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To the north of Matanzas, in an elevated area known as the Simpson Heights, at the southern end of the Yumurí Valley, a neoclassical style hermitage or religious temple was built in 1874, dedicated to the Virgin of Monserrat, Catalan patron saint.

A true jewel of Cuban colonial architecture, the Ermita de Monserrate stands out for its heritage values of high significance for the city’s identity, being considered by experts as an example of the Spanish oratories of the nineteenth century.

According to reliable sources, the poet Federico García Lorca visited it and portrayed himself with Matanceros children, right on the spot from where you can get a privileged view of the various points of the City of San Carlos and San Severino de Matanzas, close to celebrating its 325th anniversary of its founding in 2018.

In 2010, the building underwent repairs to rescue the splendor of its artistic pieces, paintings, windows, wooden staircases, exterior courtyard and the viewpoint, from which the symbolic bell, one of the most significant references of the premises, shines imposingly.

Hosting countless cultural events, the Hermitage currently promotes chamber music concerts in small and medium formats, with performances by renowned national and international artists.

Visitors, both national and foreign, can make a tour to the church and its interiors between 8:00 am and 6.00 pm, to enjoy a mixture of history, daily life, nature and religion.

The space also offers a wide range of activities for infants, from parties with clowns and book sales to puppet festivals and dance shows, with a touch of humor and good taste.

One of the major attractions of the site is the lush vegetation, an object of inspiration for artists and a motive of interest for lovers of landscape photography and wildlife in rural areas.

Nowadays, the Monserrate Hermitage maintains relations with families descendants of Catalonia, who are usually entertained in the temple with pilgrimages and pilgrimages typical of the culture of this region of the Iberian Peninsula.

by: John Vila Acosta