Experience Plaza Las Delicias in Ponce
As the main plaza in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce, Plaza Las Delicias features landscaped gardens, sparkling fountains and many noteworthy monuments and buildings, including the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (more often referred to simply as Ponce Cathedral), and the historic firehouse building Parque de Bombas. Bordering the Plaza Las Delicias is the Teatro Fox Delicias to the north, the Ponce City Hall to the south, the Armstrong-Poventud Residence to the west, and to the east are two historic buildings which previously housed the first banking institutions in Puerto Rico – the Banco de Ponce and Banco Crédito y Ahorro Ponceño. The Plaza Las Delicias dates back to the time of early Spanish settlement in Puerto Rico’s history, and is actually a combination of two squares – Plaza Degetau and Plaza Muñoz – with the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and the Parque de Bombas located between them.
Plaza Degetau was originally known as the Antigua Plaza Real, with the name later changing to Plaza Mayor, before being renamed in the early 20th century in honor of the first Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico to the US House of Representatives, Federico Degetau. It is in this part of Plaza Las Delicias that visitors will find the spectacular bronze and marble Fuente de los Leones (Lions Fountain) which, as the name suggests, features four majestic lion statues. A high-tech lighting system in the fountain is an attractive feature that contributes to making the plaza one of the favored tourist attractions in Ponce. Plaza Muñoz Rivera started out as Paseo de La Alameda, and was later renamed in honor of renowned Puerto Rican statesman, poet and journalist, Luis Muñoz Rivera. A bronze statue of Luis Muñoz Rivera is the centerpiece of the square, with two fountains enhancing the park-like surroundings.
Plaza Las Delicias has wide sidewalks paved in mosaic tiles, with flower gardens, beautiful Indian laurel trees, marble benches for visitors to relax on and superbly crafted 19th century lampposts. The plaza is always bustling with visiting tourists, shoppers and schoolchildren, while at night the square is often the venue for music concerts, particularly in the summer months. Visitors to Ponce who take the time to explore Plaza Las Delicias soon understand why more than a quarter of a million people visit this attraction every year.