Callejón del Chorro Street (Water Lane)

Cathedral SquareThe area where the Plaza de la Catedral is located used to be, according to 17th century records, a marshland renewed each year during the rainy season. At the place where the plaza was created, and due to its surface’s properties, the waters became stagnant, so that the place was known at the beginning as Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square). Nevertheless, around the middle of 16th century, the first requests by the neighbors to buy nearby lots were made, because during the dry season the stagnant waters disappeared and the living conditions improved.

Callejón del chorroIn order to overcome the difficulties that the rainy season meant for communications with the city proper, in the year of 1577 the authorities projected the construction of a wooden bridge. Ten year later, Governor Gabriel Luján wrote to the king due to the widespread drought suggesting the creation of a pond to take advantage of some springs streaming out of the spot where today we find the crossing of San Ignacio Street and Callejón del Chorro(Water Lane).

In 1592 the engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli finished his work on the Zanja Real, the first aqueduct built by the Spanish in America. One of its branches reached to the Callejón del Chorro, next to the Plaza de la Catedral.

In spite of the distribution of the lots at the swamp, and as a request from the crown, the Plaza was not intended for sale or to build on. Until the beginning of the 18th century the square was used for the restocking of the metropolis navy and commercial fleet’s water supplies.