|As you walk down Calle Mayor from
del Sol towards the Royal Palace,
you might think it would be easy to spot the
Plaza Mayor. From the street
known as Mayor, the building surrounding the
Plaza Mayor does not stand out from other
structures; you will need to look closely
for the passageways that are the entrances to
Mayor has been the site of executions,
tournaments, weddings, bullfights and Inquisition
trials. This very large square is
surrounded completely by one very large square
building from which onlookers perched to view the
festivities in the square below.
Mayor: This view shows one small section of the
building that surrounds the plaza. (This north
side is known as Casa Panaderia.)
Much of the history of Madrid,
and Spain, is tied to this 17th
century plaza, and today it is still very
close to the heart of many a Madridian. Visiting
the square, you will not witness any executions,
but you might witness a coin or stamp show (on
Sundays), a free concert, or residents taking
their evening strolls.
artist in the Plaza Mayor.
In the summer the Mayor square is full
of tables. Take a seat in one during
lunch or dinner and a waiter will arrive from one
of the surrounding restaurants with a menu in
hand. The square is often used as a central
meeting location for tourist families and tourist
On the ground floor
level of the Plaza Mayor building are cafes,
bars, shops, and restaurants, most catering to the
tourist. Among the shops can be found
dealers in antiques, coins, and military
Left: Through one of the Plaza Mayor's portals
can be seen the twin towers of Catedral de San
Philip II ordered the
construction of the square as part of his plan to
make Madrid the capitial of Spain. In the center of
the plaza sits the statue of Philip III,
straddling his horse. He is honored here for
completing the construction of the square in 1619 A.D.
Above : A small
detail of the painting adorning the section of the Plaza
Mayor known as Casa Panaderia. This painting
was added to the square after Casa Panaderia
was rebuilt in 1692 due to a fire.
stunning views of the Plaza Oriente
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