About Us

What is now called the Old Square was originally Plaza Nueva (New Square), built as a popular alternative to Plaza de Armas, the military and government nerve center. Later called Plaza del Mercado (Market Square) as Havana's commercial hub, Plaza Vieja was the site of executions, processions, bullfights, and fiestas -- all witnessed by Havana's wealthiest citizens, who looked on from their balconies. The original Carrara marble fountain surrounded by four dolphins was demolished in the 1930s when President Gerardo Machado (1871-1939) built an underground parking lot here. Today the square's surrounding structures vary wildly in condition, though all of them are noteworthy.

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