Didem Doğan

Plaza Vieja: A Coffee and a Few Postcards before Bidding Havana Goodbye

Plaza Vieja, which means ‘Old Square’ in Spanish was originally named ‘New Square’ when it was built, because the city’s oldest square, Plaza de las Armas predates it. Plaza Vieja was used for formal celebrations for a while, and then served as a market place. Today it is still the best-preserved looking among the squares in Havana and it is on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. After the old town changed with a series of renovations, it is now second to none among European squares. The square is colourful and it is a cross between architectural styles. Around this colourful rectangle where different streets lead to the same spot is an array of restaurants, cafés, and watering holes. One of these places is taking my fancy, probably because there are sacks of coffee on its shelves: Café el Escorial. I am buying a postcard there and say good bye to Havana.