This place has been very important along the Cali's timeline; full of history, bloody baths, treats of peace, new born laws and others nostalgic details.
This place has been very important along the Cali’s timeline; full of history, bloody baths, treats of peace, new born laws and others nostalgic details.
The Plaza started as a meeting point or market place where the villagers come to sell their products like food, fabrics, animals, vegetables and other stuff; later, in war times, it was a place for soldiers and other military forces, in fact it was a kind of stronghold, which was operating approximately 400 years ago, at the beginning of the city. Nowadays it functions as a public park which is especially visited by old people, and church ladies who go to mass to the neighbouring cathedral, though there you can find young people too, some hawkers and lazy young students getting away from the school.
As a foreigner you can find next to the Plaza cheap and good hotels, old fashioned historic buildings as El Palacio de Justicia (some like The Justice Hall), and is near to many tourist places so you could go on foot to familiarize with the zone.
This location is about a single street called “La Calle de los Hombres” which meaning is “The man’s street”. It was very important in the fifties Cali, it was supposed to be a place for business and where important decisions were made. As its name indicates, it was mainly a street for male characters, near to the Justice Hall (Palacio de Justicia) here came lawyers, policemen, merchants, and people involved with political issues. There were some taverns, barbershops and bar restaurants not able to all audience, some night clubs with pretty ladies and billiard tables. Imagine people like Wigumm (the police in chief from The Simpsons), Tony Montana, and why not, somebody like Travis Bickle.
This was in this way until the late 80’s or beginning 90’s maybe in close relation with the downfall of the Cali’s Mafia which was the pillar of the economy at those times.
Nowadays all the illicit activities has ended, and the place was taken for the lustrabotas (shoeshine people) whose popularity has turned in a traditional characters, you can sit and read the newspaper or have a light chat with your shoe shiner. Here you can buy some lottery bullets too.