The Hill of the Cross

Loma de la Cruz rises only 261 meters above sea level, in Cuba, north of the City of Holguin, a mandatory stop for visitors and a refuge for night owls and artists.

The Loma de la Cruz takes its name from a wooden cross that exists at its summit, a protective symbol for many, a repository of promises or an original ornament for others.

The first cross was placed in 1790, and was raised by Friar Francisco Antonio de Alegría, prior of the Franciscan community of Holguin. From that moment on, it was no longer known as "Cerro Bayado" to take its current name "Loma de la Cruz."

Loma de la Cruz in the 1900s
Loma de la Cruz currently

Fray Francisco A. de Alegría, who climbed the hill with the cross on his back, established the May Romerias there, a religious-traditional Spanish festival, where the date on which Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, died is remembered. on Calvary tied to a wooden cross.

At the beginning of the 20th century, at the initiative of a neighbor named Oscar Albanés (historian and father of Library Science in Holguin), restoration works were carried out on the slopes of Loma de la Cruz, at the base and at the top.

The restoration was carried out by the architect Vicente Biosca, concluding on May 3, 1950, the day the second cross was placed, since the first was already very deteriorated. These works were financed by the residents of the town in Holguin, who resorted to raffles, collections, festivals and other devices.

Over time, various religious activities, known today as the May festivals, took place, which acquired a popular character, all of them having the Loma de la Cruz of Holguin as their patron.

The third cross was placed in the early years of the nineties, because a dry lightning strike, one of those that falls alone, unexpected and without a storm, destroyed it by hitting it directly.

Holguin city from Loma de la Cruz

There was no shortage of people who said that “that wooden cross had not been duly sanctified” by the bishop of the Cathedral of San Isidoro from Holguin, who was ill in the days around May 3, 1950, and not feeling able to climb the hill, he officiated at the cross on the side of the hill.

This third cross, the one we see today in Loma de la Cruz, was built of caguairan, like the original from 1790, since this precious wood is very abundant in the forests of the Bariay region, the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen. , according to Grand Admiral Christopher Columbus upon his arrival on the coast of Holguin.

Stairs of Loma de la Cruz
Restaurant in Loma de la Cruz

The Loma de la Cruz, with 458 steps, intermediate landings and benches included that in the middle of the ascent may seem the most comfortable in the world, its climb is quite steep for those who are not in good physical shape.

Currently, a road was built on the back of Loma de la Cruz, through which you can climb without much effort (by car) and enjoy good food from the restaurant that is located at the top as part of the tourist complex. and admire the City of Holguin from above.

Finally, we recommend ascending the stairs to Loma de la Cruz, which I assure you you will never forget, and which has been declared a Colonial Archaeological Historical Monument of the island of Cuba.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *