Plaza de Espana is one of the most important squares in central Madrid. Its gardens and benches are usually full of life and receive people from Gran Via all the time, as it is located at the end of this great street of the city. Plaza de Espana is also visible from the surroundings of Madrid due to its two main buildings, among the highest in the capital.
Plaza de Espana is tightly related to Gran Via: this square was built during the last period of construction of that main street, keeping the same style and spirit: those of a growing city in the 50′s, which wanted to be a modern metropolis. The view of Gran Via’s slope from Plaza de Espana is a picture that all Madrilenians have in their mind.
The best way to get to Plaza de Espana is by subway: there is a Metro Station with that name that leaves you right in the center of the square. Many bus lines cross Gran Via toward Plaza de Espana too and this place is also reachable by walk.
The two skyscrapers of Plaza de Espana
Two skyscrapers are located right in Plaza de Espana. The tallest one is Torre de Madrid, at the corner with Princesa Street. It is 142 meters high and was also the tallest building of Madrid when it was finished: 1957. But today, the skyscrapers of AZCA and Cuatro Torres Business Area surpass it. The Otamendi brothers projected this building of Plaza de Espana, that is mainly built in concrete and painted in white colour. The real estate company Metrovacesa owns the complex and it is now selling the apartments one by one. The price of the square meter costs between 6.000 and 9.000 euro.
The other skyscraper of Plaza de Espana is the Edificio España, finished in 1953. This building is not as high as the Torre de Madrid and scores 117 meters, but its shape in a pyramidal style is probably more famous than the one of the Torre de Madrid. The architects were also the Otamendi brothers and combines white and red-brick colours. The Edificio España is now in awaiting time: Santander Real State owns it and is trying to make a reform inside, but keeping the façade The project would include a luxury hotel and apartments, making Plaza de Espana one of the most exclusive places in Madrid.
The monument of Plaza de España
The monument at the center of Plaza de Espana represents two characters very popular in Spain: Don Quixote and his shield bearer Sancho Panza, greeting and looking for adventures. Behind them, Miguel de Cervantes, the greatest Spanish writer ever. This is the tribute of Plaza de Espana and Madrid to this novel, which has been read by millions of people and hundreds of generations.
Around this Plaza de Espana monument, small gardens that serves as a short ‘pit stop’ for tourists and Madrilenians that are on the go. Besides, the central part of Plaza de Espana is chosen by the City Hall to organize many temporary fairs, mainly selling handicrafts and Christmas issues.
Anyway, Plaza de España has to look the future with an innovative and social view, as some of the other buildings that complete this square are now empty or occupied by squatters. The contrast of those realities is impressive but contradictory for a place that is trying to become a luxury landmark of Madrid. Meanwhile, Plaza de Espana will keep being one of the best memories of the mid 20th century of the city.