In this nice little square, some brave Spanish soldiers and citizens fought Napoleon’s invading troops on May 2, 1808. Back then, a rebellion of the Spanish against the French began to spread all over the city, and hundreds of people died fighting. The famous painting called “The charge of the Mamelukes”, by Goya, (see photo below) depicts the street fighting that took place in these areas.
The arch that stands in the middle of the plaza was once the entrance of the old military quarters, and the sculpture underneath represents captains Daoiz and Velarde, who were the only brave Spanish soldiers who rebelled against the French.
Nowadays, this plaza has become the perfect spot for tapas and drinks, specially in Spring and Summer. This area has a trendy array of cool designer stores, healthy food shops and tapas bars. There’s also a nice fair every Saturday, with local craftsmen selling their goods. You’ll find vintage records, second hand clothes and ornaments as well as homemade organic soaps, for example.
May 2nd is an official holiday in Madrid, so the neighborhood of Malasaña organizes several activities throughout the day. Make sure to stop by if you are around! You’ll find live music, sports competitions and even open yoga lessons.