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Madrid – Plaza Mayor

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(EN below)

Det anden af mine tre tips og endnu én af the usual suspects er: “Plaza Mayor”. Og ja, den er også i enhver Madrid-guide, men igen det er den af god grund. Her befinder du dig nemlig i den gamle del af Madrid, tæt på Puerta del Sol, men væk fra de brede boulevarder og de store palæer, og omgivet af snævre og snorede gader.

Pladsen har netop haft sin 400 års fødselsdag, og i den anledning var der anlagt en græsplæne på pladsen, som I kan se mine fotos og video. Pladsen blev bygget under kong Felipe den 3., og på det tidspunkt var det spanske rige på sit allerhøjeste. Desværre var det også under netop den konge, at nedturen for det spanske imperium begyndte, og kong Felipe den 3. er derfor lidt i “bad standing”, men du finder ham alligevel til at hest midt på pladsen.

Plaza Mayor er en rektangulær plads på én hektar med 3 etagers bygninger ovenpå en buegang hele vejen rundt, 9 indgange og efter sigende 237 balkoner. Lidt imponerende, ikke? Herfra har man igennem tiden kunne se hovedstadens daglige liv, både hverdagens handel i pladsens butikker og markedsstande, og den sparsomme fritids fornøjelser i form af tyrefægtninger, skuespil og sikkert også en luder eller flere – med de tilhørende lommetyve. Kroningsceremonier har også fundet sted her, ligesom den berømte spanske inkvisition  har afholdt sine “auto de fe” her. Så pladsen har igennem tiden været et folkemylder af rige, fattige og dem midt i mellem, og det har sikkert både været festligt, larmende, ildelugtende og nok også lidt uhyggeligt til tider. Man kan næsten fornemme det, hvis man går igennem buegangen en sen nattetime, hvor der er forholdsvis ro. Historien emner omkring Plaza Mayor.

Folkemyldret er her stadigvæk den dag i dag. Lidt mindre beskidt og uhyggeligt, men stadigvæk festligt og larmende. Ikke mindst i weekender, hvor ikke kun turisterne strømmer til, men også de lokale. Nogle for at handle i de forskellige butikker, flere af ældre dato, som stadigvæk findes langs pladsens buegange og indgange, men endnu flere for at nyde stemningen og lidt mad og drikke på én af pladsens mange restauranter og barer. Her kan du med en vino, en caña (glas fadøl) og med en Madrid-specialitet: en bocadillo de calamares (sandwich med blæksprutteringe og typisk masser af majonæse) nyde myldret, tjekke Felipe på hesten og de flotte dekorationer på én af pladsens facader. Disse forestiller forskellige mytologiske personer med speciel betydning for Madrid, bl.a. Kybele – den er hende, du finder på i vognen i springvandet midt på Plaza de Cibeles. Plaza Mayor er et must-see, hvis du er i Madrid!

UK

The next of my three tips to Madrid and another of “the usual suspects” are: “Plaza Mayor”. You will find it in every guide book to Madrid, but that´s for a good reason. Here you find your self in the old part of Madrid, close to Puerta del Sol, surrounded by narrow streets, but away from the boulevards and the great mansions.

The square has just had its 400th birthday, and for that reason a lawn was laid on the square, as you can see in my photos and video. The site was built under the reign of King Felipe the 3rd, and at that time the Spanish empire was at its highest. Unfortunately, it was also under his reign that the decline for the empire began. King Felipe the 3rd is therefore in a kind of “bad standing”, but anyway you still find him on a horse in the middle of the square.

Plaza Mayor is a rectangular space of one hectare with 3 storey buildings on top of an archway surrounding the square, with 9 entrances and allegedly 237 balconies. Impressive, right? From here, throughout the years, you have been able to see the daily life of the capital, both the everyday trade in the shops and market stands, and the spare time leisure in the form of bullfights, plays and probably also a prostitute or two. Coronation ceremonies have also taken place here, as well as the famous Spanish Inquisition has held its “auto de fe” here. So the Plaza Mayor has been a busy square for both rich, poor and those in between, and it has probably been festive, noisy, smelly and surely a little scary at times. You can almost sense it when you pass through the archway late at night. History is surrounding the Plaza Mayor.

Today, the crowd is still here, a little less dirty and scary, but still festive and noisy. Mostly in the weekends, where not only tourists but also the locals gather there. Some to shop in the shops along the archways and entrances of the square, but even more to enjoy the ambiance and some food and drink at one of the many restaurants and bars. Here you can have a vino, a caña (glass of draftbeer) and a Madrid specialty: a bocadillo de calamares (sandwich with fried squid and lots of mayonnaise) and enjoy the view to Felipe on the horse and the beautiful decorations on one of the facades. These are depicting various mythological figures of importance to Madrid, including Cybele – you will also find her on her carriage in the fountain of the Plaza de Cibeles. Plaza Mayor is a must see if you are in Madrid!

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