Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in Cuba and the capital of the province of Santiago de Cuba. The city has about 500,000 inhabitants. Until 1556 Santiago was the capital of Cuba and the base of the Spanish Armada in the Caribbean. In 1862 "Don" Facundo Bacardí Massó founded the internationally most famous and successful company, the distillery Bacardí. On July 26, 1953, the Cuban Revolution under Fidel Castro began with the assault on the Mancada barracks. On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro proclaimed the victory of the Cuban Revolution in Santiago de Cuba. On January 1, 1984, President Fidel Castro awarded the City of Santiago the honorary title of "Hero City of the Republic of Cuba." The official motto of the city which is part of the city coat of arms is: "Yesterday rebellious, today hospitable, always heroic". The Sanctuary of El Cobre with its richly decorated saint figure is located between Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba. The Merciful Virgin of Cobre (span: Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre) is a revered wooden saint figure since 1612 and the main object of pilgrimages in Cuba. On March 27, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI. revered the Virgin of El Cobre with a golden rose on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of her discovery during his pilgrimage to Cuba. Santiago is characterized by both Spanish and French influences, most visible in the Tivolí district which developed during the wave of immigration of French settlers and their slaves.