Plaza de la Villa, MadridCategory: Madrid
Do you intend to visit Madrid, Spain in the near future and need some ideas with regard to some of the must-see sights and attractions? Are you a fan of history and of distant European architecture? If so, one of the sites you should really consider adding to your tour schedule is the Plaza de la Villa. To help you become more familiar with the Plaza de la Villa, below we have compiled a brief profile of the area, including its location and a description of some of the interesting buildings and monuments that call this city square home.
About the Plaza de la Villa
Located in the downtown heart of Madrid—the vibrant capital and largest city in Spain—the Plaza de la Villa is a small picturesque town square that is home to a few of the city’s most interesting and historically significant structures. The plaza is very near the much larger and more well-known Plaza Mayor, but unlike this large city square, in which the majority of buildings were constructed in similar styles, the buildings in the Plaza de la Villa all have contrasting styles and features.
Plaza de la Villa: Structures and Statues
Despite its small size, the Plaza de la Villa is home to a number of important structures and monuments. Some of these include:
Casa de la Villa
Casa de la Villa is far and away the largest building in Plaza de la Villa and a structure that once served as the Town Hall. The building was designed by Juan Gomez de Mora, the same architect who designed the Plaza Mayor, and construction began in 1644. From that time on, many other architects would become involved in the design and construction of the new town hall project, up until it was finally completed in 1696 by architect Teodoro Adremans. In addition to serving as a town hall, Casa de la Villa also served as the town prison, as evidenced by its two symmetrical doors, with one door leading to the town hall and the other to the prison. In 2007, the main town hall for Madrid was moved from this location to the Palacio Communicaciones.
Casa de Cisneros
The Casa de Cisneros, which is connected to the Casa de la Villa by a large arch, is a castle built in the year 1537 by architect Benito Jimenez de Cisneros, the nephew of renowned Cardinal Torre de los Lujanes Cisneros. The castle was constructed using a style called plasteresque, said to be the Spanish version or equivalent to the Renaissance style.
Torre de los Lujanes
The Torre de los Lujanes, or Lujanes Tower, is the oldest building in the Plaza de la Villa and one of the oldest structures in all of Madrid. It was constructed in the 15th century employing the Mudejar style that was very popular in Spain at the time—a style that is characterized by the tower’s gothic porch decorated with three coats of arms.
Alvaro de Bazan Statue
At the heart of the Plaza de la Villa stands a beautifully detailed statue of the Spanish Admiral Alvaro de Bazan. According to historians, Bazan was responsible for putting together the Spanish Armada, the naval fleet that once attempted to invade England. The statue, designed by the artist Mariano Benlliure, has been a mainstay of the plaza since 1980.