This is the visit of the Plaza Mayor, historic center of Madrid


Plaza Mayor of Madrid

In you trip to Madrid, the Main Square It will be one of the essential visits that will become the center of your tourist activities in the historic area of ​​the city.

Very close to the Sun Gate, behind the main Street, in theMain Square You will find one of the most attractive corners of Madrid and, from my point of view, one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe.

Therefore you will not be surprised that the Plaza Mayor is always full of tourists who find a great atmosphere, where its always very crowded terraces stand out.

Bakery House in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

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  • History Plaza Mayor of Madrid
  • What to see in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid
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History Plaza Mayor of Madrid

Now, you will be curious to know that the now very centralMain Square occupies the space that during the Medieval Madrid It was growing at the gates of the wall, outside the city.

This space was originally occupied by a swampy area called the Luján Lagoons.

Over time in that place the so-called began to form square of the Arrabal, with a popular market, just at the entrance of the wall of Madrid, and in order to avoid the fees that merchants had to pay within the city.

In fact, the medieval Madrid wall it stretched along the west side of what is currently the street of the San Miguel Cava, whose center ran a moat.

Equestrian statue of Felipe III in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

In the time of Catholic kings the settlement of the stores of the Arrabal Squarebut finally the King Philip III commissioned the construction of a new plaza that replaced the messy Arrabal.

The new square was built in just two years by a disciple of the architect Juan de Herrera, ending in the year 1619.

On the north side, in 1590 the building of the Bakery House, on whose ground floor bread was sold, and the upper ones were enabled for royal chambers.

Opposite, on the south side of the square, another similar building known as the Butcher's House.

Subsequently, the Plaza Mayor suffered several fires, like the one that happened in 1672 that also affected the Bakery House.

Entrance arch to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Since its construction, the Plaza Mayor of Madrid it became a place where the Austrian Court He had numerous celebrations.

In this way, apart from big parties, the Main Square housed from bull throwing, which came to concentrate up to 50,000 people, up to executions of inmates.

Behind the 1853 reform, coinciding with the construction of the nearby Plaza de la Sun Gate, the Plaza Mayor became a landscaped place where trams circulated.

In the center of the square the Equestrian statue of Philip III, which until then was in the Casa de Campo.

Great atmosphere in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

What to see in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

Currently, when you get to the Plaza Mayor of Madrid You will find a large pedestrian space, in which the aforementioned stature is still located, and which in summer is largely occupied by the bars' terraces.

In the set of buildings of similar design that make up this square square you will recognize the Bakery House for its facade painted with mythological allegories.

It is currently the headquarters of theMadrid Tourist Office.

Most of the other buildings are occupied by private apartments, so it is still possible to rent one of them to live in it Main Square.

Traditional shops in the arcades of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Centennial stores in Plaza Mayor

Under the arcades there are still numerous Traditional and centuries-old stores.

Specifically, on the west side of the square, under the arcades the different stores that still exist still maintain their facades with the characteristic style of the establishments of the nineteenth century.

Of course, on this side of the square the premises are currently occupied by stores souvenirs which in a way maintain the traditional structure of its facade, as well as some bars.

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To find a traditional store whose origins really come from the 19th century, you must go to number 25 of the Main Square, on the northwest side of it, where you will find the Millinery “La Favorita».

Numismatics shop in the arcades of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid

This establishment is one of the few that still remain in Madrid where hats are sold.

Prior to the opening of the business of "The favourite", in 1894, in the same place in the Plaza Mayor there was another business selling hats.

The store manager by then, Teodoro Enguita, he bought it from its owner, and until today, the Millinery “La Favorita” It has been managed by their descendants, who now sell hats, caps and berets also through their online commerce.

Other traditional shops characteristic of the Plaza Mayor are the philately and numismatic stores dedicated to sale of stamps and coins, of which some establishment is still open.

In the outskirts of the Plaza Mayor you also find centenary restaurants, as the Booty House considered the oldest in the world, or The Galayos, with long literary tradition.

Squid sandwiches in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

Squid Sandwiches

And the bars where they sell are also traditional in this Madrid square and its surroundings squid snacks.

In these bars at certain times customers crowd to consume this type of hot snack when the bread is filled with freshly fried squid, which is perfectly accompanied with a beer cane.

He price of squid snacks It usually goes from 2.50 to 3 euros, depending on the establishment, which even compete announcing in their shop windows the most attractive price.

In this way, for around 5 euros you can take the squid sandwich along with the beer

Knife Arch in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

Knives Bow

Finally others corners to stand out in the Plaza Mayor are some of its access arches, such as the Knives Bow or the one that connects it with the Toledo street.

The Plaza Mayor is one of the places in Madrid with the greatest atmosphere during the day and, especially, on weekends. In addition, the square is the usual venue for different celebrations and events, such as musical concerts or the traditional Christmas market.

Lights and Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid

More information about the Plaza Mayor de Madríd

Bakery House in the Plaza Mayor

Equestrian statue of Felipe III in the Plaza Mayor

Knife Arch in the Plaza Mayor

Photo Gallery of the Plaza Mayor