The life of cities, as happens in villages, passes by between its cafes and squares. In Madrid, if there is a unique and representative place of its spirit, it is, without a doubt, the Plaza Mayor.
In it, you can find the oldest hotel in Spain that still retains the same name, the Hotel La Posada del Peine. This hotel is, every December, the protagonist of one of the most charming markets across the country and, year after year, it is responsible to see all those who visitors walk around the city. The square offers its shade under its arches and opens the doors to the thousands of proposals that surround it, keeping at as the crossroads that it once was.
The square, located at the junction of the old Atocha and Toledo passage ways, was originally a large market that was held on the outskirts of the medieval village, in what was known as the Arrabal. Times have changed a lot since then and, after witnessing big and small stories, the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is no longer a suburb and has become the absolute centre and reference of social life in the city.
Construction work was begun by Juan de Herrera and completed by Juan Gomez de Mora, owes the height of the buildings that surround it to Juan de Villanueva, who, after the last of the fires that wiped the Plaza, decided to reduce from 5 to 3 the floors of the houses . Also, he opted to unite the corners and create the beautiful arches that welcome anyone who approaches it.
Around the Plaza Mayor you can find the main tourist attractions of Madrid: steps away from what is know as the Madrid of the Austrias, the Royal Palace, the Opera area and the great theatres, the bustling Gran Vía, through to the well-known Puerta del Sol, the innovative market of San Miguel, the Upper and Lower cellars where to get lost between tapa and tapa… Visiting the Plaza Mayor of Madrid is starting the real journey through this city full of charm, cosmopolitan capital and tireless spirit.
To enjoy a trip to Madrid, it is possible to book in some iconic hotels in the Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol: