Designed in 1844 by the architect Narciso Pascual Colomer under the orders of King José I who demolished the medieval houses in the area, the plaza has numerous gardens and an excellent sculpture display.
What to see in the square
In the centre of the square can be found one of the main sculptures, a bronze equestrian statue of Felipe IV, which was the first in the world to stand on its two hind legs. To achieve this, the sculptor (who also used the portraits of the king painted by Velázquez), received aid from Galileo.
This is one of a sculpture collection which also includes twenty Spanish kings in limestone which were initially created as decoration for the Royal Palace, but in the end, were kept on display in the Plaza de Oriente.
The central gardens, designed in 1941, are arranged in the form of a grid, making an attractive ornamental garden with floral gardens, hedges and cypress trees. And in the exterior part of the square can be found two leafy gardens, the Cabo Noval gardens and the Lepanto gardens.
The Plaza de Oriente is an agreeable and tranquil environment, ideal to take a walk through as you get to know one of the oldest and most surprising parts of Madrid. Its central location and points of great historical interest mean it is a sight which should not be missing from any itinerary.
Metro: Ópera, lines 2 and 5
Bus: Lines 25 and 39