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Plaza Vieja Square Tour

Country: Cuba
City: Havana
Duration: 1 Day(s) - 0 Night(s)
Tour Category: Full Day Tours

Package Itinerary

The next square in this tour will be the Plaza Vieja (Old Square), initially Plaza Nueva (New Square) until the Plaza del Cristo was built. At the end of the 1600s, this square was a center of commerce and public life and in early the 1800s the Mercado de Cristina (Cristina market), named after the Spanish queen, was built there.

The market was substituted by an underground parking place in 1908 and later by a park. Late in the 20th century, the square was restored with a replica of the original fountain that was there at the time of the market.

Explore More About Plaza Vieja Square:

The Plaza Vieja, designed in 1559, is the most striking plaza in Havana from an architectural point of view. It is located in Old Havana and, in it, the Cuban baroque coexists with the Art Nouveau-inspired by the Gaudinian style. However, after a thorough rehabilitation, modernist architecture elements are mixed with the colonial buildings, giving life to a remarkably beautiful plaza.

Originally the square was known as Plaza Nueva and was used for military exercises, carnivals, proclamations, and whatever the social vicissitudes of the time. Later, it was used as an open-air market known as Reina Cristina. Nowadays, it is dotted with restaurants, cafes, bars, and beer gardens, a great place to stop on your way through Old Havana.

Today, Havana's Plaza Vieja is colorful and in its prime. Here you can find interesting places such as the Cámara Oscura, an ingenious optical device from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the city from the top of its 35-meter tower for only 2 CUC; or the Palacio Cueto (Cueto Palace), the finest example of Art Nouveau in Havana.

Just behind the square, you can see the baroque Palacio del Conde de San Juan de Jaruco (Conde de San Juan de Jaruco’s Palace), built in the 17th century and owned by Don Gabriel Beltrán de Santa Cruz y Aranda, who obtained the noble title in 1768 for his exploits against the English.

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