10 Imprescindibles - Plaza Mayor - 10 Imprescindibles - Plaza Mayor
The area which the Main Square now occupies was once a market place in the Low Middle Ages although before that the Wheat Gate was there. It was a work area for merchants and tradesmen and also the place where festivities were held. On one of its sides, opposite the present day City Hall, the long gone Convent of Saint Francis was built in 1620. The great fire of 1561 seriously damaged the square and its surrounding area. The reconstruction commenced under Philip II and was overseen by Francisco de Salamanca. Ten streets and lanes lead from this square and it was the first geometrically regular square in Spain. It had a complete colonnade and became a model for other main squares in Spain and South America. Today, the Main Square is the very centre of Valladolid, located in the old quarter and presided over by the statue of Count Pedro Ansúrez and the City Hall. This was completed in 1908 and replaced the one built by Francisco de Salamanca and Juan de Herrera. Many seasonal events are held here, such as concerts, theatre, processions, sports, Christmas attractions in addition to acts and processions of the different festivities. It has always been a meeting place for the people of the city and contains shops and cafés where people of all ages can while away the time. Under the square there is a large public car park.