Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square), Madrid

Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square), Madrid

Situated just a few blocks southeast of the iconic Gate of the Sun ("Puerta del Sol"), this expansive pedestrian square exudes a lively and occasionally boisterous ambiance. Its origins trace back to the reign of Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, who oversaw its construction between 1808 and 1813. The square derived its name from the 16th-century Convent of Santa Ana, which previously occupied the area but was demolished to make way for this gathering place.

The square bears testament to its strong literary connections with monuments dedicated to two renowned Spanish writers. At one end stands a striking marble statue of Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–81), the playwright who was a prominent figure during the waning years of Spain's Golden Age of arts. Sculpted in 1878, the monument depicts scenes from four of Calderón's plays adorning its pedestal. At the opposite end, a statue of poet Federico García Lorca, erected in 1998 to commemorate the centenary of his birth, faces the Spanish Theatre ("Teatro Español"). Originally constructed in 1745, the theatre underwent restoration in 1980 following a devastating fire.

The square's ties to the performing arts extend further into history, as the theatre now occupies the site where the Corral del Príncipe once stood—a popular open courtyard venue for theatrical performances in 16th-century Madrid. These performances often fostered lively interactions, occasionally escalating into clashes between actors and audience members. Across from the theatre, the glass balconies of ME Madrid Reina Victoria, a luxurious hotel, offer a splendid view of the square.

The square's remaining two sides, as well as the adjacent streets, host a plethora of popular bars and restaurants. Notably, the classic Cervecería Alemana ("German Beerhouse"), established in 1904 and once a favorite haunt of author Ernest Hemingway, remains a bustling establishment, constantly bustling with customers. Just around the corner from the theatre, you'll discover Viva Madrid, a popular tavern frequented by the stylish and youthful, known for its captivating 19th-century ceramic tableaux. Here, you can savor a range of cocktails, classic tapas, and hearty Spanish main dishes.

Tip:
For an elevated experience, it is worth paying €8 to gain access to The Radio Rooftop (Wed, Thu: 4pm–1am; Fri, Sat: 4pm–3am; Sun: 4pm–2am), a cocktail bar on the top floor of the ME Madrid Reina Victoria hotel, that offers breathtaking views overlooking the square. Capture snapshots of local life bustling below or use a wide-angle lens to capture the broader cityscape beyond.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Madrid. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square) on Map

Sight Name: Plaza de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Square)
Sight Location: Madrid, Spain (See walking tours in Madrid)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Madrid, Spain

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Golden Mile Walking Tour

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Madrid Introduction Walking Tour

Madrid Introduction Walking Tour

A city of elegant boulevards, beautiful squares, and manicured parks, the Spanish capital is renowned for its rich repositories of European art, portico-lined Plaza Mayor, baroque style Royal Palace and many other cultural and historical monuments.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Miguel de Cervantes' Madrid Walking Tour

Miguel de Cervantes' Madrid Walking Tour

The name of the iconic Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes is closely associated with Madrid. The author is known for a number of works, but his 1605 novel Don Quixote de la Mancha is often held as the first modern novel.

Despite being regarded as one of the fathers of modern literature, very little is known about Cervantes' early life. Born in 1547, he had spent some of his young years in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

Buen Retiro Park Walking Tour

Buen Retiro Park, which translates to "Park of the Pleasant Retreat", is one of the main attractions in Madrid. Similarly to Central Park of New York City or Hyde Park of London, this former royal retreat is the most popular public outdoor space in the Spanish capital.

A green oasis in the heart of the city, the park has long been a favorite spot for both locals and tourists to go for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Madrid Food Tour

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Spain is internationally reputed as a major gastronomic power and its capital city Madrid attests to this claim, being home to vibrant food markets and multiple establishments serving traditional Spanish food in a soul-warming atmosphere.

One of the iconic food destinations is Plaza Mayor, a bustling town square where you can savor traditional Spanish dishes. The square is home to numerous...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles

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