Iglesia del Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit Church)

Espiritu Santo churchAfter the Parroquial Mayor, Havana had a second temple: the one of the Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit). This church is the oldest still standing. Its construction dates back to June, 1632. It was small and poor. Free blacks, already numerous, devoted it to the Holy Spirit in 1638.

The church was built as a result of f the town’s growth, because the new neighbors lived too far from the Parroquial Mayor. At the same time the creation of another church at San Juan de Dios, all the way across town, was proposed.

Within the church, improved by the bishops Jerónimo Valdés y Sierra and Pedro A. Morell, there is a chapel with a stone vaulted roof and a burial chamber beneath. The church tower has three stories and was, alongside the one at the Convento de San Francisco de Asís, one of the tallest in the city.

In 1936 the grave of the Bishop Valdés, a man who did so much for the city’s poor, was found in the church.

Address: Cuba e/ Jesús María y Acosta