History of Santiago de Cuba
The history of Santiago de Cuba begins with Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, who founded Villa de Santiago de Cuba on July 25, 1515. Its nuclear foundation was distributed as it follows: at the centers the plaza, currently known as Parque Cespedes; surrounding it the Major Church, known as the Cathedral; the Government building, today city hall and occupied by the Museum of Historical Environment. The first expeditions for the conquest of the American continent departed from here.
In 1522, the first afro-descendent people arrived in the villa and their introduction continued during the XVI, XVII and XVIII century because the island needed workers. In 1599, due to the copper mining activity the Santiago del Prado Town was established and the cult to the Caridad del Cobre Virgin was born.
In 1791, the arrival of French settlers started. They settled down in the city and in the mountains, where they built a coffee emporium with the sweat and blood of thousands of black African people.