The square was built to cover up the River Darro which flows underneath in order to create more space in the city. The square soon became one of the most important centres in Granada and supposedly tournaments and bullfights used to be held here as well as public executions.
On one side of Plaza Nueva you can see the Royal Chancellery. Work on this began in 1530 and part of it was designed by Diego de Siloé. At the back of the building, a prison was built in the 17th century and which served as one until the end of the 19th century. The building is used today as the High Court.
The Iglesia de San Gil y Santa Ana was built in 1537 to replace the former Almanzora mosque. It was designed by Diego de Siloé.
On the right of the church is the Fountain of the Bull which was installed in 1941, with its bull in the centre spouting water and a young boy on either side.