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Top 10 Madrid by DK Publishing

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TopTen

Old Madrid

In the 17th century the focus of the rapidly growing city shifted from the medieval centre, around Plaza de la Paja, to Plaza Mayor. Part market, part meeting place, this magnificent square was, above all, a place of spectacle and popular entertainment. The names of the playwrights of Spain’s Golden Age are still commemorated in the streets around Calle de las Huertas, where many of them lived. There were no permanent theatres in those days; instead, makeshift stages were erected in courtyards. Over time the houses deteriorated into slums and teeming tenements. The parishes to the south of Plaza Mayor were known as the barrios bajas

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