Plaza Vieja Tavel Guide
Plaza Vieja (Old Square) was the site of executions, processions, bullfights, and fiestas - all witnessed by Havana's wealthiest citizens, who looked on from their balconies. The plaza emerged in 1559 and was originally called Plaza Nueva (New Square), and used for military and later served as a market.
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. The urban architectural complex of Plaza Vieja is represented by valuable colonial buildings from the XVII, XVIII and XIX and some examples of the early twentieth century.
Since the early eighties, once Old Havana was declared World Heritage Site by Unesco, architects and restorers began a restoration project. Today, Plaza Vieja has own restaurants, cafes, a beautiful fenced-in fountain and some of the Havana's finest stained-glass windows.