Plaza Marqués de Aracena
by Saskia Mier
Plaza de Marqués de Aracena, mostly known as the 'paseo', is the main square of the village. It is overlooked by the handsome and impressive Casino Arias Montano, which was designed by architect, Aníbal González.
Considered the centre of Aracena due to most of the shops, banks, services and bars are found around the square and down the main street of Gran Vía that starts from the Plaza Marqués itself. In the square you will find Café-Bar Manzano, a popular tapas stop offering a variety of typical 'jamón serrano' dishes, as well as a separate 'setas' (wild mushrooms) in autumn.
Opposite Café-Bar Manzano you will find the long-established, Confitería Rufino. This patisserie has stood here for more than a century, and it is said that their cakes are praised by celebrities, kings and popes. They produce some exquisite treats that are very much worth a try.
The square has always been a popular meeting place for friends and family, equipped with benches under the shade of mature trees for the warm summer months. However, in 2010, the square underwent a grand reformation. Considering the square had not been touched for over 20 years, new railings were installed, re-paving to eliminate areas of puddles, replenish flower beds, as well planting 52 new trees as drought had killed many of the old ones. A children's park area has also been created in one corner and a kiosk-bar which is great to sit and have a drink in the evening whilst kids play within an enclosed safe area.