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Plaza Lavapies, Madrid
(2.5/5 based on 140+ 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
  • The main reason to come here is to visit the Carrefour supermarket which is open 24/7 and has been nicely upgraded this year. The neighborhood is a diverse mix and interesting but the square is usuall...  more »
  • We booked an apartment in the Lavapies neighborhood of Madrid with some reservations after reading a few reviews that spoke of the ethnic diversity of the area and the supposed open drug use. After sp...  more »
  • Very good place to take anything. You can start before eating and finishing late at night.
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