Plaza de la Villa - Plaza de la Villa information and pictures

The Plaza de la Villa or Town Hall Square is a quiet medieval plaza on the Calle Mayor, a short distance from the lively Plaza Mayor. This small square features some of the oldest civil buildings in Madrid and retains the old world feel of the sixteenth century. Look closely at the centuries old gothic facades of the aristocratic mansions and the cobblestone lanes to get a sense of a bygone era of European nobles.

Casa de la Villa - The central building dominating the square is the Casa de la Villa that served as Madrid’s town hall since the seventeenth century, until just recently when the offices were moved to the Palacio de Comunicaciones. Designed by architects Juan Gómez de Mora and Teodoro Adremans from 1664 to 1696, the building was used as both a prison and town hall.

Architects, Juan de Villanueva and Juan José Sánchez Pescador made additional modifications in the 18th and 19th centuries. The building features impressive balconies, doorways and an ancient Coat of Arms. Group guided tours are available of the interior, which has stunning 17th century frescoes by Antonio Palomino, stained glass ceilings and a painting by Goya.

Casa de Cisneros - The Casa de Cisneros is a magnificent castle built in 1537 for the nephew of Cardinal Cisneros in an exquisitely preserved gothic design, with a façade adorned in the plasteresque style. An arch connects the building to the Casa de la Villa. The interior has a rich collection of medieval tapestries. The building is now used as the residence for the Mayor of Madrid.

Torre de los Lujanes - The Torre de los Lujanes or Lujanes Tower, constructed in the 15th century, is the oldest building in the Plaza de la Villa and one of the oldest in Madrid. Designed in the red brick Mudejar style with a distinctive gothic doorway, the Lujanes Tower has a colorful history as the site for holding noble prisoners. The French King Francis I was imprisoned in the tower in 1525, after the Battle of Pavia.

A soaring statue of Don Alvaro de Bazán, the commander of the so-called “invincible” Spanish Armada stands at the center of the Plaza de la Villa. Miguel Aguado and Mariano Benlliure constructed the statue in 1888 set on a white marble platform. The statue was placed in the square in the 1980s.

How to get to Plaza de la Villa: By Subway to Opera, Sol station; Line 1,2,3,5

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