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Plaza Mayor

Listed under Squares, Streets & Urban Spaces in Madrid, Spain.

  • Photo of Plaza Mayor
  • Photo of Plaza Mayor
Photo of Plaza Mayor
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One of Europe's most famous public spaces, to rank alongside the Place Vendome in Paris and the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, the Plaza Mayor (pronounced 'platha maior') is the social hub of Madrid and comes alive at night, with bars, great restaurants, street musicians and grand arcades. The Spanish nobility from Habsburg times (when the square was built) were originally housed here, and many of the buildings are still residential above the first floor, with balconies giving great views of the action. Bullfights were held here in the past - as are parades, demos and concerts today - and apparently blood stains can still be seen on the walls, though on a recent visit this correspondent was unable to locate them.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

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