Cuba: Plaza Vieja in Old Havana

Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes

Plaza Vieja, Old Havana
Plaza Vieja, Old Havana

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.

Plaza Vieja, Old Havana
Plaza Vieja, Old Havana

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.

The square is surrounded by restored colonial buildings from the XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries.

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One thought on “Cuba: Plaza Vieja in Old Havana

  • I normaly drink my Coffee in the morning and afternoon on the Plaza Vieja best fresh coffee in Havana it is locatet, as I recall, in the left corner on the Northside of the Plaza. The Cuba sandwich I take in at the Oriente and in the evening my Pernod (water con Gaz) at the ground floor of the Havana Libre, where I during the day change money if necessary with no waiting line et all. The Rock is a good place for a drink and something to eat, it is locatet on the other side of the Ramp, this is only for Yumas or Gringos, best Dinner in the City is at the Saratoga Beefsteak around CUC 16.00 no problem et all!! No waiting in line even not at the Metropolitana Bank near the Malecon!! Do not blame me I worked my whole life for the; Government and paid Taxes, for my Family, and for my Wife and Kids, Grand Kids and Great Grand Kids!! 8 will visit me in April in Florida from Switzerland!! End of April/May I will be visiting Plaza Vieja again.

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