This is one of my tops site since a child living in Madrid, and come back every time. First the easiest way to get there is by the PARQUE DEL RETIRO as it is inside the park; at Paseo Duque de Fernán Núñez, closest metro to it is the Line 9 at Ibiza.
open from Mondays to Sundays from 11h to 20h
The palace or palacio de cristal was built for the exposition on the Philippines in 1887. It is considered one the best examples of steel and glass architecture in the country,and it now houses the temporary exposition halls of comtemporary arts of the museum/ Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
It is 54 meters long and 28 meters wide and its highest point is at 22,6 meters. It has a dome decorated with ceramics . It is said it was modeled after the Crystal Palace of London (1850).
Many visitors to Madrid (as well as people who live here) totally pass over the experience of visiting the 'Faro de Madrid' which is located near Moncloa and is also known as the Madrid Space Needle to the foreign community here. The cost of the visit is nill, only 200 pesetas (less than $1.50 USA) and the feeling of being on top of Madrid is unique. To get to the 'Faro', get on the #3 Metro line (can pick it up at 'La Puerta del Sol' and head in the direction of 'Moncloa', take the line to the end and get off at 'Moncloa', when you come out of the Metro onto the street, you will see the 'Faro' off in the distance. Be sure you are on the correct side of the street and head in that direction, there is a semi dirt path that takes you over a bridge and directly to it. It is hard to miss and the views are breathtaking. Last I checked it was open from 10am till 2pm and from 5pm till 7:30pm Monday to Friday, not sure of the weekend hours but any Madrid tourist office will know the complete schedule. Check it out. I have included one of my cool pictures at left taken with my camera flush against the tower and if you want to see loads of photos of the 'Faro' as well as videos, just go to www.multimadrid.com/sites/farodemoncloa/faro_de_moncloa.htm and enjoy, Jer...
wonderful plaza near royal palace, a wonderful night and daytime walk
The plaza de Oriente stands the Royal theater. Its modern facilities and its incomparable acoustics make it one of the best opera houses in Europe. The building was built on the orders of king Ferdinand VII in 1817, on the site of a former theater. It was completed in 1850. The building was done in an irregular hexagonal plan, has known the best until the 20C, but its bad state of conservation then was forced to close its doors. After restoration, the Royak Theater opened again in 1966 as a concert hall, then a new rehabilitation opened in 1997. It has a capacity of 1 745 places. In addition to the lobby, visitors can admire the scene and the vast central chandelier suspended above the room.
The Royal theater is open Mondays to Sundays from 10h30 to 13h and admission for a visit are 8€ adults. You can buy tickets in advance here, http://www.generaltickets.com/teatro-real/
The Plaza de Oriente is a square lying between the royal palace and the royal theater. There is a garden with statues of Kings and a fountain representing King Philippe IV on horseback. A series of small bars and typical terraces along the side of the Royal theater in the shape of semicircle.
The first instigator of Plaza de Oriente was Joseph Bonaparte, who proposed to create a large area being opposite the Palace. A few years later, in 1817, Ferdinand VII launched a new project to develop this area, but he could not be implemented. It was until the accession of Isabella II to the throne that his final design was finally implemented by the architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer.
The square was inaugurated in 1844, year where was installed the equestrian statue of Philippe IV of twelve meters high and 17 meters in diameter, carried out by Italian Pedro Tacca in 1840. The gardens to the careful path and twenty figures of Spanish monarchs that surround it make the Plaza de Oriente a veritable Museum of sculpture.
And a nice walk by locals and visitors alike for years.
It was known as the Palace of Communication with a post office of Spain for many years ,the ones I lived there in the 70's
An emblematic building of Madrid, identify with the city. It is now known as the Palacio de Cibeles for the fountain outside. its the triumphant site of the Real Madrid FC, and lol!! have I been there since 10 ::) right around the fountain of Cibeles
the official mayor's office of Madrid webpage
The brief history of it is, the Cortes or parliament ordered it built in 1904 as a post office. In 1907 construction began and by 1909 it is done , open by king Alfonso XIII, and queen Victoria Eugénia. By 2007 it was change to be used as the Mayor's office of Madrid,and by 2011 rename the Palacio de Cibeles.
YOu have wonderful restaurants inside such as Adolfo
and great cultural spaces like the last photo
the old major's office now autonomous region govt center, still can be seen, one of the most emblematic districts of Madrid, just off the Plaza Major. A must to walk its narrow streets for a feel of the city,
No. 2, the House and the Tower of the Lujanes (from the name of the original owners) were built in the 15th century. The Mudejar influences noted in the tower and in the small door of calle del Codo.
At no. 4, the House of Cisneros (from the name of the nephew of the famous Inquisitor, collaborator of Isabel and Ferdinand), 16th century, is now at City Hall.
At no. 5, the casa de la Villa, old City Hall (which still belongs to the Town Hall), is characteristic of the style of the House of Austria (17th): Red stone, granite and slate roof
wonderful leisure walks around and great at night.
This triumphal arch was built by Franco in 1956 as a tribute to the Nationalist forces that had defeated the republican forces during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) It measures 39 meters (128 feet) and is topped with a four horse chariot.
Madrilenos call this the Puerta de Moncloa (the Moncloa Gate) instead of calling it the Victory Arch, a way of avoiding having to think about the Franco period. The Arch itself is not open to visitors
This is right by the Ciudad Universitaria. Nearest Metro is Arguelles(lines 3,4,6).
The Madrid stock exchange building is a jewel just to watch . The Bolsa de Madrid was created in 1831, as it is over 180 years of history ,that makes it one of the oldest financial institutions in Spain.
A bit of history:
The first bolsa or stock exchange in Madrid was located at Plazuela del Angel,corner with the calle Carretas in the center of Madrid. In 1832 it was changed to the Casa de Filipinas, near ,also,calle Carretas.In 1841 it is moved to the monastic cloister of the convent of San Martín, and in 1846 again moved to the monastery of Monasterio de las Monjas Bernardas, at calle Alcalá. A year later, it is moved again to the convent of Convento de los Basilios,in the street calle Desengaño. In 1875 , it is moved again!!! to the building of the old customs office or Aduana Vieja, in what was called the Plaza de la Bolsa or stock exchange square. The queen regent Maria Cristina open the current building on May 7, 1893. Where it has been since.
You can visit with guided tour groups or individuals. All working days in the mornings, the Bolsa opens its doors to the public so they can see the Palace or Palacio de la Bolsa. All the visit are guided by personnel of the stock exchange. The visit lasts about 60 minutes.
Individual visits every thursday at 12H; to do this you need to reserve in advance by writing to this email : email@example.com or from 9h30 to 13h30, you can call in at +34 91 589 10 20 or +34 91 589 11 62
Its a great educational trip in seeing the stock in a foreign country than yours.
located at Plaza de la Lealtad, 1, on your way to Prado museum.
I found it interesting that in Madrid's Retiro Park there is a fountain that portrays the Fallen Angel, Satan. Odd, isn't it, especially in a country where religion has played such an important role over the years.
The Fountain of the Fallen Angel (Fuente del Angel Caido) is the work of Madrid sculptor Ricard Bellver, who did the sculpture for use at the Worlds Fair. Eventually, the Prado Museum bought the work and in 1886 it was placed in the Retiro gardens.
Built by Franco as a monument to the Civil War. It has been a contentious issue, as republican war prisoners were used to built this church, mausoleum. Supposed to honor all who fought, it has been seen by the republicans as a monument to Franco and his fascist. I don't know what the feeling is today, as I was there in 1970, while Franco still ruled.
In spite of it's political history and ambiguities, it is a unique architectural and religious facility. There is a church carved into the rock. The Nave leads back into the mountain to the crossing and an altar. The transept crosses the Nave in the middle of the mountain. On the end of each of the wings are huge mausoleums with the war dead. Additional rooms are off the Nave for more of the dead. It is remarkable. The cross on top of the mountain has it's roots in the ceiling over the altar.
A spectacular square with the royal theater in it,just another wonderful part of my Madrid. You have boutique and restaurant Inside, very famous Café. Easy to get with public transport metro or bus in Madrid. One of the landmarks of the city totally renovated in 1997.
a bit of history
The building of the theatre was ordered by Queen Isabelle II. The Teatro Real was inaugurated November 19, 1850, with the representation of La Favorite by Donizetti.
The boom years of the opera (marked by the visit by Verdi in 1863 came to present his last opera La forza del destino), its inauguration in 1850 until 1925, cease when the theatre must close its doors because of damage caused to the building by the drilling of the Madrid metro. Reopened in 1966 as a concert and musical events, it hosts within its walls the Eurovision festival of 1969. Renovation work began in the mid-1990s allowed him to reconnect with his vocation of Opera House. Since 1997, Teatro Real has regained its glory and reputation for excellence that was his in the 19C. The Orchestra in the oval is the Symphony Orchestra of Madrid.
The Teatro Real can be visited every day. It is served by the Opera station on lines 2 and 5 of the Madrid metro.
The magnificent Plaza de Oriente that fix the location of the theater is a roundabout place for Madrileños and plenty of good eating and drinking establishement. You have around it the central gardens, monument to king Felipe IV, and the statues of 20 Spanish Kings!
A bit of history is here
The idea of a large square next to the Royal Palace of Madrid goes back to the 18C, with the project of Juan Bautista Sachetti, one of the architects of the building, put a garden in its eastern area. During the reign of José Bonaparte, which stretched from 1808 to 1813, the first demolitions of apples in the surroundings of the Palace, within an urban plan for the opening of the road to the city, which earned the King the nickname of Pepe squares (in addition to the aforementioned of Pepe Botella) were undertaken.
The demolition of the Caños del Peral Theater (located in the Plaza de Isabel II) were due to the impulse of Fernando VII. His project, in 1817 had as main axis the construction of a theatre (which later would be the Royal Theatre) on the opposite side of the Palace. The works of this Coliseum began in 1818. The project had a semicircular plant, articulated around a portico and six blocks of houses, three on each side of the theater.
In 1836, during the reign of Isabel II, took the decision to demolish the buildings started in times of Fernando VII and undertake a new design, in keeping with the Royal theatre. While this building was not completed until 1850, its Western facade, which overlooks Palace, was a condition at all times in the layout of the square. In 1842, it was the possibility of a rectangular square with curved, closed by six symmetrical blocks header. This plant was finally incorporated, although the number of apples was reduced to two, one on each side of the theater, according to the final design. In 1851, began to build the residential buildings of the outline of the square, from this latest project.
The gardens of the square have suffered significant changes over time. Until 1941, they were about circularly around the monument to Felipe IV, which occupies the Centre of the enclosure. 44 sculptures, corresponding to different Spanish kings, were located around the statue of the monarch, but in 1927, their number was reduced to twenty. The current design of the gardens, created in 1941, still taking as a point of reference the eifigie of Felipe IV, but distributes the cuadricularmente gardens. The twenty statues of the monarchs are lengthwise, placed in two rows of ten, on both sides of the central monument.
In the mid-1990s, the square returned to be remodeled. Bailén Street, separating the plaza itself is soterró such of the East of the Royal Palace facade, so that the square directly reach this building. Also other pedestrian spaces in the vicinity of the Royal Theatre, they earned at the time who proceeded to a new pavement. Under the square was built underground parking.
walk around it especially in the evenings is magical.
The Valley of the Fallen is Colonel Franco's tomb. He ordered its construction as a monument to the memory of those who fell in the Spanish Civil War and the hall built inside the mountain now hosts his tomb.
The place is massive, as it contains an abbey, gardens and the hall itself.
The hill can be seen from far away as it is topped by a cross more than a 150 metres tall, the tallest cross in the world.
Because of its beauty as well as the controversy around its creation and the fact that it is now the resting place of one of the European dictators, the Valle of the Caidos should be a stop for the history-loving tourist.
This is another emblematic building of Madrid located at Calle de Alcalá, 48, and a metro and bus stops right there. it was one of my normal walks when living there and stop by for many years visiting the city.
Many historical anecdotes such as it was created in 1782 as the Royal Bank of Spain. During the Spanish Civil War the gold reserves(est. 510 tons) were sent to the URSS in 1936 and still there in Russia now...The building was started in 1884.
For that tidbit and the gorgeous architecture it is worth stopping by even for a picture. Corner of Paseo del Prado and the Plaza de Cibeles. The building also contains important art works by Goya, Sorolla, Mengs and Maella, but admission to the paintings and the interior of the building is by appointment only (write to Servicio de Protocolo, Banco de España, Calle Alcala 48, or phone +34 91 338 5365, or email firstname.lastname@example.org). It is a long wait for possible.
Metro line 2 takes you here easily, and the tourist bus hop on off has a stop here as well as the airport express bus
in the 70's, Egypt had a lot of flooding with the Nile. They worked out a deal with the Spanish goverment and a team of engineers went to help.
They helped control the flooding and the Egyptian government was so greatful, they have Spain an entire ancient temple.
The Valley of the Fallen or as the locals say Santa Cruz del Valle los Caidos is a worthwhile visit. It was commissioned by General Franco as an attempt of reconsiliation after the Spanish Civil war. The site consists of a huge 500 foot cross on top of a rock with a basillica carved within the rock below.
This monument has a beautiful underground church with 260 metres long, and a cross with 150 metres high. Franco is buried in this church.
The cross has splendid figures in its basis. You can go there and appreciate the sigth over the Guadarrama mountain.