Casa de la Villa
The Casa de la Villa is located in the Plaza de la Villa, between the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza de Oriente.
It is one the most beautiful areas of Madrid, where we can feel history come alive.
Nowadays it is used only for official events as the new Town Hall Building will be located at the old Palacio de Correos y Telecomunicaciones.
When Madrid became the capital of Spain, the first meetings of the Town Hall were celebrated at the San Salvador Church.
In the XVII century Felipe IV allowed the Town Council to construct a
building to celebrate their official meetings.
The Glass Yard was open until the dome was built in the XIX century, thus becoming a hall that could always be used.
It is faced in marble.
On the ceiling there are wonderful stained glass images that have recently been restored.
We can see the Puerta de Alcala represented in one of these stained glasses.
Plenary Sessions Hall
Known as the Column Hall. Finished in 1692 before the building itself was finished.
The dome has paintings by Antonio Palomino.
This was one of the main halls of the building as the political discussions took place here.
Dedicated to receptions, its name has its origin in the Goya painting dedicated by the artist to the city of Madrid. It presents the city as a woman with a coat of arms and pointing at the events which took place on May 2nd, 1808 (invasion of Napoleon).
It is said that this painting underwent many changes. Originally it was a commission of Joseph Bonaparte and his portrait could be seen where the coat of arms is. Afterwards Goya painted in its place a symbol of the new constitution. In the end he decided to leave the coat of arms, writing on it the date of May, 2nd.
Going downstairs we see the statue of the "Mariblanca".
It was so called because nobody realized that it was a statue of the goddess Venus and everybody called it Mariblanca (White Mary, because of its color). First the statue was in the Puerta del Sol, but when the square grew it seemed a little bit too small for such a big place. The statue was taken to the Paseo de Recoletos, but there it was damaged and so the decision was eventually made to keep it in the Casa de la Villa.
Behind the Plaza de la Villa is the Calle Sacramento, the place of an old ghost story.
The legend goes that at the end of the XVIII century a young soldier was walking along the street when he heard a woman┬┤s voice asking him to enter her house. He had a wonderful time with said lady and left her after midnight.
Suddenly he realised that he had forgotten his sword and returned to the house. But nobody answered his calls. A neighbour, who was in charge of the house, came and told him that nobody had lived there for more than forty years.
He opened the door and when they entered the house, the soldier recognized everything inside, but now they were decayed and filthy. Finally he opened the door to the bedroom. Inside he found his sword leaning on a chair. He took it and ran out the open door as fast as he could.