Plaza de la Villa, Madrid!

In my continuing saga of showing bits and part of my beloved Madrid , I come to a historical old spot of the old town. We have all over sunny hot weather now even reaching 100F  and in  Madrid hot as usual over 100F hot hot hot Summers in Madrid! Just in lots of heavy rain in Madrid just discharging all that heat !! Glorious!

Let me tell you about a hidden gem just off another old spot in my beloved Madrid. I will like to tell you a bit on the Plaza de la Villa or something like City Square. It was not my early hangout but later as a visitor. Some of the wonderful things you will see here are:

The Plaza de la Villa (formerly Plaza de San Salvador) is located in the historic Centro of Madrid, next to Calle Mayor. It has its origin in three small streets, corresponding to the primitive medieval layout of the city: the Calle del Codo appears on the east, the Calle del Cordon for the south and Calle de Madrid on the west. The House of Cisneros (16C), a Plateresque palace that closes the southern part of the square, and the Casa de la  Villa (17C), of Baroque style, one of the headquarters of the city Council of Madrid, located in the western zone of the square, is followed in antiquity. Although in 2007 the Mayor’s office moved to the Palacio de Cibeles.

The Plaza de la Villa was one of the main nuclei of medieval Madrid. Originally called and known as Plaza de San Salvador, by the Church of the same name that also gave the main street, and on whose porch were held the meetings of the city/town hall. By that name, Fuente de San Salvador, would be known popularly the first great ornamental source that the old Council of the town ordered to build in the square, still reigning Felipe III in the 15C, was given its current denomination, coinciding with the award of the title of Noble and Loyal Villa received by Madrid, from the hands of King Enrique IV of Castilla.

Madrid Madrid

Casa y Torre de los Lujanes , These two buildings, built in Gothic-Mudejar style, are the oldest, among those of a civil character, which are currently preserved in the city. Its construction dates from the 15C and its name refers to its first owners, the family of the Lujanes, rich merchants of Aragonese origin. From this lineage are retained several shields, which appear on the Gothic façade of the main facade.  According to tradition, the tower was housed King Francis I of France, made prisoner in the Battle of Pavia (1525). It is currently the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

Casa de Cisneros ,  It is a house-palace, built in Plateresque style in the year 1537, at the behest of Benito Jiménez de Cisneros, nephew of Cardinal Cisneros, from whom it takes its name. The facade that faces the Plaza de la Villa was raised at the beginning of the 20C, when the City Council of Madrid acquired the property of the palace and proceeded to its reform to integrate it within the dependencies of the Casa de la Villa. The facade that leads to Calle de Sacramento, which was initially the main, is the one that gathers the greatest historical-artistic values, since it was barely modified during the aforementioned works of reform.  According to tradition, this palace served as a prison for Antonio Pérez , secretary of King Felipe II. In it was born the politician Álvaro de Figueroa y Torres, Count of Romanones. General Ramón María Narváez , one of  its inhabitants, died in this house.

Casa de la Villa  , occupies the old lands  of the houses of the Marquis de Vallecerrato, Don Juan de Acuña, president of the Councils of Treasury, Indies and Castilla successively, until his death in 1615, moment in which it is acquired by the Madrid’s City Council which, since older days, met in the bordering  Church of the Savior (San Salvador), now gone. However, its refurbishment lasted until its inauguration in 1692. In this House lived the Duke of Osuna Don Pedro Girón when on the Holy Thursday of 1621 was made prisoner by order of the king.  Old City/Town Hall of Madrid (1693-2007) (when it was moved to the Palace of Cibeles). Its construction began at 1645, and was completed in 1693. The gallery of Tuscan columns of the facade that faces the main street is the work of Juan de Villanueva (1789).

Monumento a Bazán . On the occasion of the third centenary of the death of the Marine Don Álvaro de Bazán, in 1888 the city council decided to erect a monument in the center of the square, which was not inaugurated until December 19, 1891. The bronze statue installed on a pedestal on whose back side can be read the verses that Lope de Vega dedicated to the honoree:

“El fiero turco en Lepanto; / en la Tercera el francés; / y en todo mar el inglés, / tuvieron de verme espanto. / Rey servido y patria honrada / dirán mejor quién he sido / por la Cruz de mi apellido / y por la cruz de mi espada.” Translated looks something like this:  “The fierce Turk in Lepanto; /In the third the French; /And in all the  sea the English,/had to see me in dismay. /served King and Fatherland honored/will say better who I have been/by the Cross of my surname/and by the Cross of my sword. ”

Bazán appears treading a Turkish flag, dressed in half armor and band of Captain General of the Navy on his chest, resting his left hand on the knob of his sword and carrying on the right a flare of general.

The city of Madrid tourist office has a bit more here: Tourist office of Madrid on the Plaza de la Villa

There you go another bright spot on the many faces of Madrid. Enjoy it as I do!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: