Finding the CARLOS MANUEL DE CESPEDES home and birthplace in Bayamo is rather easy as most visitors are either walking to or from this historic building, it is located at number 57 on Antonio Maceo Street in the heart of the city, a street previously called Burruchaga or Mercaderes alley. The house looks out onto the picturesque Isabel II. One of the few two-story colonial houses in the City it has been kept in the exact original state. Cuba’s national hero and freedom fighter, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes was born in one of the first story rooms of the house on April 18th 1819. He was the son of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Ana Maria de Quesada y Loinaz. He was also a distant cousin of Perucho Figueredo. Lovingly known by all Cuban as “Father of the Motherland” Cespedes is indelibly a part of Cuba’s long fight for autonomy and freedom. In 1915, Céspedes married Laura Bertini y Alessandri, an Italian, first in Rome and then later again at City Hall in New York City by Mayor John Purroy Mitchel. They had one child together, the daughter Alba de Céspedes y Bertini.
Cuba’s national hero was educated first in New York City until 1885, when his mother took him and his twin sister to Germany where they later studied. He earned degrees in international law and diplomacy from the Instituto Stanislas in Paris, France. In 1895, he returned to Cuba and from 1895 to 1898 he fought in the War of Independence, becoming a teniente coronel (lieutenant colonel) and the revolutionary post of governor of the Province of Santiago de Cuba. At his home there is a small museum in the upper floor of the building showing real furniture which dates back to Cespedes era and the XIX Century. The dwelling also features an original painting by Augusto Chartrand Dubois, and a huge four-poster bronze bed complete with two oval shields. The drawing on the head of the bed shows the Italian Lake Bromeo and the one on the feet side of the bed is a painting of the countryside.