Plaza de la Catedral, the best preserved of the old squares in Habana Vieja, owes its name to Catedral de San Cristobal constructed in 18th century, one of the most beautiful churches in the Americas. The baroque façade was meticulously sculpted by artisans and is perfectly symmetrical. One of 11 Roman Catholic cathedrals in Cuba, the church is considered one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Cuba. The curves and double curves forming pilaster structures within the façade are spectacular. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus’ remains once resided here before Spain took them back after Cuban Independence. Pope John Paul II visited the church in 1998, in a first ever visit by a Roman Pontiff. The same year, the Cuban government re-instated Christmas as a holiday.
In addition to the cathedral, there are several more interesting architectural features on the square including the Seminario de San Carlos y San Ambrosio, Museo de Arte Colonial and Palacio de los Marqueses.