Madrid, Plaza Mayor
The Plaza Mayor is a grand arcaded, rectangular square in the centre of Madrid. Juan de Herrera was asked by King Philip II to turn the old market place into a real square. It took until 1617 before the construction started. Under the direction of Herrera's successor, Juan Gómez de la Mora, the plaza was completed in just two years. Plaza Mayor measures 120 metres long and 90 metres wide. Fires destroyed all the buildings three times but it was rebuilt every time. The last construction was in 1790 by Juan de Villanueva. Since its creation, the Plaza Mayor has been the centre of festivities, bull fights, royal coronations and executions.