|Pink Hibiscus flowers in Plaza de las Flores.|
Plaza de las Flores
Plaza de las Flores has had a number of names over the years, beginning as Plaza Real, it became in turn Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza de José Antonio and finally (at least for now), Plaza de Las Flores. They were great times for the makers of street signs. Somewhere along the way it was also known briefly as Plaza de Abastos (Provisions Square), where the markets alternated with bullfights. Confusing and downright dangerous if you turned up on the wrong day to buy potatoes.
In the square you will find the Casa de las Tejerinas (previously Casa de la Cultura), which is itself worth a visit, and contains the tourist office and the Garó Art Collection. The 18th century building itself is interesting. Called "House of Tejerinas" it has a central patio surrounded by columns, a balcony with arches and a lookout tower on the upper floor. It was owned by the sisters Carmen and Francisca Tejerina who donated it to become 'Hospital de la Caridad de las Madres Carmelitas Terciarias', a charity hospital for the poor. In the 1970's the town hall took it over and for many years up to about 2010 it was the 'Casa de Cultura' where exhibitions and courses took place. The cultural centre and library is now located in the larger 'Centro Cultural Padre Manual' in Calle San Fernando 2.
When the square was being renovated in the 1980s, fragments of Roman and Moorish pottery were uncovered, confirming that the original town had not been limited to site of the later castle alone. It became so after the Moorish defeat, and the site around Plaza de las Flores was not inhabited again until the end of the 18th century, when the town began to grow once more, breaking out of the castle walls.