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Plaza de Armas Square, Havana

Discover Plaza de Armas Square, delve into and learn more about Cuban Culture in Old Havana, Cuba 

Plaza de Armas Square, Old Havana
Plaza de Armas Square, Old Havana ©G.Bermejo.

Plaza de Armas Square is the oldest of the four Colonial squares in Old Havana, as it was designed around 1520. At that time it was known as Plaza de la Iglesia (Church Square), due to the fact that it housed the Parroquial Mayor Temple, demolished in 1770 and located where nowadays you will find the Capitanes Generales Palace.

Carlos Manuel Céspedes Statue, Plaza de Armas
Carlos Manuel Céspedes Statue ©Tai Pan.

In the 16th century it began to be known as Plaza de Armas, when the Colonial governor decided to use it for military purposes. The square as we know it, as most of the nearby buildings, dates back to the end of 1700.

It currently contains a second-hand-book street market (opened Mondays through Saturdays); a statue of Carlos Manuel Céspedes, who paved the way to Cuba’s independence in 1868; and the Condes de Santovenia Palace, which dates back to the end of the 18th century, and which now hosts the 5-star Santa Isabel Hotel.

In the square you’ll also find rather interesting museums, such as the City Museum, situated within the Capitanes Generales Palace; El Templete Museum; the Natural History National Museum, the Museo de Navegación (Sailing Museum), Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Force) and the Automobile Museum.

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