Once you have seen La Almudena, and the Armory Square of the Royal Palace, we walk 100 meters north, to see the Royal Palace, from Bailen Street, in the monumental Plaza Oriente.
The Plaza Oriente today, is closed to traffic, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Before Bailen St. became underground, road traffic was heavily passing in the front of the Royal Palace, and opposite the Royal Theatre (Opera), so, you could not enjoy this place as much as today.
A few steps from the Orient Plaza, we have the Sabatini Gardens, La Almudena, the Opera and the Royal Palace.
One of the promoters of the Plaza Oriente, was José I, (Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte), who reigned from 1808 to 1813. Joseph I, belonged to the Freemasons, and was obedient to the organization Grand Orient of France , by which they say is the reason for the name of Plaza de Oriente. Another reason could be because of its location east of the Royal Palace.
In the center of the square, there is the statue of king Felipe IV. This statue is a great piece of engineering since it was the first sculpture of this size, which is sustained only by the hind legs of the horse.
The current design of the square, dates from 1941, with 20 sculptures of 20 kings of Spain that surround the central monument to Philip IV. Prior to 1927, there were 44 sculptures of kings, instead of the current 20.Tags:cesar pelli, madrid, orient plaza, plaza de oriente, royal palace, spain, travel, walking tours