El Cobre, Santiago


Located in the foothills of a 14th century copper mine you’ll find Sierra Maestra, the country’s single most important pilgrimage site. Here the Cuban faithful come to El Sanctuario de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, a unique triple dome church that was built in 1927. This church has become a shrine for Cuban people who come on pilgrimages to pay their respects to the Virgen de la Caridad (Virgin of Charity). Cloaked in a golden robe, the statue is said to offer protection to the people of Cuba. In 1998 the Pope visited and blessed the shrine, calling the Virgin “La Reina de los Cubanos” (Queen of Cubans), and donated a rosary and crown.

Things To Do

National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity

Settled in the beautiful mountains of El Cobre, enjoy a tour of the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity. According to legend, during a storm in the 17th century three local fishermen saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary. The apparition guided them to safety, later becoming a statue of the Virgin Mary cradling a baby. To show their gratitude, the fisherman built a church to house this miraculous statue. The storied Roman Catholic Church sits atop a hill and is considered to be one of the most important sites in Cuba. Ernest Hemingway donated his Nobel Prize of Literature to Our Lady of Charity.

This activity is available on the following cruises: