Legends of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

Legends of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor, has a history dating back from 1494, and has been the centre of many anecdotes and legends, since it has been the location for the main market of town, as well as the place for public executions up to 1815.

You can still see the “Casa de la Panadería” (Bakery House) , on the north side and in front , where there was the main slaughterhouse.

Norte de la Plaza Mayor, con la Casa de la Panadería entre las dos torres.
Norte de la Plaza Mayor, con la Casa de la Panadería entre las dos torres.

Since 1860 it is a tradition in December, the Christmas market in the Plaza Mayor .

Mercadillo Navideño, Navidad 2013
Mercadillo Navideño, Navidad 2013

In the galleries and arcades, where once were the guilds, today there are many bars with terraces, and shops, most them souvenirs, stamps, and coin collecting shops.

Galerias y soportales de la Plaza Mayor
Galerias y soportales de la Plaza Mayor

As the main trading centre of the city , there are numerous events and legends of the Plaza Mayor of Madrid.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, there were rumors that in this square, there were sightings of specters and ghostly figures, to the point that prayer groups of citizens were formed to plead for their souls, and eternal rest.

Another important event was the so-called “Motín de los Gatos” (Mutiny of the Cats), a great popular uprising due to the food shortages, specially bread, that occurred in 1699 .

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