Exploring Chinchón and its Plaza Mayor makes a lovely excursion especially on a sunny autumn/winter day.

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Plaza and Castle of the Counts of Chinchón

One of Spain's most beautiful city plazas.

Located between the River Tajuña and the River Tagus, 45 kilometres (28 miles) outside the city of Madrid, Chinchón is especially perfect for a visit on a sunny winter day. Its old town square, the Plaza Mayor, is considered one of Spain's prettiest. It is nearly round in shape and is ringed by wooden buildings and arcades. It dates back to 1499 and over the centuries has seen a lot of use as a venue for celebrations, meetings, open-air markets, and theatrical performances, among other things (at one point, it was even used as a jail). Nearby, the 15th-century Castle of the Counts, still today owned by the Counts of Chinchón, is fairly well preserved despite suffering damage in fires, wars, and other vicissitudes of history (it was even, at one point in the 20th century, used as a liquor factory). Unfortunately, the interior is not open to the public, but the castle does provide a vantage point for some amazing views out over the surrounding valley (and even as far as some of the skyscrapers of Madrid in the distance).

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