This square was perfectly kept in my mind from my first trip. So when I arrived I noticed it was almost the same, which is not surprising for Havana Vieja. The huge Cathedral of San Cristobal, the restaurant El Patio, the museums and beautifully maintained 18th c. buildings around the square makes it the most interesting square in Havana.
A newly married couple were posing for the wedding album. The street musicians and vendors in old time outfits gave a nice touch to the picture.
Tourists are always present and when the imposing Cathedral is open a big crowd of them are curious to see its interior.
The best way to walk in to the square is from calle San Ignacio and the façade of the Cathedral faces you and is a step back in time, it has such a distinctive "Spanish mission" look about it. The square used to be a swampland until drained and then used as a dry dock. There are some fine buildings around the square with the Palacio del Marquès de Arcos and the Casa del Conde de Lombillo adjoining it on one side. Opposite there is an 18th c building housing the Centro Wilfredo Lam, an important art house with a restaurant on the lower floor. Completing the square is the Colonial Arts museum occupying another Palacio dating from 1720.
Plaza de la Catedral is one of the most authentic and well preserved squares in Havana, with the cathedral and surrounding buildings almost all restored to their original splendor. The Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana is an 18th century building set in the north side of the square. On the opposite side is the oldest building, which dates from 1720, the Museo de Arte Colonial, an architectural masterpiece that is built around a central courtyard containing tropical plants.
Other sophisticated buildings line this square and now house cafés, restaurants and an impressive post office.
The square is dominated by the facade of the Catedral de San Cristobal, the cathedral is free to look round. Facing the cathedral is the Museo de Arte Colonial, a museum dedicated to Colonial furniture & objects. Another side of the square is taken up by El Patio, this bar & restaurant has shaded tables on the square as well as in an inner courtyard. An art gallery is on the remaining side of the square.
Built in the 18th century the CATEDRAL DE SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA HABANA is a fine example of Cuban barocque. It is claimed that the relics of Christopher Columbus were here from 1796 to 1898, but there is no official proof of this claim.
Construction began in 1748 by the Jesuits and completed by the Franciscans in 1777 - 29 years later.
Inside the Catedral it is amazing with its impressive vaulted ceilings and enormous altar. Very much worth seeing.
One of the lovliest squares in Havana is the PLAZA DE LA CATEDRAL or Cathedral Square. The Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana is an 18th century Barocque Cathedral which dominates the Square. The Palacio de los Marqueses de Aguas Claras (1760) is also part of the square and houses El Patio Restaurant where we had lunch.
The Plaza was teeming with activity and is a wonderful spot to sip Mojitos and listen to local musicians playing wonderful Cuban music. Also Habaneras wearing colourful dresses, were offering to pose for a picture with you for a Peso. All in all a very exciting place to visit and experience.
In 1592, the Zanja Real, the city's first aqueduct, reached the square. A 16th century plaque in the square marks the sot where Zanja was located. In 18 th century the aristocratic buildings nd present day Cathedral were built here. The Baraque facade ofthis church are declared a national monument and are considered one of the most beautiful in the Americas. Very often you can see woman in Colonial costiumes sitting on steps of the Cathedral de San Cristobal. Around you can see Palacio del Conde Lombillo, Palacio de los Marquesesde Arcos. Museo del Arte Colonial(1720), Seminario de san Carlos y San Ambrosio and Palacio de los Marqueses de Aquas Claras ( in 1900s it housed the Paris Restaurant, now it is a bar -restaurant with tables outside- great place to take a break from walking)
Catedral de San Cristobal- This is Old Havana's classic cathedral. The plaza fronting the cathedral and the church's baroque facade, with its asymmetrical towers, are the most visited attractions in Habana Vieja. Inside, the cathedral is simple, almost to the point of austerity, thanks to a radical 19th-century neoclassical makeover. Still, the vaulted ceilings, massive stone pillars, and modest collection of art and antiquities certainly make it worth a visit. Of these, the 17th-century wooden sculpture of Saint Christopher is quite interesting -- note the shortened legs, which were cut in order to get the piece into place. Despite the official visiting hours listed below, the church is frequently closed tight. If you're lucky, you might be able to attend Mass here at 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, or at 10:30am on Sunday.
When you take a shuttle or taxi to La Habana Vieja, they usually drop you off near the Plaza de la Catedral, which makes it the perfect spot to begin your journey through the old streets of the city. The Cathedral itself is definitely worth visiting; built in the 18th century, it is dedicated to San Cristobal. The Plaza surrounding the Cathedral is always full of life, with many tourists stopping for a drink at the nearby patio, musicians and other local people looking to make a few CUC by braiding your hair, wearing colorful costumes for pictures, etc. A great place to start and end your day in La Habana Vieja!
Plaza de la Catedral is one of the most authentic and best-preserved squares in Havana. The Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana is an 18th-century Baroque building occupying the north side of the square. On the opposite side is the oldest building, which dates from 1720, the Museo de Arte Colonial, an architectural masterpiece that is built around a central courtyard containing tropical plants, which is complemented by the collection of colonial furniture gathered from Havana?s palaces and mansions. Other sophisticated buildings line this square and now house caf?s, restaurants and an impressive post office.
Lovely place to sip mojitos and listen to Christmas songs played by the kids...
t is the greatest example of the so-called “Cuban baroque style,” that was developed in Cuba at the beginning of the 18th century. Its construction started in 1748 and was stopped in 1767, when its managing agency, Compañía de Jesús (Jesus Company) was expelled from Spain and overseas territories –of course, Havana included--. Short time later, it was agreed to continue building it to transfer the Main Parish to such place. The construction finished in 1777, and it was given the rank of Cathedral in 1787. For over 100 years-from 1796 to 1898-the body of Christopher Columbus lay in a mausoleum here.
Is a must to every visitor. Here the pope Juan Pablo II gave one his mass prayers in january of 1998. It has beatifull buildings nearby, restorants and museum.
It is the greatest example of the so-called “Cuban baroque style,” that was developed in Cuba at the beginning of the 18th century. Its construction started in 1748 and was stopped in 1767, when its managing agency, Compañía de Jesús (Jesus Company) was expelled from Spain and overseas territories –of course, Havana included--. Short time later, it was agreed to continue building it to transfer the Main Parish to such place. The construction finished in 1777, and it was given the rank of Cathedral in 1787. For over 100 years-from 1796 to 1898-the body of Christopher Columbus lay in a mausoleum here.
This was the last one of the main squares to be built. During the second half of the XVI century, some neighbors built their houses in this area and named it the swamp, because this is where the waters coming from the city gathered before going into the sea. It is therefore that the first running water system in Havana, Zanja Real, would relieve its waters through a whole on the wall of the square, at a place today known as El Chorro (The Stream), where there is currently a commemorative plate. This square became one of the main places of the city during the XVIII century, wealthy families of Havana’s high society started then to build mansions that can still be seen in the area. Its aspect changed completely, and its name became Cathedral Square after the outstanding Church of Jesus was built on one of its sides. In the XX century, constructions took place in the square, as well as some restoration work considering the city planning work of a French man known as Portier, who earned the credit for the flower on the pavement. The Cathedral Square is a charming and monumental place, inseparable from the soul of the City of Havana.
A life-size bronze statue on the sidewalk just outside the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis. Accroding to the website below, he was a well-known street person with mental illness who frequently wandered in this area in the 1950s. A very interesting story about him.