Parque Calderón is, without a doubt, Cuenca's pride and joy. It is the city's main plaza and is dominated by the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, the 'new cathedral,' whose giant sky-blue domes are a visible landmark from all over Cuenca.

The park is one square block.  On one side is Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral) which now serves as a religious museum of early Cuenca and a concert hall for medium-sized performances.

Across Mariscal Sucre on the southeast corner facing the park is the imposing Palace of Justice, whose majestic and colorful stone walls stretch a half-block east and south. The building was originally home to the University of Cuenca, which outgrew it and moved to its current location on 12 de Abril in the 1960s. Many locals still have fond memories of the quaint colonial houses that were torn down in the 1970s to make way for the unexceptional high-rise city hall that towers over this side of the square. 

On the west side of Parque Calderon is the largest structure in colonial Cuenca, Catedral Nueva, (New Cathedral), officially known as Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción. The cathedral was designed in the mid-1880s by German priest Juan Bautista Stiehle.  Construction began in 1885 and, as often happens with cathedrals, it continued for nearly a century. Materials included alabaster and local red and pink marble for the façade, white marble imported from Carrara, Italy, for the interior floor. The distinctive blue tiles of the signature domes were imported from Czechoslovakia. The interior was finally completed in 1967. The stained glass is glorious; the marble altar is modeled on the one in St. Peter’s in Rome. A bigger-than-life statue of Pope Paul, commemorating his 1985 visit to Cuenca, greets visitors who enter from Benigno Malo. The Cuenca Diocese claims, by the way, that based on sheer volume, the cathedral is the largest in Latin America.

Just north of the cathedral on Malo is the old seminary building. On the northwest corner of Cordero and Bolívar is Gobernación del Azuay, the government center of Azuay Province. Across Luis Cordero on the northeast corner of the park is a building that dates back to 1886 now occupied by Frutilado.

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