Sunday, January 29, 2012

Enjoying the evening at Plaza Mayor

Original text by Mohammad Hilmi Faiq, executive summary by Darmansjah

In addition to his football attraction, Madrid also save a million attraction to be visited. Both day and night, the city of Madrid is very tempting to be enjoyed.

For those who have spare time and money, certainly more amenities if you enjoy the beauty and appeal of Madrid in the afternoon and evening. If time is tight because you hit a solid schedule of activities during the day, for example, try the streets at night. The second way is that I can do, beginning last October.


There are many places one can visit to enjoy Madrid. In the Spanish-language map that I received from my hotel, there are at least 12 places worth visiting, among others, The Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.

On the advice of friends in Madrid, Carlos Lopez, me and three other colleagues decided to see the appeal of the Plaza Mayor. The reason, this place is most crowded at night, easily accessible, and close to the Puerta del Sol. Moreover, in an advertisement on the Internet, Real Madrid player, Marcelo, recommend the Plaza Mayor as a place that must be visited while in Madrid.

Royal Palace

From the hotel where we stayed, I and three colleagues drove to the Plaza Mayor which is about 8km in a taxi for 11 euros. Expensive? Yes. Notoriously expensive taxis in Madrid.
Since the economic crisis struck Europe in 2008, rising prices, including tariffs in the field of public transport. First, residents spend enough euro 50 cents to ride the bus or subway. Kin, the tariff increase 3x. So is the taxi fare.

However, the expensive taxi fares it is not useless, so we got to the Plaza Mayor, at around 19:30 local time. this place is really special as a public space.

94mx129m sized field, slightly wider than a football field, it's art deco style buildings surrounded by tall 4floor arable architect Juan de Villanueva. There are 237 buildings that balcony overlooking the field. In the middle of the field stands a statue of King Philip II on horseback.

Like the store, the Plaza Mayor as department stores. Cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and bars there. Various folk entertainment, ranging from the presence of singers, magic, until the circus, also exist.

Each restaurant typically accomodate tables and chairs in the yard open so customers can eat while enjoying a variety of entertainment and people passing by. The atmosphere reminds me of this moment Cihampelas Walk in Bandung, West Java. The difference is, the wider the Plaza Mayor. There are at least eight field entrance to Plaza Mayor.

That night, some visitors enjoy the food while wrapped in a blanket hisbody because the wind was blowing pretty fresh and the temperature reached 21 degrees Celsius. "We provide blankets for customers so that they feel at home while sitting in the open air." Said a waitress.

Just then a Friday night. I found several groups of residents gathered to bring bread, pasta, and soft drinks. They ate together in the middle of the field while sitting in the Plaza Mayor light pole foundations.

Approximately 10m of their six young children to play guitar, harmonica, percussion, and accordion. They were singing, entertaining visitors. Almost in every corner of the field, dozens of people babbling offers toys and souvenirs. At that time there are approximately 2,000 people in the Plaza Mayor. So festive!

As usual the public space, beggars and pickpockets were not a few there. Spain is famous pickpocket syndicates. Almost every 30 minutes, I see passing police car in the field. Maybe they were ensuring the safety of visitors to the Plaza Mayor.

Long History

In the mid-16th century, King Philip II commissioned architect of the Spanish royal Escorial, Juan de Herrera, to build the Plaza Mayor. However, until  1617, when King Philip II came to power, the construction of the Plaza Mayor is yet to start.

Development project was then performed successor Juan de Herrera, Juan Gomez de la Mora, within two years and completed in the know in 1619. when it is, building around the field is still a wooden house.

During its development, the Plaza Mayor has a great fire, the year of 1631, 1672, and 1790. building which now stands majestic design is the result of Juan de Villanueva after the fire.

Plaza Mayor was once known as the Plaza del Arabal. Many people also call it the Plaza de la Constituction, based on declare constitution in 1812.

This place perhan also called Plaza Real and Plaza de la Repupblica. However, when the Spanish civil war ended in 1939, public spaces are not far from the Market is famous with the name Miguel Plaza Mayor until now. "For us. Plaza Mayor a place full of memories. Since childhood, I often asked my father down here. Now, I often bring my wife and children spent the night here, "said Juan Manuel Vazcez, a local resident.

Along the way, we see tiad there is garbage piled up. Building was maintained. Said some restaurant waiter, they must clean up before closing storefront restaurant, and they obey him.


Satisfied around Plaza Mayor, we continue the trip to the area around the Plaza Mayor. Directed our steps to San Miguel Market, sekiat 50 m from one of the doors Plaza Mayor. Here there are more bars although there is also a kind of grocery store that provides a variety of needs house hold, such as bread, cheese, and nuts. The crowd is relatively young and fashionable compared with visitors to the Plaza Mayor.

The market is open every day from 10.00 until 22:00 Special Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the bar area was closed at 02.00

We then swung his steps to the Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate). Hundreds of young people gathered here. Some are making love and not a few who just wait for the morning. That night there were about 3,000 people gathered there. Most recently held a demonstration in protest over government policy in addressing the economic crisis of Europe.

Coming in the morning, we went back to the hotel with Madrid Metro subway service. Enough with the money 1.5 euros per person, itiba camp at the hotel

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