The Plaza Mayor is one of the most characteristic locations of Madrid, specifically in the so called Madrid of Los Austrias, and one of the most important squares in all Spain.
In all its years of history has undergone different modifications, both of architectural level and of name.
Being located in the suburbss, the first name that it received was Plaza del Arrabal during the reign of Juan II. It is born as a site where the market was placed; with houses, taverns, inns and shops. It should be mentioned that before the Plaza was there, there was a small lake (Laguna de Luján) that was emptied for its construction.
As for its organization the square has a ground floor with commercial buildings, the second and third floor being residential. It has 237 balconies and its façade is in neoclassical style with slate roofs, style prevailing at the time of Madrid de los Austrias. In the center is the equestrian statue of Philip III, the work of Juan de Bolonia and Pietro Tacca dating from 1616, but installed where we see it today in 1848.
The Casa de la Panadería is the most emblematic building and now houses cultural and municipal functions. Its name is due to the fact that formerly, on its first floor, was the office of bread or bakery (public bakery).
Throughout history the Plaza Mayor has witnessed different types of events, from entertainment (bullfights) or commercial to judicial acts (executions and punishments) and religious (auto-da-fé and liturgical celebrations).
Without a doubt, La Plaza Mayor de Madrid is a destination that you can not miss and it is a must if you are visiting Madrid.