Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square), Havana

Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square), Havana (must see)

Plaza de la Catedral is one of five main squares in old Havana. The Catedral de San Cristobal (Havana Cathedral) dominates the plaza. The construction of this cathedral was completed in 1777. The Catedral de San Cristobal held the remains of Christopher Columbus from 1796 to 1898.

The Catedral de San Cristobal was built in the Baroque style and features two asymmetrical bell towers. The Catedral was constructed from blocks of coral; you can see fossilized marine life in the blocks. Inside The Catedral, you will find many interesting sculptures and paintings, such as a 1632 sculpture of Saint Christopher, Patron Saint of Havana.

Admire the magnificent mansions built by Cuba's elite, which surround the square. These mansions have since become landmarks and museums.

Don't miss the Casa de Lombillo. The Casa de Lombillo housed the first Cuban post office and is now a museum. The Casa del Conde de Casa Bayona is now the Museo de Arte Colonial. The Casa de Los Condes de Peñalver which now functions as one of Cuba's premier art galleries.

Why You Should Visit

Visiting the Plaza de la Catedral is like stepping back in time. The Catedral de San Cristobal and mansions built here are absolutely beautiful. This area of Old Havana has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it's easy to see why.

Plaza de la Catedral is also a social center for locals. You might see kids engaging in an impromptu soccer game, entertainers on stilts, or fortune-tellers ready to tell your fortune.

Tips

To take in the square like a local, stop by El Patio Colonial for a meal. Sit inside, under the portico, or enjoy the sunshine on the plaza. This popular restaurant is located inside Casa de Los Marqueses de Aguas Claras, which was once owned by a descendent of Ponce de Leon.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Havana. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square) on Map

Sight Name: Plaza de la Catedral (Cathedral Square)
Sight Location: Havana, Cuba (See walking tours in Havana)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Havana, Cuba

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Create Your Own Walk in Havana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Havana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Historical Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Discovered and conquered by Spanish colonists in the early 16th century, Havana has turned into a major religious center of Catholicism in the Caribbean. Although a communist regime is currently in power, many of the churches, cathedrals, and other religious buildings have been preserved and still give a glimpse of the city’s religious heritage.

The old Havana Cathedral, located in a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The Spanish founded Havana in 1519. After French pirate Jacques de Sores ransacked the city in 1555, the Castle of the Royal Force was built to protect the city.

Havana became a major stopping point between the newly discovered Americas and ancient Europe. In the 1600s, Havana was a major shipbuilding port.

Old Havana is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic city has five...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Old Palaces Walking Tour

Old Palaces Walking Tour

Havana has been the seat of Cuba’s ruling gentry for centuries. Today, you can walk the streets of Old Havana and explore its palaces to get a glimpse into the city’s royal past. Although these structures now serve Havana’s citizens and visitors, they still catch your eye (and your camera lens!) with their architecture and history.

Start your trip with the ornate Presidential Palace,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Hemingway's Havana Walking Tour

Ever since Hemingway first visited Cuba in 1928 until his death in 1961, he felt an intense connection with the people and culture of Cuba. Hemingway lived at Hotel Ambos Mundos during the 1930s, and began, wrote, and finished several novels there. Today, you can see some of Hemingway's belongings in Room 511.

Hemingway was a frequent patron at El Floridita, famous for its daiquiris....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles

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