The Casa del Ayuntamiento was designed by the well-known architect Juan Gómez de Mora in the 1640s but was only completed in 1696, long after he had died. The building then served as Madrid’s administrative headquarters from 1696 to 2007.
The Casa towers up above Plaza de la Villa in Los Austrias, one of Madrid’s oldest districts. The plaza is a lovely place for a stroll and offers a great view of the City Hall's ornate exterior. You'll also see the statue of Admiral Álvaro de Bazán out in front of the building. If you're puzzled as to why there are two entrances to the Casa, the reason is that half of the building served as a prison for a number of decades. Naturally, the prison had its own entrance while the other led to the administrative quarters.
Every Monday evening you can take part in a free guided tour of four of the rooms in the building. These tours are given in Spanish and English. The first room you'll be taken to is the Plenary Meeting Hall. Try not to crick your neck as you gawp at the impressive Antonio Palomino frescos adorning the ceilings. The combination of 17th, 18th and 19th-century styles makes this an impressive first room to visit. You’ll also see the seats of council members here. You’ll then be taken through to the Atrium of Crystals, where you can marvel at the beautiful stained-glass skylight which displays Madrid’s coat of arms and the Puerta de Alcalá. This room also has busts of famous Spanish authors on display. The Reception Hall is next: here you’ll see a huge chandelier which was confiscated from a monastery, along with many pieces of art, including two vases that were presented to Spain by France. The tour ends in the Hall of the Carreta, where portraits of Madrid mayors through the ages are on display.
The Casa del Ayuntamiento is within easy reach of Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace. If you're coming by metro you should get off at Ópera or Puerta del Sol.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum and Lope de Vega Theatre are ...
Hotel Riu Plaza EspañaAU$202
17 Feb. - 18 Feb.
Located in Literary Quarter, this family-friendly Madrid hotel is steps away from Plaza de Santa Ana and Teatro Espanol. Congress of Deputies and Thyssen-Bornemisza ...
ME Madrid by MeliaAU$274
16 Feb. - 17 Feb.
Located in Centro, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Royal Theatre and Plaza de Oriente. Sabatini Gardens and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes. ...
Palacio de los Duques Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the WorldAU$436
27 Jan. - 28 Jan.
Located in Moncloa-Aravaca, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de Espana - Princesa, Plaza de España, and Gran Via Street. Teatro Coliseum ...
Melia Madrid PrincesaAU$186
26 Jan. - 27 Jan.
Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol and Paseo del Prado. Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum and Teatro ...
NH Collection Madrid Gran VíaAU$203
26 Jan. - 27 Jan.
Located in Centro, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gran Via Street, Puerta del Sol, and Paseo del Prado. Teatro Lara and Plaza de Cibeles are ...
Iberostar Las Letras Gran ViaAU$211
2 Feb. - 3 Feb.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from La Equitativa Building, Casino de Madrid and Church of las Calatravas. San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts ...
16 Feb. - 17 Feb.
Located in Centro, this hotel is steps away from Mercado de San Miguel and Plaza Mayor. Puerta del Sol and Almudena Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Opera ...
Petit Palace Plaza MayorAU$149
6 Feb. - 7 Feb.