Tag Archives: Plaza de Santa Ana

Madrid Theaters: Teatro Español

If there is an establishment that you can see everywhere in Madrid, it is the theater, whether it is meant for plays, cinemas, or musicales. Spaniards must be so in love with their theaters that it is common for quite a number to be found within a single barrio, or lining up a street, one after the other.

There are Spanish plazas that are hightlighted by at least one – and it is treated as an important, integral element. Get the chance to visit Plaza de Isabel II along Calle Arenal and near the Palacio Real de Madrid, and there you will find the iconic Teatro Real.

Teatro Español

Then, of course, there is the Plaza Santa Ana, home to Teatro Español. Previously known as Teatro del Principe, it ìs beautifully designed using neo-classic architecture, and is meant primarily for the performing arts.

Needless to say, Teatro Español is a prominent landmark within the Barrio de las Letras. It is not surprising that there is a great number of visitors and tourists going to the Teatro, either to watch what’s currently shown or just to marvel at the impressive edifice. It helps that it is found within striking distance to other major tourist attractions, such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Palacio de Cibeles, and Retiro. Evidently, the building that houses the theater is in excellent condition, as it has been placed under the jurisdiction of the city government.

A historic theater within an equally historic square

Plaza de Santa Ana might be smaller than Puerta del Sol or even Plaza Mayor, but in no way is it less significant. For one thing, it serves as the address of the Melia Hotel, one of the best there is if you looking for the finest accommodation in Spain. The square is steeped in rich history, no doubt, it was here where once lived some of the most illustrious Spanish men, writers and artists, such as Federico Garcia Lorca and Calderon de la Barca. In fact, these two have proven their great importance to the place that monuments have been built in their honor, standing proudly in the plaza.

A bit of history

Today, the Teatro Español is recognized as one of principal theaters that offer only the best productions and performances this side of Spain. However, did you know that it is proud of its humble beginnings, starting out as a small space during its start in the 16th century.

Unfortunately, the start of the 19th century saw a fire consuming much of the building, leaving only its facade still standing. Since then, a series of reconstruction was done to transform it back as a functioning theater, complete with better technical equipment.

Present-day Plaza de Santa Ana, together with a flashy hotel, and a number of modern boutiques and restaurants and cafes embracing it, still boasts of being a seat of arts and culture of the city, made clear by the theater’s imposing presence. Teatro Español, directly facing the Melia, is such a sight to behold at night. One has got to see the theater in the evening, when lighting is in full blast, and the entire face is beautifully lit.

Location: Plaza Santa Ana, Calle del Principe 25

How to go:

Metro train: Sol station, Lines 1, 2, and 3; Antón Martín station, Line 1; Sevilla station, Line 2

Autobús EMT: 3, 6, 9, 15, 26, 20, 32, 52, 51, 53, 65, 57, 150, M1

Plaza de Santa Ana – Home to Melia and Teatro Espanol

If you’re unfamiliar with Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Atocha, or surrounding areas, and decided to wander around these places, there’s a chance that you will pass thru  Plaza Santa Ana without even knowing it. This is precisely what happened in my case. From Plaza de Sta Cruz at Atocha, instead of taking my usual route to Plaza del Sol via Calle de Carretas, I turned right to Calle de las Huertas. Passing through Plaza del Angel,  I found myself inside a square, not aware that I’m already at Plaza de Santa Ana. As I head towards Calle de Principe, I realized that I just passed by ME by Melia. I was happy and awed by the sight of the hotel, which I heard is the hotel of choice by tourists who want to live near Sol. (Actually, I imagined Melia to be a hotel of swank, that speaks of grandeur, and is patronized by the rich who wouldn’t not spare any expense just to get the best.)
image Plaza de Santa Ana

Looking around, I see the hotel perfectly complements the plaza. The latter is an enclosed square surrounded by buildings in all sides. Plaza de Santa Ana resembles any typical plaza, except that at most times of the day, it teems with people, presumably a mix of locals and tourists. Melia Hotel directly faces the square, with the statue of Calderon de la Barca accentuating its front area. At the opposite side of the plaza, along Calle del Principe, is the Teatro Espana, touted as the oldest theater in Madrid. As I examine the building, I can’t help but be appreciative of the apparent neoclassical style of its facade.

Plaza de Santa Ana is perhaps one of the busiest plazas I’ve been to. People visit it for a number of reasons. For one, the plaza sees a good traffic of pedestrians walking through to reach surrounding side streets. Also, many consider the plaza as a worthy destination. Droves go there to be awed by the place, check Teatro Espanol to possibly watch current show offerings, and marvel at the statues of Calderon de la Barca and Ferrero Garcia Lorca. A privileged few choose the Melia as their temporary address while in Madrid.
imagePlaza de Santa Ana holds its own against other more popular squares in Madrid as it reeks of prestige and historical significance – and even affluence.

Of course, any square in Madrid is not without its share of terrace cafes and restaurants. Santa Ana has a few good restaurants surrounding it, such as Las 10 Tapas de Santa Ana, known to serve some of the best tapas, and Naturbier, a perfect option for those who crave for some great-tasting beer. Dining areas are extended to a significant part of the plaza’s center. Don’t be surprised if early in the day, you see the establishments, especially those with terrace areas, already bursting with customers. Most do opt for outside dining, since it offers the choice seats to enjoy some sumptious meals while taking advantage of the fine ambiance the plaza offers. Indeed historical Plaza de Santa Ana is an exquisite place to unwind after a tiring day of sightseeing, and cap the night with some sumptuous dinner and coffee or copas.

imageTeatro Español, a landmark of Plaza de Santa Ana, is directly opposite of the luxury hotel, ME by Melia.  A towering fixture at the Plaza de  Santa Ana, it is an edifice of grand design that exudes neoclassicism.

imageME Madrid Reina Victoria or Me by Melia has earned a distinguished reputation in the hotel industry  – this makes it a top favorite of local and international guests. It is also the hotel of choice of first-time visitors of Madrid because it is located in the heart of of the city, and hence near to the capital’s major tourist sites and attractions.

image The Statue of Pedro Calderon de la Barca, a man of letters and theater, stands in front of Melia Hotel at Plaza de Santa Ana. Calderon is recognized as one of the best Baroque writers of Spain during the Golden Age.

image The statue of Federico García Lorca facing the Teatro Espanol. Lorca is a well-known artist, playwright and major proponent of Spain’s 20th Century theater and literature

image Señor guitarist serenades dinners at Plaza de Santa Ana