Plaza Vieja has experienced many incarnations, but is now one of Havana's most vibrant gathering spots. Originally laid out in the mid 16th century, the square was once used for military exercises and was also a popular marketplace. Sadly, in the 1950s, construction engulfed the plaza and transformed it into an underground car park. Thanks to the citizens of Havana and government support, the Plaza Vieja has been restored and is now one of the most popular squares in Old Havana. An eclectic mix of restored buildings - from Art Nouveau to Cuban Baroque - preside at its edges and a small 18th-century fountain bubbles at its center.