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Plaza Lavapies, Madrid

(2.4/5 based on 150+ reviews on the web)
Lavapiés is a central neighbourhood of the city of Madrid, centered on the Plaza de Lavapiés.It was the Jewish quarter of the city until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the church of San Lorenzo being built on the former site of the synagogue. The name literally means "wash feet", and may refer to the ritual washing of one's feet before entering the temple, possibly in the fountain in Plaza de Lavapiés which no longer exists.OverviewLavapiés was long considered the most "typical" neighborhood of Madrid; humble and somewhat neglected. Now its large immigrant population has given it an exotic, cosmopolitan flavor and it draws many visitors from other parts of Madrid, as well as foreign tourists. An inscription on a fountain in Plaza de Cabestreros is a monument to the Spanish Republic in Madrid. The ruins of Escuelas Pías, a religious school, were left to stand for many years after it was burned down by the anti-Catholic, radical left that supported the Popular Front in 1936. Only in 2002 were part of the ruins converted into a university library. The north side of the ruins face the Plaza Augustin Lara, named after the 20th century Mexican composer who wrote a song about Madrid which includes the phrase "I'll make you the empress of Lavapies".In the late 1980s and 1990s, Lavapiés had acquired a reputation as a "vertical slum", with its tenement blocks either empty or occupied by older people paying low rents. As a result, it became the most important location for okupación, or squatting, in Madrid.More recently, it has become the focal point for immigrant populations, from the Indian subcontinent Chinese, Arabs and Senegalese. It has been estimated that around 60% of the population is of foreign origin and that there are 82 different nationalities represented.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is the center of the non-touristic city life. Active all-round the clock. Shops, restaurants, city residents and refugees.  more »
  • multiethnic ... neighborhood with many people. Asian origins and not ... todo el mundo aqui! We rest at a bench in the square
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  • Here on reviews by trip advisor to far gone but here is nothing to do, spend your time to something better
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