Nice weather, sunny days and beautiful places to visit all in one country. Read about Madrid’s highlights below
This post is one in a series about Espana provided by Lesbianas Viajeras, a Spain based company specialising in travel in Spain and beyond especially for lesbians.
From elegant Plaza Mayor to historic and bohemian districts, serving some of Spain’s best tapas and wines. The real family lives in Madrid and the court of politics is here and you can visit it too.
The Madrid area has been settled since the Lower Paleolithic age, but it was not until 1561 that King Philip II made it the capital of his mighty empire. The historic old town, also known as “Madrid de los Austrias” (referring to the Hapsburg empire) is a living example of the city’s 16th and 17th century heyday, as is its impressive Plaza Mayor (square), which was opened in 1620 and remains one of Spain’s most popular and typical spots.
Aristocratic Centre of Madrid
Near to the Plaza Mayor is the so-called “aristocratic centre” of Madrid, home to the stunning Royal Palace, a 17th century monument that combines Baroque and Classical styles. Next to the palace you can find the Plaza de Oriente (square), the Opera House and the modern Almudena Cathedral, consecrated in 1993 by Pope John Paul II.
This ensemble of monuments is completed by the Puerta del Sol, a square flanked by select shops, and the “Paseo del Arte”, so called for its unique museums, palaces and gardens, not forgetting the unmistakable Bank of Spain building, the Palacio de las Telecomunicaciones (currently home to the Spanish Post Office) and the Cibeles and Neptuno fountains.
Art and Culture in Madrid
Art and culture are central to Madrid life. The city has 73 museums that cover all fields of human knowledge.
Of these, the most important are the Prado Museum, one of the world’s greatest art galleries, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum with more than 800 paintings, sculptures and tapestries that go from the earliest Dutch masters to the most avant-garde trends, and the Reina Sofía National Art Centre, which is dedicated to Spanish contemporary art, with works by Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Juan Grisamong others.