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It is not hard to find it. It is located in the heart of the historical center of the city of Santa Clara. Many agree that Vidal Park is one of the main attractions for the visitor. Place chosen for numerous celebrations, public parades and other demonstrations. Currently this park is the cultural and social center of the city. People are always talking and spending time together.

Undoubtedly, Vidal Park is an important place for local inhabitants and for all Cubans. For this reason, it was declared in 1999 National Monument of the Republic of Cuba. In its beginnings, back in the 15th century, it was named Plaza de Armas. When arriving the year 1899 it began to be known as park Leoncio Vidal Caro, in honor to this colonel of the Liberating Army and local hero.

In this park, we will find beautiful sculptures, all with a high historical and artistic value. They honor local and historical figures such as Leoncio Vidal Caro, the presbyter Alberto Chao and the lady Marta Abreu. The most famous monuments in this park are the fountain of the “Child of the Unfortunate Boot” and the Gazebo in the center of the park. The Gazebo was built in 1911 and it is the place where the municipal bands have offered their concerts since colonial times.

Impressive buildings of eclectic and sometimes neoclassical style surround this beautiful park. Among them, La Caridad theater, an architectural jewel of the 19th century, that was declared a national monument in 1982. José Marti provincial library, built at the beginning of the 20th century, was formally the seat of government and the first place where the remains of Che and his comrades from Bolivia were received on arrival in Santa Clara. The Museum of Decorative Arts is a domestic building from the second half of the 18th century considered the oldest of this site but preserved in very good condition.

The visitor cannot avoid going through the Leoncio Vidal Park, not because it is easy to find but because here is the life of this beautiful city. In this space are exchanged the best ideas and feelings. Do you want to really get to know Santa Clara? … The answer: Vidal Park.

For visit: Marta Abreu and Rafael Trista streets between Maximo Gomez & Colon streets, Santa Clara (“22.40681, -79.96514”). Free access daily.

by: Alberto Gonzalez & Leunam Rodríguez