The National Basilica-Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad (Our Lady of Charity) del Cobre, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, is a special place for both religious pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, interested in knowing the traditions and the history of the site.
Built in 1926 in the town of El Cobre, the church stands on Cerro de la Cantera hill and can be accessed from a side road, or by climbing its 254 steps.
At least 500 visitors arrive daily to appreciate the treasures within, including an image of the Virgin, a solid silver altar, other valuable ornamental objects and a remarkable array of offerings left in honor of the Virgin.
These include the gold medal Ernest Hemingway received in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, other gold items, jewels and other precious stones and personal effects and objects left by devotee’s that are guaranteed to arouse any visitors’ curiosity.
Belonging to the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of Santiago de Cuba, the church was declared a Basilica on December 22, 1977 by pope John Paul VI who, during a mass in Santiago de Cuba two days later, placed a golden rosary in the Virgin’s hands.
The Basilica was also visited by pope Francisco in 2015, during his official trip to Cuba.
The Virgin, Cuba’s patron saint since May 1916 – following a request submitted by the veterans of the War of Independence to pope Benedict XV one year before – was crowned on December 20, 1936, by order of pope Pius XI.Share on FB Share on TT