Plaza de la Vigía


The original Plaza de Armas still remains as Plaza de la Vigía (literally 'lookout place'), a reference to the threat from piracy and smuggling that Matanzas' first settlers faced. This diminutive square was where Matanzas was founded in the late 17th century and numerous iconic historical buildings still stand guard.

The square was thoroughly refurbished in 2019 and was positively gleaming at last visit.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matanzas attractions

1. Palacio de Justicia

0.02 MILES

This is one of several impressive constructions on the Plaza de la Vigía opposite the Teatro Sauto, first erected in 1826 and rebuilt between 1908 and…

2. Teatro Sauto

0.03 MILES

The defining symbol of the city according to Mexican painter (and admirer) Diego Rivera, the Teatro Sauto (1863) on Plaza de la Vigía's south side is one…

3. Cuartel de Bomberos

0.03 MILES

This unique firefighting museum occupies a still-working fire station and is staffed by friendly volunteers who’ll show you around lovingly polished…

4. Museo Palacio de Junco

0.05 MILES

This double-arched edifice on the Plaza de la Vigía showcases the full sweep of Matanzas' history from pirate incursions to the cruel reign of slavery…

5. Puente Calixto García

0.07 MILES

If you've only got time to see one bridge (there are 21 in total) in Cuba's celebrated 'city of bridges,' gravitate toward this impressive steel structure…

6. Che Mural

0.11 MILES

An eye-catching Che Mural – a copy in mosaic of Alberto Korda's famous 1960 photo – lies to the south of Puente Calixto García.

7. Catedral de San Carlos Borromeo

0.17 MILES

Standing back from the disorganized melee of Calle 83 behind shady Plaza de la Iglesia is Matanzas' main church, a neoclassical structure with two unequal…

8. Galería-Taller El Garabato

0.21 MILES

The workspace and gallery of local painter Adrián Socorro is fortuitously located next to Taller-Galería Lolo, inviting you to witness a double-whammy of…