Jesús Escobar's examination of the transformation of Madrid (from a secondary market town to the capital of the worldwide Spanish Hapsburg empire) focuses on the planning and building of Madrid's principal public monument, the Plaza Mayor. It is based on the analysis of archival documents and architectural drawings, as well as the surviving fabric of the city itself. Escobar demonstrates how the development of the city square and its surroundings reflects the bureaucratic nature of the government that chose Madrid in 1561 to serve as the capital of Spain.
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