Plaza de Armas

As a Plaza Mayor, in Latin America often Plaza de Armas, the main square regularly applied numerous cities of the Castilian crown is called. The term " Plaza Mayor " can be found explicitly in a regulation of the " Catholic Kings " from 1480 as a marketplace, have to stand on which the town hall of the city. The Spanish cities of start-ups in Latin America followed this plan, the term " Plaza de Armas " described the place as a meeting place ( appeal court ) in the case of a military attack. In addition, also other important public buildings such as the main church and the arsenal were built. ( In this sense, a decree of Philip II of 1576 ).

The designation of the appropriate courses varied with the time and the political economy. Many have been renamed to Plaza Real, Plaza de la Constitucion. Here is also an important part of the political life of the country as here bullfights were held and celebrated festivals.

For the formation of these large regular city squares the aesthetic ideals of the Renaissance played a role. After a great fire, for example, the Plaza Mayor of Valladolid in 1561 was re-created in regular size, planners was Francisco de Salamanca.

Today's use

The Plaza de Armas is nowadays usually elaborately decorated with flowers, shrubs and often well. The main buildings of a city (church, local government, City Hall, Palace of Justice, bank and post office ) are to be found there, even colonize like bars, discos and restaurants and ideal for a stroll. Depending on the tradition can be found on certain days, such as Saturdays, the plaza full of people making their rounds running around the place while they talk, what they " make a game " in Spanish is una vuelta calls. In many cities Sundays meet different political and social groups in order to hoist the national flag and singing the national anthem, often in military style in uniform and standing at attention.


  • Plaza de Armas, Manila
  • Plaza Mayor, Salamanca
  • Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile