Originally known as Plaza Nueva, meaning “new square” in English, Plaza Vieja was constructed in 1559, and was considered Havana’s main public square. But its importance dwindled with the development of neighboring Plaza de Armas. The plaza is surrounded by intricate arcades and ancient colonial buildings dating back to as early as the 17th century. At the center stands a fountain built in 1796, bearing the crest of Count of Santa Clara. Today, many of the colonial buildings are turned into galleries and museums such as the Visual Arts Development Center and Fototeca de Cuba. A top tourist attraction in Habana Vieja, the square has also seen a wave of store openings such as international brands Paul & Frank and Lacoste.