Rebellion echoes through the ages here. The arch in this Malasaña park marks the spot of the Monteleón artillery barracks. When the people of Madrid rose up against Napoleon’s troops on May 2, 1808, Spanish troops were ordered to remain confined to barracks. The artillery under command of Luis Daoiz de Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán defied the crown and joined the popular uprising. In return, the French reduced the Monteleón barracks to rubble, killed most of the Spanish soldiers, and martyred their leaders. At the end of the Franco era, this park in a largely bohemian neighborhood became a flash point for rebellion against Spanish authoritarianism. In a May 2, 1976, uprising of sorts, a couple undressed on top of the statues to the delight of a crowd—an event often cited as the beginning of the “movida Madrileña.” Today the plaza is skateboard turf by day, and a center of cafe life at night.
Plaza Dos de Mayo
Our Rating Transportation Metro: Bilbao or Tribunal
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