Plaza del Mercado Chico from Ávila, Spain

It seems the Roman forum once stood on the site of Plaza del Mercado, which became the centre of the community at the end of the 11th century when the region was repopulated. In the Middle Ages, it used to be a plaza porticada, a square bordered by columns, with a weekly fair, as well as corridas and religious ceremonies. The square was the site of royal receptions but also beheadings. In the 15th century, in front of the San Juan church, in the presence of Torquemada, converted Jews were burnt at the stake. Plaza del Mercado Chico is an interesting case representing the fight between secular and religious power. The existence of the San Juan church on the southern side of the square resulted in the church claiming half of it. In the end, the city council voted for building a regular square in 1770. The construction was slow going, only finalised in 1870, with a line of columns masking San Juan, and transforming Plaza del Mercado Chico into a City Hall square.