Lonely Planet review for Plaza Mayor
Built between 1729 and 1755, Salamanca's exceptional grand square is widely considered to be Spain's most beautiful central plaza. The square is particularly memorable at night when illuminated (until midnight) to magical effect. Designed by Alberto Churriguera, it's a remarkably harmonious and controlled baroque display. The medallions placed around the square bear the busts of famous figures. Look for the controversial inclusion of Franco in the northeast corner – it looks different from the others, being moulded in a special easy-to-clean plastic to counter its regular subjection to vandalism. Bullfights were held here well into the 19th century; the last ceremonial corrida (bullfight) took place here in 1992.