Dedicated to the man who struggled so long for autonomy in Latin America, the Plaza Bolívar has a past touched by politics and a present touched by culture. A triumphant monument at the center of the Plaza was erected in 1926 for the centennial of Simón Bolívar's Congreso Anfictiónico. He arranged this meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss an independent union of Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, and although he was not eventually able to attend, the meeting took place just across the street from this Plaza in a space now known as Salón Bolívar. This lot had been cleared in 1756 when a fire destroyed the houses here, and the empty lot was named for Bolívar in 1883. Today, impressive 19th-century architecture and classy cafés encircle the plaza, and in the evening restaurants set up tables along its edges so that patrons can appreciate their surroundings as they dine.