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Arts & Culture

If you can tear yourself away from the beach for an afternoon or evening, you'll find plenty of opportunities to soak up some local culture. Places of interest include everything from museums, galleries and forts to the shrimp fisheries around the Canal de Paso Malo.

Architecture

Plaza de la Vigía

Plaza de la Vigía

Matanzas was founded here in the late 17th century, and all the city's main avenues branch out from this historic town square. Landmarks include the Teatro Sauto, Junco Palace Museum, Palacio Justicia (Provincial Court), Fire Department building and Edíciones Vigía, a publisher of beautiful, limited-edition books.

Castillo de San Severino

Castillo de San Severino

This imposing structure, completed by the mid-1700s, provided the city's main defense.

Castillo del Morrillo

Castillo del Morrillo

History buffs will want to stop here. This fortress contains an archaeological museum as well as the mausoleum of two revolutionaries, Guiteras Homes and Carlos Aponte Hernández.

Museo Farmacéutico (Le Triolet French Pharmacy)

Museo Farmacéutico (Le Triolet French Pharmacy)

This immaculately preserved building was erected in 1882, and is still stocked with utensils, flasks and medicines from days gone by. Everything is protected under glass on the store’s original shelves made of hand-finished Cuban wood.


Galleries

Cuban Association of Artists & Artisans

Cuban Association of Artists & Artisans

This is a unique venue for everything from expositions to fashion shows.


Museums

Museo Municipal de Oscar María de Rojas

Museo Municipal de Oscar María de Rojas

Pre-Columbian artifacts and a 19th-century hearse are among the treasures housed in this museum in Cárdenas, about 20 km east of Varadero.

Junco Palace Historical Museum

Junco Palace Historical Museum

Located in Plaza de la Vigía, in the heart of old Matanzas, this former military headquarters now houses a fascinating exhibition of ancient fire-fighting equipment.


Sports

Victoria de Girón Stadium

Victoria de Girón Stadium

Get swept up Cuba’s baseball frenzy by taking in a game at this Matanzas stadium.


Theatres

Teatro Sauto in Matanzas

Teatro Sauto in Matanzas

One of Cuba's finest theatres, the Teatro Sauto, built in 1863, is famous for its acoustics. It has hosted many world-renowned performers, including the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso and the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.