Plaza Mayor of Madrid, in the center of the capital, has more than four centuries of history. Currently it’s an important tourist spot where festivals and concerts are organized and has many restaurant, commerce, gift shops, numismatics and stamp collecting business under the arcades.
The square was decorated as a theatre for the Autos-da-Fe. In 1624 the first Auto-da-Fe took place in the square. After the fire of 1632, only two Autos-da-Fe were celebrated in the Plaza Mayor. Autos-da-Fe were very popular and sometimes the assistants would be in the square days before so they could place themselves in the best places to observe the show.
Competition of posters under the slogan “Tribute to the militias”, organized with the purpose of serving as enlistment propaganda for voluntaries in the antifascist militias. The works are displayed in the arcades of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid and among the selected artists there are authors like Bardasano, Puyol, Bartolozzi, among others, during the Spanish Civil War.
The Arco de Cuchilleros is one of the arched exits of the square and it’s southwest corner leads to one of the most famous tapas areas, like the Cava Baja
Near Arco de Cuchilleros is Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas, nowadays a restaurant very popular among tourists. It used to be a cloth shop and in it’s backroom, says the legend, this thief from Madrid (1804-1837) planned his robberies.
A night view of the Plaza Mayor square in Madrid. The bronze statue of King Felipe III was erected by Italian sculptors John of Bologna and Pietro Tacca in 1616.
Placed in the center of the square is the equestrian statue of Phillip III. It’s a gift to the Spanish king by the Duke of Florence, Cosme de Médicis. The monument represents king Phillip III on horse. The statue was made in Florence by the sculptors Juan Bolonia and Pedro Tacca in bronze. Ever since then, the statue of Phillip III has dominated the Plaza Mayor and was only put away in 1873, when the First Republic and was kept hidden until the restoration of Alfonso XII ending year 1874. It happened a second time in 1931 when the Second Republic was proclaimed.
Shield of the Plaza Mayor, placed in the main façade of the Casa de la Panadería, around which was built the square set that forms the Plaza Mayor.
The Plaza Mayor in Madrid wasn’t always called like that. Through it’s history. So it was the Constitution Square during the liberalism, the Royal Square with the monarchic restauration and the Republic Square during that time of Spanish history.
Agencia EFE S.A.U.
Coordinator: Luis de León
Department of Documentation and Graphic Archive, Commercial and Marketing Department and Department of Technology and Systems.
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