Madrid is an ancient city, it boasts an architectural heritage comparable to that of other European capitals and is not so fine to leave you speechless. Most of the city is modern, built in the nineteenth and twentieth century through the repetition of dormitory suburbs and skyscrapers certainly not rewarding those who drive into town for the first time. However, the Spanish capital is an essential step for those who visit Spain : art museums, beautiful squares and elegant modern buildings, combined with a bustling nightlife, make Madrid an unforgettable experience, however, a city to live than by watch.
The first certain documents relating to Madrid date from the tenth century, when the city was a settlement known as the Arab Magerit. In 1083 the center was sold to Alfonso VI, but the importance of Madrid was still far below that of nearby Toledo , Segovia and Valladolid . To mark the beginning of the upward flight of the city it was the appointment of Valladolid to the capital in 1601, during which time public servants are indeed important, but also writers and intellectuals, they settled in Madrid. In eighteenth century reign of Charles III marked the final turning point for the city, where were built the Palacio Real and dozens of other public buildings. In the nineteenth century, closed the Napoleonic negative, the Bourbons returned to the throne, but the country’s problems were far from resolved, as witnessed political uncertainty culminated in the civil war of 1939.
Before devoting himself to visiting the center of Madrid you can expand the reach of the entire Comunidad de Madrid, the region around the Spanish capital for approximately 8,000 km2 inhabited by over 2 million people. Bounded on the north and west by the Sierra de Guadarrama, can essentially be considered part of what used to be called Castilla la Nueva. Madrid with its suburbs is expanding within the comunidad, giving birth to new suburbs messy sometimes resemble real cities. This ever-expanding metropolitan area is crossed by several roads that feed interesting places, from day trips departing from Madrid.
To the south deserve Chinchon, a small town developed around an old Castilian Square, and Aranjuez , where stands a beautiful palace. With short train journeys can be reached Alcalá de Henares, an ancient settlement built along the university Autovia de Aragon to Guadalajara , and El Escorial, which is also famous for its splendid royal residence. Nearby you can see the much-criticized monument to Franco of the Valle de los Caidos, while further north, thanks to the heights of the Sierra de Guadarrama, are numerous opportunities for those who love hiking and outdoor activities.
Observing from Madrid jumps immediately to the eyes, a curious thing: the city lacks a river. The Rio Manzanares, in fact, flows at the outskirts of the city, and many tourists leave the capital without knowing of its existence. The liveliest area of the center is at the south end of Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid’s main boulevard, the track in a low natural depression that connects the two major railway stations: Atocha and Chamartin. Between Paseo del Prado, the area where the museums are concentrated, and the Palacio Real extend the city’s oldest neighborhoods, while about half way stands the Puerta del Sol, just off the stately Plaza Mayor.
The attraction best place to start is a visit to the city Puerta del Sol, Sol simply called by the inhabitants, which is the official center of Madrid. To make the famous square are mostly statues of Charles III and the bear sniffing a Madrono (strawberry tree), which has become a symbol of the city. From here you can find Calle de Preciados and go to the Plaza de las Descalzas, known for its beautiful baroque gate built in 1733, the Caja de Ahorros building Caja de Madrid. Opposite stands the Monastery de las Royal Barefoot, a building with massive walls enhanced by the presence of a splendid museum containing tapestries woven in Brussels in the seventeenth century.
Walking down Calle de San Martin to the south you get the Iglesia de San Gines, one of the oldest churches in Madrid. Inside are kept many beautiful paintings, including “The Expulsion from the Temple” by El Greek, while behind him is the same name Chocolateria de San Gines, open every night until late. Continuing up Calle Mayor you enter the most famous square in the capital’s Plaza Mayor. Although designed in 1619, the plant is eighteenth century and presents to the traditional style of Herrera, such as slate spiers. On sunny days there is nothing better than sitting in one of the many cafes for a snack and a drink, although care must be taken to the prices very high.
After coffee should take Calle Mayor and head to the historic Plaza de la Villa, dominated by the eighteenth century ayuntamiento (town hall) in Madrid. On the opposite side of the square you can see Casa de los Lujanes, Gothic-Mudejar, and Casa de Cisneros, completed in 1537 according to the canons plateresque. Leaving the latter and taking the road on the left leads into Calle del Cordon, which in turn leads into Calle de Segovia . The tallest building in the district is the Mudejar tower dell’Iglesia de San Pedro, but the advice is to devote its attention primarily to the nearby Iglesia de San Andrés, whose dome is decorated rather unusual.
From here, crossing the Plaza de la Puerta de Moros and pushed to the south-west, we reach the foot of the Basilica de San Francisco El Grande, designed by Sicilian Francesco Sabatini in the eighteenth century. Not far away branches off the maze of alleys that make up the old Islamic quarter, a time known as Moreria, preceding the beginning of Calle de Bailen and beautiful terrazas Las Vistillas, one of the best places in Madrid to sip an iced drink gazing the view. Going east, however, after passing the market of Plaza de la Cebada, we arrive at the place that Sunday hosts the El Rastro flea market.
Nearby stand the Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena and the Palacio Real. The first, completed only after 110 years of work in 1992, a church is rather dark and austere, not particularly interesting from the architectural point of view. Very different is the discourse concerning the Palacio Real, built just before the middle of the eighteenth century on the old Alcazar. The building, comprising approximately 2,800 rooms of which 50 are open to visitors, is in neoclassical style, and occupies a square base of almost 150 meters on each side. Among the things to see the outstanding Real Pharmacy, the first series of rooms which is reached starting from the southern side of Plaza de Armas, and the Royal Armoury, located across the plaza to the west.
In the Plaza de Oriente, recognizable for its statues, fountains and hedge mazes, there is the Teatro Real, while the northern end, Calle de Bailen leads to Plaza de Espana. Here are the Museo de Cerralbo, which exposes the fruits of eclectic wanderings of the Marqués de Cerralbo, the Temple de Debod, a fourth-century Egyptian temple rescued from the waters of Lake Nasser in 1970 and somewhat decontextualized Ermita de San Antonio de Florida , not far from the bed of the Rio Manzanares. The small hermitage, also called Panteon de Goya is famous for keeping some of their finest works of Goya, whose remains were buried before the altar.
The east side of Plaza de Espana marks the beginning of the Gran Via, the avenue track in 1911 with little architectural sensibility between the slums in the suburbs north of the eastern end of the Gran Via Sol is hard to miss the dome of Building Metropolis while along Calle de Alcalá you arrive at Plaza de la Cibeles, one of Madrid’s main roundabouts. Continuing north we enter to alberato Paseo de los Recoletos, known for the huge National Library and the statue of Columbus that dominates the Plaza de Colon. Behind the library is the National Archaeological Museum, which houses diverse collections from prehistoric times to the Spanish Muslim, and nearby Plaza de la Independencia opens with a central Puerta de Alcalá.
Nearby is the Plaza de Cibeles and further south the Paseo del Prado, which identifies the richest area of the city’s museums. In order of importance, the first is precisely the Prado Museum, housed in the monumental Palacio de Villanueva, built in the late eighteenth century in what was formerly the prado (meadow) de los Jeronimos. Inside are wasted three rooms dedicated to the greatest Spanish artists: Velázquez, Goya and El Greek, but there are also many beautiful pictures, Italian, Flemish and other famous painters. Across the street is the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, housed with the collection accumulated over two generations by the family of German-Hungarian magnates. The setting is decidedly eclectic and includes many artists from different periods and schools, including Titian, Tintoretto, Picasso, Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
The area north of the Prado museum collects more interesting, while to the east are the gardens of the Parque del Buen Retiro. Immediately to the south is another large park: Real Jardin Botanico, a garden of 8 acres in 1755 during the reign of Ferdinand VI all’Huerto de Migas Calientes and moved to its current position with Charles III. Entering the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V are noticed the Atocha train station and the third largest museum in the city: the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Derived from the crumbling remains of an eighteenth-century hospital, the museum is the temple of modern art of Madrid , with works dating mainly from the 60 century.
To conclude the tour does not have to visit the northern part of the Paseo del Prado, where stands the Convento de las Trinitarias. This is the place where lie the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, but the building is closed to visitors. From the convent, getting on the right and continue on Calle de San Agustin to Calle de Cervantes, one arrives at Casa de Lope de Vega, within which is an interesting museum about the life of the writer. Reach the end of Calle de Cervantes, turn left and go back to Calle de las Huertas, always teeming with people because of the numerous bars and cafes. A stop in any of these premises is ideal to crown the itinerary to the Spanish capital.
For entertainment there is the Parque de Atracciones, in Casa de Campo, which can compete with Disneyland and Gardaland . Also the famous Retiro Park EI, which has a long history, dating from the fifteenth century. It covers an area of 143 hectares and in its southeastern part, there is also the zoo’s capital.
The most important fiesta of the rich calendar of events Madrid is the Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador, which is held every year in the third week of May. The event celebrates the city’s patron saint, San Isidro, with a week of free musical performances and a series of bullfights that take place in the prestigious Plaza de Toros Monumental de las Ventas. Other occurrences are perceived by the population rather than the Fiesta de San Juan, organized at Parque del Buen Retiro in the week before June 24, and the three parties scheduled for the second consecutive week of August, the San Cayetano, Saint Lawrence and Paloma . The last week of September, in Chamartin, held the Fiesta de Otono (fall festival).
Finally, to taste the sangria, a refreshing drink made from red wine to which is added herbs and pieces of fresh fruit, sugar and soda water. In the Calle del Prado enthusiasts can choose valuable pieces in antique shops numeroslsslml; In a side Floridablanca, you can find the Mercado Nacional de artesania espafiola, the best shop for local handicrafts. You can play different inspirations fia pottery, pewter and silver, leather and painted Cordoba replied, blankets and rugs in bright colors, silver necklaces, wrought iron furniture and Spanish style. Looking good you can also find the costumes and “tools” of the matador. Buy leather items, once convenientissimi, is no longer a big deal, but worth a look. The most important New Year of Spain you live in the central square of Puerta del Sol is where the tradition was born of the 12 grapes to eat on the chimes of midnight.
The best time to stay in Madrid is between April and June and between mid-September and late October. The winter cold and summer is hot. If you are fond of bullfighting, you must go to the famous Plaza de Toros Monumenta l (but not only) in which all Sundays and holidays, you can watch the bullfights. The opening. Of the season takes place, normally, on Easter Sunday. Meet at five in the afternoon, now canonical for the struggle between man and bull.
The Madrid Barajas Airport is located 13 kilometers north-east of the city and is served by scheduled and charter flights from around the world. Once landed, to move outside the metropolitan area, you can count on many buses depart daily from eight bus stations in the city, the most important, the Estacion de Autobuses, is located on Calle de las Canarias near the big train station of Atocha. The other is Chamartin railway station, smaller size, which generally serves the towns north of the capital. To move to the center you can count on Metro to get around faster and more usable than the bus, by car, while you risk getting stuck in traffic.
Originally posted 2012-08-12 13:15:23.