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Notes on the Geography of Spain: Madrid: Photo 66

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The square plaza, built on the earlier and irregularly shaped Plaza del Arrabal, was planned by Gomez de Mora at the same time that the Panaderia was built. That makes the Plaza about 50 years younger than the Ordinance of Discovery, New Population, and Pacification of the Indies, the so-called Law of the Indies, the famous proclamation of 1573 that prescribed city planning in New Spain. Escobar points out that by the time the law was promulgated the Spanish had already begun building Mexico City, as well as Lima and Cuzco, and that in those places they built upon cities they inherited from the Aztec and Inca. He writes that Cortés and others were "moved by the planned cities they encountered in the Americas. Indeed, the urbanism that resulted from this contact between two cultures reveals a syncretic process of design... [though] it remains a difficult task to pinpoint the exact design origins of Spanish colonial town planning" (195). Escobar's point is provocative: "Artistic influence did not move only from Spain to the New World, but also in the other direction" (93).

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