Cuba: Plaza Vieja in Old HavanaFebruary 10, 2013 | | Print |
Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes
HAVANA TIMES — Plaza Vieja is without a doubt one of the most beautiful squares located in Old Havana. The Plaza is bordered by San Ignacio, Muralla, Teniente Rey and Mercaderes streets.
However its name wasn’t always the current one.
When it was first built in 1559 with the aim of expanding the city it was called Plaza Nueva (New Square).
Later, in the eighteenth century, the square was converted into a popular market, and was called Plaza del Mercado (Market Square) as Havana’s commercial hub.
Subsequently, in 1814, when a new market was built in the Plaza del Cristo, it began being called Plaza Vieja.
Before 1959, the Plaza Vieja had various uses, the last of which was an underground parking lot, but when Old Havana was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1982, restorers and architects from the Havana Historian’s Office became dedicated to restoring the historic Plaza. They eliminated the underground parking lot and placed a replica of the original fountain that existed there.
Daily life in the old square has many attractions for both Cubans and tourists visiting the Cuban capital, as there are numerous activities, such as street theater and music, visual arts activities and circus acts.
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