IntroductionSantiago de Cuba, one of Cuba's oldest cities, lies on the eastern end of the island—485 mi/780 km east of Havana. Founded in 1514 as the country's first capital, this hill city predates Havana and has a distinct architectural style. Earthquakes have damaged it repeatedly: Most of the buildings are from the 1800s and early 1900s. Although much of the city is badly deteriorated, it has a beautiful setting at the foot of the Sierra Maestra Mountains and overlooks a magnificent bay, and has been beautified in recent years. It is known as the Revolutionary City for its many associations with the Cuban Revolution, birthed there in 1953. It's popular with French tourists and is a stop on the itinerary of several European and U.S. cruise lines.
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