Very close to El Anciano Rey de los Vinos is the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Its origin is in the sixteenth century, when in that place -known as Plaza del Arrabal – took place the main market of the city. In order to regulate the commercial activity that took place there, a porticoed house was built.
But after moving the court to Madrid, Philip II commissioned his favorite architect, Juan de Herrera, the construction of a square congruent with the new city. In 1590, the first building of the new square, the “Casa de la Panadería”, was built, right where the old market building was located. The construction continued until 1619, when Juan Gómez de Mora put an end to such a great work.
But it was not all that simple, since the square suffered three major fires throughout its history. The last occurred in 1790 and was of such magnitude that the reconstruction lasted until the middle of the 19th century when, in addition, the famous statue of Felipe III was placed in the center of the square.
The Plaza Mayor in Madrid had many and varied uses throughout its history. From being the most important market in Madrid, to the scene of various public events: bullfights, executions, Inquisition trials… Currently the square is still used for many public events, from musical shows to fairs or markets.
The Plaza Mayor has become one of the most important tourist centers in Spain and its very close to El Anciano Rey, one of the few authentic taverns left in Madrid.