On the southern edge of the colonial sector is the tree-shaded Plaza Miranda. Positioned at the halfway point between the cathedral and the cemetery, it was once known as the Plaza Descanso (rest), because funeral pallbearers would stop to break here along the way to burials. A sizable building on its eastern side was constructed in 1870 as a hospital, but it never served that purpose. It has had a bizarre list of tenants instead, having been used as a prefecture, theatre, army barracks and police station. Eventually it opened in 1992 as the Centro de las Artes and stages temporary exhibitions of modern art, though it was being given a renovation on our last visit and should reopen again in 2010.
Centro de las Artes