Plaza de Oriente. Plaza in Madrid, Spain

Plaza de Oriente

Plaza in Madrid, Spain

Plaza de Oriente Photo © Felipe Gabaldón

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Plaza de Oriente

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Plaza de Oriente viewed from Teatro Real - Plaza de Oriente
Plaza de Oriente viewed from Teatro Real - Plaza de Oriente. Photo by Docteur Christophe
Contrary to what its name may suggest, the Plaza de Oriente is located in the west of the city center of Madrid, Spain. It does, however, lie on the east side of the imposing Royal Palace Madrid, which is the reason behind its naming. This beautiful pedestrianized square is shaped as a rectangle and connects the eastern façade of the palace with the Teatro Real. The square’s eastern side is lined with several cafés.

Located at the former site of the Habsburg Palace, the Plaza de Oriente is now a peaceful area, filled with trees and dotted with a large number of statues and sculptures.

History

The architect who designed the Royal Palace Madrid also meant to construct a large square next to it. The plans for this square weren’t realized until the rule of King Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, in the beginning of the 19th century. Before construction could start, several old houses, including a library, a church, and many convents, had to be demolished. The square was finished in the 1850s under the rule of Queen Isabel II.

Plaza de Oriente - Plaza de Oriente
Plaza de Oriente. Photo by Todd Martin

Visiting Plaza de Oriente

Statue of King
	Philip IV. - Plaza de Oriente
Statue of King Philip IV. - Plaza de Oriente. Photo by Mathieu Marquer
The square is divided into three separate areas by pathways. There are the Central Gardens, the Cabo Noval Gardens, and the Lepanto Gardens. These formal gardens are arranged around, in impressive equestrian, the Statue of King Philip IV. The two rows of statues, a total of 44 statues, of former kings of queens of Spain that line the square were first meant to be placed atop the Royal Palace, but were placed in the square instead, because they would be too heavy.

Plaza de Oriente is free to visit and its green, shady areas offer a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of central Madrid.

How to Get There

Located in the western part of the historic city center, the Plaza de Oriente can easily be reached on foot from anywhere in the city center. The Gran Via and the Calle Mayor are two great thoroughfares that connect to other landmarks in Madrid. The nearest subway station is Opera, which is served by lines M2 and M5. The square and surrounding area can also be reached by bus on lines 3, 5, 39, and 148. The nearest train station is Principe Pio, located just north of the Royal Palace.

Teatro Real, Plaza de Oriente - Plaza de Oriente
Teatro Real, Plaza de Oriente. Photo by N i c o_

Similar and Nearby Landmarks

Other areas of interest that surround the Royal Palace Madrid are the Sabatini Gardens, the Campo del Moro Gardens, and the Plaza Almeria. Elsewhere in central Madrid, the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, and the Plaza de la Villa are absolutely worth visiting as well.

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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Mar 03, 2015

Pictures of Plaza de Oriente

Plaza de Oriente (5) - Plaza de Oriente
Plaza de Oriente (5) - Photo by Rubén Vique

Plaza-de-Oriente - Plaza de Oriente
Plaza-de-Oriente - Plaza de Oriente. Photo by Delaina Haslam

Statue of King Philip IV - Plaza de Oriente
Statue of King Philip IV - Plaza de Oriente. Photo by Rogelio

Plaza de Oriente - Plaza de Oriente
Plaza de Oriente - Photo by Jeff C

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