Laid out in 1929 for an abortive 'Fair of the Americas', the Plaza de España and adjoining Maria Luisa Park are among the most pleasant - and impressive - public spaces in Spain. They are an ideal place to spend the middle part of the day, just ten minutes' walk to the east of the cathedral.
Today, the plaza mainly comprises government offices while the surrounding moat can be best appreciated by renting out a rowing boat. A vast semicircular complex with fountains, monumental staircases and a mass of tile work, it is quite spectacular.
There is a tiled alcove named after each of the provinces of Spain. Patriats like to have their photo taken in their home province.