Iglesia Parroquial De La Santisima Trinidad

La Iglesia Parroquial de la Santisima Trinidad might not be Cuba's oldest church, but it just might be the most interesting. Step behind the neoclassical façade to find a beautiful gothic revival altar and an intriguing wooden statue, supposedly the product of divine intervention. It is bound to be an unforgettable look into Trinidad's past.

Situated directly above La Plaza Mayor, La Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad (The Holy Trinity Church of Trinidad) is a beautiful example of 19th century architecture. The current Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad is at least the third version of the church. The first church, constructed in the 16th century, was made of wood and guano but it seems disappeared because of pirates attacks. In 1642, the church was destroyed in an English attack and was subsequently reconstructed but with masonry walls and roofs of colonial tiles. This church was destroyed by a violent cyclone that whipped through Trinidad in 19th century, and the church was reconstructed a third time.

The construction process took close to 75 years, with construction on the main part of the church occurring between 1867 and 1892. Initially, the construction of a cathedral with two towers was planned. However, the plans were changed and only a church was built. The tower wasn’t completed until 1935. La Iglesia Parroquial de la Santísima Trinidad isn’t Cuba’s oldest church, but what it lacks in age it makes up for in intrigue and splendour. It boasts a gorgeous neoclassical façade and houses a range of objects of interest.

Most notably, the church contains a fascinating 18th-century altar made completely of precious wooden. Inside, there is a peculiar statue of Christ known as El Señor de la Vera Cruz (The Lord of the Vera Cross). This noteworthy historical object is of special significance to the people of Trinidad and is believed to be the guardian of the city. According to local lore, the statue was originally bound for a church in Veracruz, Mexico. However, the ship carrying the figurine is said to have run into dangerous weather three times. Each time it was subsequently forced to turn back to Trinidad to seek refuge from the storm. The ship was only able to make the voyage after leaving part of its cargo at the Trinidad port. The statue was included in the discarded cargo and has been on display ever since. The residents of Trinidad consider this story to be a prime example of divine intervention. The church also houses an impressive gothic revival altar made entirely out of wood dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Piedad (Our Lady of Mercy).

If you have the time, we recommend checking out a Mass at the church. Services are held at 8 p.m. weekdays, 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sundays.

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