Madrid’s Plaza Mayor
The past few weeks in Spain have flown by. I have begun to settle into a routine and things are starting to become normal. I know that this could be both good and bad. Therefore, most days I stroll around town and I always make my way to the Plaza Mayor. Once you walk through one of the entrances you are in another space and time. This is is a good place to visit in order to go back in the past and experience the amazing history of Madrid. However, the Plaza Mayor has both a light and dark history.
Currently, it serves as mainly a tourist attraction. In my opinion, the Plaza is filled with over priced restaurants and gift shops. In addition, the plaza does host many functions and exhibits throughout the year. In the past, The Plaza Maryor has hosted executions, football matches, and even bullfights. I would be very interested in seeing a football match here but I don’t think another one is scheduled anytime soon.
According to my guide book, the origins of the plaza date back to 1577. Several architects were assigned to remodel the old Plaza del Arrabal. However, many fires destroyed most of the old building and the current Plaza Mayor was created by the architect Juan de Villanueva.
One of the many reasons I love the Plaza Mayor is that there is always something going on that will entertain or at the verily least, make you scratch your head.
Many people visit the Plaza Mayor and have no idea that the main tourism office for Madrid is located here. The staff that work in this office are very friendly and helpful. You can not only find information on Madrid but you can also obtain information on day trips to Avila, Toledo, and Zaragoza.
For more information on the office of tourism visit www.esmadrid.com
There are plenty of places to eat or have a drink. Don’t take too much time in deciding where to eat because they are all around the same price and they all have amazing Sangria.
Another hidden gem in the Plaza Mayor is that it’s history is displayed on copper plaques under each lamppost.
The plaques are hard to see because most people sit on the circular benches and their backs lean up against the pictures. Therefore, people waking by can’t see them either.
I’ve always had a good time in the Plaza Mayor and I know you will too. Enjoy!
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