The Black Virgen
If you want to visit Regla, the best way to get there is also by ferry from the foot of calles Luz and Santa Clara in Old Havana, but it is not the same ferry that goes to Casablanca. Regla is ringed by heavy industry, but the old town is still quite pleasant, and its main forms of transportation are trucks and horse-drawn carts. The main reason people come here is to visit the early 19th-century Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla.
This church is dedicated to the black Virgen de Regla, the patron saint of Cuba’s sailors. Her counterpart in Santería is Yemayá, goddess of the sea. You will see worshipers making offerings here, many dressed in blue, or wearing blue-and-crystal beads – the colors of Yemayá. Her day is September 8, when there is a procession in her honor.
The church also has an altar to Santa Bárbara, twinned in Santería with Changó, god of war and machismo. Offerings here are in red, the color of Changó. His feast day is celebrated on December 4. The Museo Municipal de Regla (Calle Martí, 158 between Facciolo and La Piedra) has information and displays of Yoruba culture and the links with Santería.