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Coming from the Malecon, by the street Empedrado passin street Mercaderes, walking between local, tourists and curious personages, we will arrive at the Cathedral Square. This open space is simply majestic, with its imposing Cathedral and buildings of baroque style, all of the eighteenth century. One of the most beautiful places in Old Havana.

The Cathedral Square was the last to be formed of the main colonial squares. That makes it the newest of the four main squares of the city. A glance around allows us to enjoy the view of elegant palaces, embellished with porticos that give shade and protection.

Centuries ago, the most important aristocrats and merchants of this city lived here. This was one of the most elegant places in Havana where important religious ceremonies and celebrations were held. Here businessmen gathered to discuss their great successes. For artisans, traders and artists this was considered one of the most attractive meeting places.

Some of the most outstanding buildings in this square, besides the Cathedral of San Cristobal de La Habana, are: the Palace of the Marquises of Aguas Claras, building that houses the restaurant El Patio; The Palace of the Count of Lombillo; The Palace of the Marquis of Arcos; The Palace of the Counts of Casa Bayona, where currently the Museum of Colonial Art is housed; and the Wilfredo Lam Center, one of the best art galleries in Havana.

On the outskirts of the House of the Count of Lombillo is the bronze statue and life-size of the Spanish dancer and choreographer Antonio Gades, leaning on one of the stone columns of the Palace.

For visit: Empedrado and O´Reilly streets between Mercaderes & San Ignacio streets, Old Havana, La Habana (“23.14078, -82.35148”). Free access daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez