At the heart of the city, bordered by the city’s four main streets (including the three pedestrianized blocks of the main shopping street, Independencia), Parque Martí is fringed with sturdy trees and features a central 1920s bust of José Martí in reflective pose. On the park’s south side stands the cathedral, San Eugenio de la Palma, a bland modern structure with a gigantic concrete saint tacked to the outside; next door is the stately town hall.
Set in a beautiful 1920s colonial building on the east side of Parque Martí, the Museo de Artes Decorativas is the jewel in Ciego’s crown. Though few of the beautiful exhibits are of Cuban origin, as a whole they provide an illuminating insight into the level of luxury enjoyed by colonial Creoles. Spanish-speaking guides are on hand to talk you through the finer pieces, which include a fabulous tall-necked Art Nouveau vase in gold and claret glass, and a nursery kitted out with white pajilla cane furniture.