We could say, without fear of being mistaken, that Plaza Mayor is one of the most representative icons of Madrid. Every day thousands of tourists walk its cobbled streets taking pictures and admiring the great surrounding buildings, especially the Bakery House which is decorated with beautiful frescos.
The origin of this square dates back to the seventeenth century, a time of deep changes in Europe, when King Philip III decided to regenerate this area of Madrid and create a big square worthy of one of the major European capitals.
Plaza Mayor, designed in Castilian style, is one of the finest examples of Madrid Baroque which is characterized by brick facades, slate roofs, spires and granite stone. This architectural style is also popularly known as “Madrid de los Austrias” (Habsburg Madrid) since it was developed during the reign of the Habsburg dynasty (1500-1700).
Throughout history, Plaza Mayor witnessed important events that shaped the history of Madrid and Spain: battles, public executions, Autos da-fé, bullfights, murders, etc. without forgetting, of course, that during many years Plaza Mayor was used as a market where all kind of groceries and aromatic spices were sold.
If you visit the Plaza Mayor on Sunday morning, you will discover a charming street market, which is held every sunday since 1920. Here you will find almost everything, specially collectors: from old stamps or buttons to ancient coins or toy soldiers.
Address: Plaza Mayor
Metro: Sol (Lines 1,2,3 and Cercanias Renfe) / Opera (Line 5 and Ramal Opera-Principe Pío)