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The first known public square of Havana
Plaza de Armas (Armas Square) was not always a public place - in the 16th century, most of the plaza was occupied by the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and its keeper, Diego Quiñones, turned it into a maneuver ground in 1584. Before this, the square was known as Plaza de la Iglesia (Church Square).
The name changed because of the frequency of military exercises. Since 1923 the official name of the plaza is that of the Cuban patriot Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.