

Cuba’s oldest church – Remedios is also one of the two churches in the city. The other being, the Iglesia del Buen Viaje or Our Lady of the Good Voyage Church.

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