It is one of the largest squares in Spain and lies right at the entrance of the medieval town. Its origins are found in the 11th century, when the space was used for the great traditional holidays. The buildings are from different eras, with all of them having a 16th century ground floor colonnade. On the northwestern side, the Bujaco Tower is an eye-catching building, now a symbol of the city. It was built during the Arab rule, on top of Roman foundations. It seems its name comes from the local word for straw dolls, bujacos.
The construction of the square begins in 1729, by order of Phillip V, with the square being meant primarily for bull fights. Today, it is seen as one of the most beautiful squares in Spain and in the whole of Europe. The space offers a paradoxical optical illusion. It seems a perfect quadrangle, although, as seen from an aerial photo, the shape is irregular. The baroque façades of the building, which surrounds and defines the square perimeter, seem perfectly symmetrical on a first glance, but, in reality, not one of them has the same height. Entire books have been written about the square in Salamanca, and, to this day, it is considered the absolute model of Spanish squares.
Soon after the Plaza Mayor is built in Madrid, its model is taken up by other cities, even those most distant from the capital. The Plaza de la Corredera in Córdoba is the only quadrilateral square in the south of Spain and Andalusia. Its aspect is owed to the architect Antonio Ramós Valdés of Salamanca. In 1683, on the spot of an esplanade, where, throughout time, one found a Roman circus, and then a trading area in the Muslim period of the city, he builds a giant, semiregular quadrilateral, yet somewhat smaller than the one in Madrid.
After being built, the square was used for various purposes, from temporary trade fairs to arena for corridas, from where the current name originates. In the shops beneath the arches on the ground floor lie the so-called esparterías shops that traditionally sell objects braided from vegetal fibres. For almost a century now, antique shops can also be found here.