Plaza de España
Lonely Planet review for Plaza de España
It’s hard to know what to make of this curiously unprepossessing square. The 1953 Edificio de España (Spain Building) on the northeast side clearly sprang from the totalitarian recesses of Franco’s imagination such is its resemblance to austere Soviet monumentalism, but there’s also something strangely grand and pleasing about it. To the north stands the rather ugly and considerably taller 35-storey Torre de Madrid (Madrid Tower). In the square itself is a statue of Cervantes. At the writer’s feet is a bronze statue of his immortal characters Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. The monument was erected in 1927. But Plaza de España is at its best down in its lower (southwestern) reaches, where abundant trees are remarkably successful in keeping Madrid’s noise at bay.