The stunningly beautiful Plaza Mayor de Madrid is probably the most emblematic site of the capital. It is a central plaza in the city of Madrid, Spain, built during the Habsburg period, and is located only a few meters from another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol, which is also one of the binding sites to visit in the Spanish capital.
About the Plaza Mayor de Madrid, it is rectangular in shape and has a total of nine entrance ways, surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 wrought-iron balconies facing the Plaza. In the center of this plaza, there is a bronze statue of King Philip III of Spain, created in 1616 by Jean Boulogne and Pietro Tacca, which now becomes the central point of this area. As on the north side of the Plaza, the uniformly ochre-tinted residential buildings with breathtaking balconies are offset by the exquisite frescoes of the 17th-century Real Casa de la Panadería (Royal Bakery) that serves municipal and cultural functions.
The Plaza Mayor de Madrid is now a major tourist attraction very well known among the locals and foreigners, visited by thousands of tourists each year. This place is great for those who love to have nice easy hang out with friends or just to enjoy some alone-time. The grandeur of its buildings is one thing, but this square is certainly a living, breathing entity, from the outdoor tables of the terrazas to the students strewn across the cobblestones on a sunny day. Around this area, people may go around any of its entrance ways, have a great base for shopping and sightseeing, and stop to see some street artists performing their unique artistic creations.
Along the columns of the square, the Plaza Mayor de Madrid has a ring of old and traditional shops and cafes under its porticoes, called terrazas (terraces), which is also a popular place to have a drink of beer while enjoying the statue of King Philip III, the Royal Bakery, the atmosphere, the colors, the beauty and the constant motions of its surrounding in a very special way. And if you want to experience something original from the city, you may also go to some local cafes whose specialty is squid (calamari) sandwich.
Last but not least, the Plaza is also used to hold various festivals, events and concerts including celebrations for San Isidro, which is Madrid’s Patron Saint’s Day, where locals can participate during the festivals free.