The Plaza de la Paja, once belonged to Marqués de Comillas and it is located in the center of Madrid of the Asturias. The plaza is called this because straw was auctioned and distributed here by the priests of the neighboring Chapel of the Bishop for the caretaking of the mules that they owned. Considering the central location, the spaciousness and the surrounding buildings, it was truly the center of life in the neighborhood, the main and most important square during the Medieval era until Juan II established the Arrabal plaza over the Luján laguna which later became the Plaza Mayor of the Royalty of Spain. From the 8th century it was known as the main commercial center, or the marketplace of the city.
Here resided the most important noble families of Madrid. The palaces belonged to the families of Lasso de Castilla, the Vargas, the Marqués de la Romana, and also the Catholic Monarchs. One of the palaces is named after Isabel I of Castile (Isabel la Católica) although the Monarchical family lived in the Palace the Lasso de Castilla , which was located very close and in the same square.
In the northern part of the plaza, we can find the marvelous Capilla del Obispo (Bishop’s chapel) that is joined with the Vargas Palace. The chapel belongs to the religious building complex of San Andrés, where you can find an elevated stairwell that unites the parish church with the Lasso Palace. It was the private entrance to the church where the Royalty entered to listen to the mass.