Independence hero Simon Bolivar presides over this busy square on horseback.
The heart of Caracas.
Located in the center of the city, this square is one of the liveliest places in the Venezuelan capital, as well as one of the ones that have been witness to the most historical events. During the Spanish colonial period it was known as Plaza Mayor de Caracas; when independence hero Simon Bolivar's remains returned to Venezuela, it was renamed in his honor post-independence. This was also where public executions of those the colonial government considered subversive took place. Paradoxically, the square was also the site of the first independence movements, including in 1810 an important rebellion against mother country Spain. Since 1874, a great 12-foot tall equestrian statue of Bolivar presides over the square, the work of the sculptor Adan Todalini.