This is one of the largest squares in Spain and lies right at the entrance of the medieval town. Its origins are found in the 11thcentury, 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. The origins of its name may come from the local word for straw dolls, bujacos.
The construction of this square began in 1729, by order of Phillip V, with the square primarily intended 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. From the ground it appears to be a perfect quadrangle, but when seen from an aerial photo, the shape is irregular. The baroque façades of the building, which surround and define the square’s perimeter, seem perfectly symmetrical at first glance, but in reality, none of them are the same height. Entire books have been written about this square in Salamanca, and, to this day, it is considered the absolute model of Spanish squares.
Soon after the Plaza Mayor was built in Madrid, its design was copied by other cities, even ones very distant from the capital. The Plaza de la Corredera in Córdoba is the only quadrilateral square in the south of Spain and Andalusia, developed by the architect Antonio Ramós Valdés of Salamanca. In 1683, on the site of an esplanade, which historically had been a Roman circus, and subsequently a trading area during the city’s Muslim era, he constructed a giant, semiregular quadrilateral, slightly smaller than the one in Madrid.
After it was built, the square was used for various purposes, serving as the grounds for temporary trade fairs and an arena for corridas, from which its current name originates. In the area beneath its ground floor arches are the so-called esparterías shops that sell traditional objects braided from plant fibres. Antique shops have existed here for nearly a century.