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Plaza de la Vigía Square, Matanzas

Stroll through the pretty and colorful Plaza de la Vigía Square and enjoy the grand buildings surrounding it

Plaza de la Vigía Square, Matanzas
Plaza de la Vigía Square
© Markus Paco

The remarkable Plaza de la Vigía Square is the founding core of the city of Matanzas, where the city itself began to be built.


At first, Plaza de la Vigía Square was the first Plaza de Armas in this Cuban city, founded in 1693, and the rest of the city’s buildings were built around it. 

The Vigía’s current name was inherited from an old fort located next to the city, which was part of the area’s defensive belt, protecting it  from pirate attacks. However, when it lost its strategic relevance in the mid-19th century(1850), the fort was demolished and substituted by the grandiose nineteenth-century buildings we witness today, and currently a very important part of the city’s beauty, now being known as the “Athens of Cuba”.

Thus, in 1826 the Aduana Building was erected, which is now the Courthouse or Provincial Court.

At the beginning, the construction had a single floor with columns outside connected by arches. But at the beginning of the 20th century, specifically in 1908, it was decided to rebuild it, adding a second floor to make up the complete building as it is today and as it has been since 1911. Apart from this building, other three others located in the square: the fire station, the Junco Palace and the Sauto Theater; a wonderful architectural complex with some added museums.

If you enter the square from the Puente Calixto García Bridge, you’ll discover why it is considered the most colourful construction in the city. You’ll also find out that in the center of the square there is a statue to honor the Soldado Libertador, where it is possible to read the words “Fatherland or Death”. 

During your walk through this historical square you may find some political or cultural activities going on, and which frequently take place there.

More information:


Calle Magdalena e/ Milanés y Río Matanzas. Matanzas, Cuba.

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