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The Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain

March 31st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Plaza Mayor is a central plaza in the city of Madrid, Spain. The Plaza Mayor is only a few blocks away from another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol. The Plaza Mayor is rectangular in shape it, 129 by 94 meters, and is surrounded by three-floored residential buildings with 237 balconies. It has a total of nine entranceways. The Plaza Mayor was built during the Austrian period. The Casa de la Panadería, serving municipal and cultural functions, dominates the Plaza Mayor and it is the best around

The origins of the Plaza go back to 1581 when Philip II of Spain asked Juan de Herrera, a renowned Renaissance architect, to devise a plan to remodel the busy and chaotic area of the old Plaza del Arrabal. Juan de Herrera was the architect who designed the first project in 1581 to remodel the old Plaza del Arrabal but the construction didn't start until 1617, during the Philip III of Spain's reign. The king asked Juan Gomez de Mora to continue with the project, and he finished the porticoes in 1619. Nevertheless, the Plaza Mayor as we know it today is the work of the architect Juan de Villanueva who was entrusted with its reconstruction in 1790 after a spate of big fires. Juan de Bolonia's statue of Philip III on horseback in the center of the square dates back to 1616.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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