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Read about my family's night with "Walks of Madrid"

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Located next to the Royal Palace is the Plaza de Oriente.
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Read about my family's tapas tour in Madrid"

Click on the photo to see the above photo in large size. (Note: This photo was taken from my room window at the Hostal Valencia)

Orienta (east). The plaza sits on the east side of the Royal Palace and derives its name from this orientation. The plaza was completed during the reign of Isabel II but started by Joseph Bonaparte, who ruled Spain from 1808 to 1814 A.D.

The Teatro Real (also known as the Teatro de la Opera) is among the buildings that are grouped in a semicircle around the square.

In the 18th century, prior to the establishment of the plaza, a group of actors established a theater in this area. In decay by 1818, the theater was demolished and work was started on a royal theatre to replace it. The period between 1818 and 1849 was a turbulent time for Spain. Construction of the Royal Theater was delayed until Isabel II stepped in to order its completion, which finally occurred in 1850.

In the center of the plaza sits a fountain adorned on top by a statue of Philip IV. The statue of Philip IV was erected in 1843.

Around the garden of the plaza are statutes of Spain's monarchs. These statutes were intended to adorn the rooftop of the Royal Palace, but once they were completed, it was discovered they were way too heavy for the building.
Should you find yourself in the Plaza de Oriente during the late evening, you certainly will be treated to music in the air. Street musicians often set up shop in the area and on one occasion, I encountered a full-fledged free concert set up in front of the Royal Palace.

See the Hostal Valencia page if you would like to book a night right on the plaza.

At night the restaurant above will open for dinner.

Interesting Fact: The plaza is constructed over a parking garage.

Among the businesses located in the buildings that surround the plaza is a tour company from which one can book day tours out of Madrid.

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This page last updated October 2004