Iglesia del Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje
Before the Iglesia del Cristo was erected in 1640, a hermitage devoted to Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje stood near this site in the 16th century. This hermitage was also known as The Calvary and was where the Stations of the Cross processions, which were taken on by the new church, ended. On Good Fridays the processions left from the Convento de San Francisco de Asís and ended at the Iglesia del Cristo. Crosses were put up along the way. One of the streets –today Amargura and formerly known as de las Cruces (of the Crosses) – still shows this religious layout at the so called Casa de la Cruz Verde (House of the Green Cross). The house can be found at the corner of Mercaderes Street and it used to mark the first station of the cross, in memory of the way followed by The Redeemer in his ascent to the Calvary.
In 1693 the church was declared accessory parish of the Parroquial Mayor by the Bishop Avelino de Compostela, who is famed as the most remarkable bishop of the Cuban diocese.
Inside the church, the image of Jesus on the Cross among travelers and sailors became very popular because it was thought to keep people from harm.
The structure of the church is intriguing because of the simplicity of its towers –its sides are just simple frames– and of its lateral façades, in complete harmony with the character of the works of the 17th century. However, the baroque motifs of its cornice and the great flared arches are 18th century features.
In 1932 the church was enlarged by the Augustinians, who added Saint Rita to the worship.
Address: Teniente Rey y Villegas