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Arms Squared Tour

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

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Plaza de Armas (arms squared) replaced in the 1600s the old Plaza Mayor with the construction of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and was used until 1771 for open-air religious ceremonies and military exercises to which the square owes its name. The almost one-century transformation until 1838 made the Plaza de Armas a favorite of rich Havana citizens for their carriage rides. Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the Templete, Castillo de la Real Fuerza and Hotel Santa Isabel are some of the important buildings located around this square.

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French émigrés from Bordeaux and Louisiana founded the settlement of Fernandina de Jagua on a large, calm bay on the Caribbean Sea on April 22, 1819. In 1830, when it was upgraded to a town, its name was changed to Cienfuegos, in honor of José Cienfuegos, the Governor-General of Cuba. Fifty years later, it was proclaimed a city and, for its beauty, was called "the pearl of the south." By the end of the 19th century, it had become the fourth most important city in the country.

Considered the crowning jewel of Cuban architecture in the 19th century, Cienfuegos stands out for the perfect design of its streets and for the refinement and good taste of the buildings in the historic center of the city, which has been declared a national monument. When visiting, stop by the Casa del Fundador (the Founder's House); Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) Cathedral; the Tomás Terry Theater; the Ferrer Palace; and the José Martí Park, which contains the only arch of triumph in Cuba.

Other attractions include the Prado Promenade, the Valle Palace, the museums of Naval and Provincial History, and the Reina (Queen's) Cemetery.

Farther out from the center of the city, tour the Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Jagua (Jagua for short) Fortress, the Tomás Acea Cemetery, and the Botanical Gardens.

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