The Plaza Mayor is one of the most famous sights in Spain and has a rich history dating back hundreds of years. Plaza Mayor is located in the center of Madrid and Sol area. This rectangular square is 129 meters long and 94 meters wide. Currently, the entire cobblestone square and the entry of vehicles are prohibited. This square has been the meeting place for many events and celebrations, and for this reason, it has an important historical image in Spain, and of course, it is one of the important sights of Spain.
History of Plaza Mayor
The history of the construction of Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s public square, dates back to the 16th century. At that time, this place was considered as one of the city borders and was originally called Faubourg Square. This square was used as the main market of the city.
In 1580, King Philippe II ordered the famous architect Juan de Herrera to provide plans for the reconstruction of this square. The renovation work started in 1590 with the construction of Casa de la Panadería. Since the construction of the Plaza took so long, in 1617, Philip III ordered Juan Gómez de Mara to finish the construction of the square within two years.
In 1631 and 1790, there were fires in the Plaza Mayor, each time leading to major renovations. The last renovation was entrusted to Juan de Villanueva, but due to his death, the construction stopped. The reconstruction project ended in 1854 and the Plaza Mayor takes its current form. In 1848, the equestrian statue of Philip III, a work by famous 17th-century sculptors Juan de Belloni and Pietro Tacca, was installed in this Plaza.
The architecture of Plaza Mayor in Madrid
One of the important points in the review of Plaza Mayor in Madrid is its beautiful and charming architecture. This square is rectangular, and its outline emphasizes the uniformity and similarity of the architecture. The size and dimensions of Plaza Mayor is one of its remarkable characteristics. Accordingly, the length of the field is about 129 meters and its width is about 94 meters. It is interesting to know that there are 237 balconies in three-story residential buildings next to this square, all of which face the square. Tourists have access to 10 entrances to enter or leave Plaza Mayor.
Casa de la Panaderia building
Casa de la Panaderia building is the oldest building in Plaza Mayor. In the 18th century, this square was used as the Saint Ferdinand Academy of Fine Arts, and after that, it was the site of the Royal Academy of History until 1871. After that date, the building became the property of the municipality of Madrid and it is used as the administrative building of the municipality.
In 1672, following the second square fire, the Casa Panaderia building was severely damaged. Qodia Koel carried out the reconstruction of the building. He completely changed the architecture of the building.
Casa de la Carniceria building
Casa de la Carniceria is located in the south of the Plaza. There is not much information about the age and construction history of this building. After the fire of 1631, this building was rebuilt as a Panaderia building.
Ceremonies that take place in Plaza Mayor
From the time of its construction, it has been the center of holding various ceremonies and celebrations, which, as mentioned above, has been the bullfighting ceremony, royal ceremonies and the execution of royal decrees in this square. Every ceremony that has been held in the square has had about 50,000 visitors, and of course, various celebrations are held there today.
The central statue of Plaza Mayor
In the center of this square is a bronze statue of King Philip III, which was made in 1616 by an Italian sculptor named Giovanni da Bologna and his student. In 1848, this statue was moved from the great park of Madrid to Plaza Mayor. At the same time, this square was decorated with different flowers and plants; however, in 1936, all these decorations were removed again.
What food should we eat in Plaza Mayor?
When you are in the beautiful city of Madrid and have a wonderful view from the Plaza Mayor, the calamari sandwich is one of the most special foods in Madrid. This delicious sandwich is made of baguette bread and squid rolled in flour and egg and then fried. Some like to eat this sandwich with mayonnaise and some add lemon to it. The Calamari Sandwich is one of the most famous dishes in Madrid; you can find it on the menu in every restaurant and cafe you go to, especially in the cafes located in the Plaza Mayor.