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Since May 1989 our activities centre, "la Palestra", has been located in an emblematic square in Madrid: the "Plaza de la Paja". This square is in the heart of the city about 900 metres from the "Puerta del Sol". The buildings that surround the square have four to six storeys and forged iron balconies. The lower floors are taken up with business premises. The architecture has been renovated turning it into an area of interest for tourists.

In medieval times the "Plaza de la Paja" was next to the "Plaza de los Carros" the most important economic centre of Madrid. It was also the residence for the most important noble families. The square is named "de la paja" (straw) because straw for animals was sold here.

The square's two most important buildings are the Bishop's Chapel and the Vargas's Palace, both in the Gothic style. Another important building was the Lasso de Castillas's Palace, located on the grounds where "La Palestra" is now situated. This palace was built at the beginning of the XVI century and welcomed many great people such as the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabella) and Cardinal Cisneros.

Going up from the "plaza de la Paja" through "Costanilla de San Andrés" we arrive to the "Plaza de los Carros" (Cart square). It received this name because it was the place where the carts stopped to take the goods to the "Mercado de la Cebada" (the Grain Market). In this square we can also visit San Andrés church.

Plaza de la Paja.


Capilla del Obispo de Palencia.


Plaza de los Carros.

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