Plaza de San Sabastián sits at the western edge of Cuenca’s historical center. It’s anchored by the 19th-century Church of San Sebastián. It has a reputation as being quiet and I can definitely confirm that. Very few people here and no street vendors that I’ve seen. It’s blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
This is from Lonely Planet: “In 1739, when this plaza was still used for bullfights, it was a mob of cuencanos (folks from Cuenca) – not the bull – who mauled a member of La Condamine’s geodesic expedition here, apparently because of an affair with a local woman” Who knew?
If you’re visiting el centro in Cuenca and are looking for a little outdoor peace and quiet of the plaza variety this is your destination. I live in south Cuenca but if I lived in el centro I’m sure I’d spend a considerable amount of time here. Since it’s so quiet it’s a great place to just sit on one of the many benches, relax and maybe read a book.
Across the street from plaza de San Sabastián to the south is a modern art museum. The House of Temperance began there in 1876 to house people with drinking problems. It became a museum in 1981 and it’s thick walls and long white corridors built around flowery courtyards are an excellent setting for colorful modern art paintings and sculptures.
The street that runs along the southern border of the plaza is Mariscal Sucre which also runs along the southern border of Parque Calderon. That’s usually how I get there. I start at Parque Calderon and walk due west on Mariscal Sucre and it’s an interesting walk also.