Madrid History

The Spanish metropolis Madrid is located in the heart of the country at an altitude of 667 meters. 3.3 million people live in the city and its suburbs. Madrid’s history goes back to the 9th century when a small colony occurred in the shadow of a fort. Center of the Spanish capital is the Plaza Major. The city is characteristic of its contrasts which becomes obvious at the Plaza de España where you find numerous skyscrapers. Eye-catching is the Cathedral de la Almudena with its twin towers. Everyone looking for culture will definitely love Madrid and its museums. But also shopping facilities can be found everywhere in the city. After your city tour you can have a rest at the Café Comercial or the Café Gijón.

Holiday Homes and Vacation Rentals in Madrid

Madrid Landmarks

Madrid is a city full of culture with numerous interesting museums. The stunning paintings in the Museo del Prado will inspire art enthusiasts as well as laymen. The collection of works from famous artists like Dürer, van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rubens or Hieronymus Bosch makes it one of the most important art museums in the world. Paintings from the 14th century can be discovered at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. In the Museo Reina Sofía, visitors will find art work from Dalí and Picasso from the 20th century. In Madrid you can also visit a waxwork museum, the Museo de Cera, where famous people are recreated with wax. Archaeological-finds of the Iberian Peninsula are exhibited in the Museo Arquelógico Nacional.

Important Buildings
One of the most popular buildings in Madrid is the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the football stadium of the world-famous team Real Madrid. It is possible to join a guided tour of the stadium that has space for more than 85,000 people. It is an unforgettable experience to watch a match of Real Madrid in this stadium. Very worth-seeing is the Palacio Real, the royal palace of the Spanish capital and residence of the Spanish king. Visitors have access to some parts of the 2,000 halls. You should also pay a visit to the Congreso de los Diputados, the House of Commons of the Spanish parliament, which has a stunning architecture. Usually, a train station is not very interesting – however, in Madrid it is an attraction. The station Atocha was equipped with a glass dome, below it a tropical palm garden. Another must-see is the Puerta de Alcalá. The former granitic town gate from the 18th century is decorated with limestone and one of the most popular monuments, directly located at the Plaza de la Indepencia. Beside historic buildings, Madrid is also full of modern skyscrapers. The highest one is the 250-meter-high Torre Caja Madrid, followed by Torre de Cristal, Torre PwC and Torre Espacio. An interesting loosening of the strict skyline are the two towers of the Puerta de Europa. They are leaning towards each other.

Plazas (Public open spaces)
Everywhere in Madrid you find bigger and smaller places where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city. For tourists, the Plaza Mayor is the most important meeting point when visiting Madrid for the first time. The place is surrounded by residential buildings and colonnades where numerous restaurants are located. Not far from the Plaza Mayor is the Plaza de la Villa with its historic buildings and the Puerto de la Sol. The building is famous for the zero-milestone of the six main streets in Spain and the clock tower of the Casa de Correos which announces the New Year. At the Plaza de Cibeles you can gaze at the famous fountain Fuente de Cibeles, the Palacio de Communicaciones and many other buildings. This place is also used as a venue for celebrating when Real Madrid wins an important match.

Madrid is full of parks which are small green oasis in the middle of the bustling city. A very central one is the castle garden of the royal palace which is special for its baroque flair. Very popular is the Parque del Buen Retiro with its museums, statues and sculptures.

Other places of interest in Madrid
One thing that comes to everyone’s mind when thinking of Spain is bullfighting. Las Ventas is the name of the bullfight arena in Madrid that was opened in 1934. It has space for an audience of more than 23,000 people. Beside bullfighting, the arena is also used as a venue for concerts and other big events. The Parque de Atracciones de Madrid is a popular amusement park with rollercoasters and many other fun rides. The most important shopping street in Madrid is the Gran Vía which has been existing for more than 100 years now. You find a huge variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants and cinemas here. On Sundays and public holidays, the neighbourhood La Latina converts into a big flea market called “Rastro”. Due to its extensive offer at hundreds of stands, the market is famous far beyond Madrid’s borders.

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