"Visit Madrid's Town Square" Town Hall Square Tip by DanielF

Town Hall Square, Madrid: 20 reviews and 45 photos


Madrid has always been conscious of its humble origins and the lack of glory in its past. It has never been a pretentious place and it has not even dared to call itself a city. People in Spain still refer to Madrid as la Villa y Corte, which means the Town and Court. In fact, for centuries Madrid was just a large town where the Monarchy and its Court happened to have its seat.

The vertiginous changes that Madrid has undergone in the last decades are ending with much of this small-town character, which is probably deemed to disappear. Yet, one of the main squares in the city is still called Plaza de la Villa (Town Square). This name commemorates the granting of the title of villa to Madrid by King Alfonse VIII in the 13th century. King Henry IV added to the honour by extending the title with the epithets of very Noble and very Loyal. The distinction between towns and cities was only relevant under the Ancient Regime, when cities had a broader range of privileges and more autonomy to rule their own affaires. Villas, however, were still in a higher category as villages and hamlets. It is obvious that, today, despite still being called villa, Madrid is not only the largest city in Spain, but also the fourth largest in Western Europe.

The Plaza de la Villa is a cozy corner of Madrid which opens to Calle Mayor and gathers some of the town's oldest civil buildings, including the Town's House (Casa de la Villa), where the Town Council has traditionally met. .

In the centre of the square stands a bronze statue depicting don Álvaro de Bazán, a famous sailor who took part in the battle of Lepanto.

Address: Mayor Street

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 16, 2008
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