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Madrid Plaza de la Villa


About two-thirds of the way along calle Mayor is the Plaza de la Villa, almost a casebook of Spanish architectural development. The oldest survivor here is the Torre de los Lujanes, a fifteenth-century building in Mudéjar style, where the king of France was kept when he was made prisoner in 1525; next in age is the Casa de Cisneros, built by a nephew of Cardinal Cisneros in sixteenth-century Plateresque style; and to complete the picture is the Town Hall, begun in the seventeenth century, but later remodelled in Baroque mode. Baroque is taken a stage further around the corner in calle San Justo, where the church of San Miguel shows the unbridled imagination of its eighteenth-century Italian architects.

Right by the plaza, at calle Mayor 69, is the old Palacio de Cañete, where some of the first recorded stories of paranormal events in the city occurred, attributed to the wandering soul of the Marquis of Cañete in the 17th century, right where the Tourist Office headquarters are located.

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