- Historic Sites
The Emperor of Spain, Phillip II, decreed in 1576 that plazas in the "New World" colonies were to be created following his rigid requirements, namely that plazas were to be placed in the center of each settlement, with major government, commercial, residential and church buildings facing the plaza. Since the founding of Mayagüez, its inhabitants have used Plaza Pública for social, cultural and political purposes. Despite a fire that destroyed much of the town, residents remodeled the plaza in 1842. In 1896, a bronze statue of Columbus was added to the plaza.