Description

Plaza Mayor is one of the central squares of the Spanish capital. It is located in the part that is commonly called the “Austrian Madrid”. Competing with Puerta del Sol for the right to be called the main square of the Spanish capital, but unlike the democratic Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor is a status square, the “navel of Spain,” as Lope de Vega said. The Madrid Baroque Square, one of the few Habsburg monuments, was designed by architect Juan Gomez de Mora.nInitially, during the time of King of Castile and Leon Enrique II, the square was located behind the city wall, immediately behind the “Gates of Guadalajara,” at the confluence of the two roads (currently streets) of Toledo and Atocha. Gradually, it acquired the status of an important market, and under Philip III it was seriously rebuilt.nThroughout history, the name of the square has repeatedly changed: from Prigorodnaya to Main Square. In 1812, a decree was issued, according to which, all the main squares of Spanish cities received the name “Constitution Square”. But this name lasted only two years, and in 1814 the area was called the “Royal”, although the name “Constitution Square” was returned several times (1820-1823, 1833-1835, 1840-1843).nIn 1873, the square changed its name to “Republic Square”, but already in 1876 it again became “Constitution Square”, which remained until 1923, before the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. The square received the same name with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic and bore it until the end of the Civil War, when it was given the popular name “Plaza Mayor”.nThe Plaza Mayor was inaugurated on May 15, 1620 on the occasion of the reckoning of Isidro de Merlot and Quintana as a saint, in connection with which verses by Lope de Vega were read. The first solemn event held on the square lasted eight days. Since then, every year on May 15 the main holiday of Madrid is celebrated – St. Isidro, the patron saint of the city. It lasts two weeks, but it is declared a day off only on May 15.nPlaza Mayor was the first square in Madrid where a permanent place for bullfighting was equipped – before that, bullfights took place on improvised venues. Usually fights were held here in the days of memory of the patron saints of Madrid – San Juan, Santa Anna and San Isidro. In one of these corridas in 1779, three “most famous arena swords” appeared in history – Pedro Romero, Pepe Illo and Costigillares, and the arena was decorated with Goya.

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