Sancti Spíritus , city
(1994 est. pop. 86,000), Sancti Spíritus prov., central
Cuba, on the Yayabo River. It is the commercial and processing
center of an area that raises sugarcane, tobacco, and cattle.
Founded in 1514, the city was moved to its present site in
1522. It experienced several pirate attacks. During the 19th
cent., it became one of Cuba's most aristocratic cities. Sancti
Spíritus was the first important city to be captured
by Fidel Castro's guerrilla forces (late 1958). Declared a
historic monument on its 450th anniversary, the city retains
some of its colonial atmosphere; landmarks include a 16th-century
bridge over the Yayabo River, a 16th-century church, and a
theater dating back to 1839.
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