Madrid Hotels Articles

May 15, 2010

Madrid: Lodging, History And The Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain is still one of the city’s main tourist sites. Despite being victim to several fires throughout the years, the Plaza Mayor retains its appeal. This plaza is one of the best places in this capital city to relax and observe a unique blend of residents and tourists. Though there are so many attractions, tours and beautiful beaches to visit in Spain, a visit to Madrid and its Plaza Mayor should be on the list of attractions.

The Plaza Mayor has hosted many festivals, bullfights and political battles throughout the years. It has even hosted more than one beheading. A lot has happened in this historic plaza, but today you will probably be more likely to see a tourist relaxing and enjoying the sunny climate. The plaza also offers a great place for a stroll with its surrounding shops and baker’s guild.

The plaza was constructed in approximately 1790 by Phillipe III after suffering a fire. It was originally part of the efforts of Phillippe II to make Madrid the capital of the country. The statute in the center of the plaza is a reminder to visitors.

It is not a large plaza, as it is only 100m on each side. Do not let the size fool you, though. Within that small area, 50,000 people had stood at some time. This plaza has literally served as a public square, whether during one of the city’s festivals or one of Spain’s executions.

Rather than Spanish Inquisition trials, you will now find weddings. Lounging in the summer season has alternated with bullfighting. The surrounding buildings around the plaza provide a convenient place for individuals desiring to look down on whatever event is happening in the square.

During the summer season, there will be many tables are set out where are a tourist can rest and even enjoy a meal or a drink. It doesn’t matter where you sit, a waiter from a nearby restaurant will soon arrive to take your order. You can experience Madrid’s friendly atmosphere first-hand.

There are dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars along with many shops to visit. You can find antiques, coins and so many other unique items.

Of course, as with any large city, Madrid does experience some petty crime. Visitors should be sure to take appropriate cautions and remain aware of the surroundings. There is no need to be paranoid, but a little prudence goes a long way and could prevent being taken advantage of.

Today, a tourist is unlikely to observe a royal coronation, but imaging what it would have been like is not difficult. Fortunately, visitors do not need to be concerned about observing an auto de fe, a judicial sentencing seen during the Spanish Inquisition.

Madrilenos are now far more interested in enjoying the beautiful surroundings, sunny climate and life in general. Whether your lodging is on one of Spain’s beautiful beaches or in its scenic countryside, a visit to Madrid will be unforgettable with so much history, art, shopping and fun. While you are in Madrid, go ahead and join the Madrilenos in the Plaza Mayor!

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