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Havana's most charming square.

Apr 18, 2008
To go sightseeing in Havana means also visiting the Plaza de la Catedral, a virtuous place with cobbled streets, full of beauty and senses, a place where thousands of people from all over the world get together each month, as tourist guides recall it.

Today is known as Cathedral Square and it is full of amazing features but in the past dating back to the 17th Century it was know as The Swamp Square. Looking at today's scenery it is very difficult to imagine marsh and floods ion this area. The fact is that it was used to supply the vessels anchored in the harbour with water and there was no construction whatsoever other than a huge pond filled with water coming from the only aqueduct in the 17th Century.

The name is due to a large cathedral built first as oratory of the Hijos de San Ignacio, of the Jesuit order, which first stone was placed in 1748. After three decades the oratory was built, the Cathedral was already functioning, and between 1802 and 1832, important restoration works were made. Beautifully decorated, with important works and copies made by the French Jean Baptiste Vermay, it is a place worth visiting.

Numerous important gatherings take place in this astonishing little spot of Havana. Festival, music concerts and gala dinners for important groups have found the perfect venue in Cathedral Square. The weather is always nice and the atmosphere can not be better. Surrounded by a magnificent architecture and serenaded by some always excellent Cuban music can be the ideal perfect evening.

Only few steps away La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant can be found. This together with el Floridita restaurant are the most famous and emblematic restaurants in Cuba. It serves the best Cuban cuisine and its walls are decorated with pictures and autographs of many famous personalities such as Ernest Hemingway, Mario Benedetti, Pablo Neruda or Errol Flyn and so many others.

The list of celebrities is very long and it has been like that for decades now. Today holiday makers can enjoy one of the best restaurants not only in terms of the food but also in terms of character. Its bar is very intimate, small and cosy and like in many other bars in Havana music is always played by a small traditional Cuban band.

Since very early in the mornings the square becomes crowded with tourists who come to take pictures, visit the Cathedral or any of the palaces around it. After much wandering around you can seat at El Patio Restaurant whose tables are spread all over the square and enjoy the people passing by.

These places are almost sacred for a demanding tourist who is able to take pictures with his/her camera to take home after a truly amusing holidays. A Cuban feast for the senses. An environment to meditate and live. A perfect place for some leisure and dreaming.
About the Author
If you need to know more about how to make the most out of your package holidays to Cuba please contact us at www.quest2cuba.co.uk
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