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Plaza Mayor

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Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain, 28013
Few places embody Madrid's vibrant spirit better than Plaza Mayor. Designed by Spanish architect Juan Gómez de Mora in 1619, the square is an ode to the Herrerian style known for its grandeur, though major restorations were made by Juan de Villanueva in the 18th Century following damage by fire. Celebrations for San Isidro, the city's patron saint kicked off the inauguration of the square, and the plaza continued to be a venue for grand-scale public events from bull fights to executions during the autos-da-fé or the Spanish Inquisition. The three-story buildings flanking the square are constructed in a warm-hued stone and feature 237 balconies that look out over the square and were once occupied by royals and nobles watching the events unfold below. Philip III's equestrian statue, wrought by master sculptor Giambologna, stands guard over the center of the square.
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