This pleasant little triangle of open space is not without historical intrigue. Joseph Bonaparte ordered the destruction of the Iglesia de San Juanito to open up a pocket of fresh air in the then-crowded streets. It is believed Velázquez was buried in the church; a small monument announces this as the last resting place of the master painter who died on 6 August 1660.
On the west side of the plaza is the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, a prestigious musical conservatory that sometimes hosts concerts and organises open-air recitals in the adjacent Plaza de Oriente – check the monthly program listed on the wall outside for details.
The decadent building on the plaza's northeastern corner, where Calle de la Amnistía and Calle de Vergara meet the plaza, is one of downtown Madrid's more attractive apartment complexes.