Hola Spain: Madrid (4)

Chapter 4: Madrid

Creative, cosmopolitan and charming Madrid is considered as one of the largest tourist attractions of the world. It has all the characteristics of a modern metropolitan along with its complex and rich history and legacy that the city was once a part of the Roman Empire. Madrid still has the Royal Palace, the splendid cathedral and other historical edifices.

Apart from being an important political and financial hub of Spain, it is also a haven of art, especially its Golden Triangle of Art is worth a visit. Reina Sofia is a great depiction of modern art in the city; while Thyssen-Bornemisza organized classic exhibitions.

Sights worth-watching

Madrid shows a beautiful contrast between old and new. There are streets belonging from the medieval ages and bars and galleries from the recent years. It is an ideal place to take a walk in its colorful streets and enjoy the beauty of the world. Let us discuss the city attractions here:

Madrid is covered with mountains from sides. It has Segovia to its northern side, Avila to western, Toledo and Cuenca to its south and to its eastern side is the Guadalajara.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is probably the most beautiful visiting attraction of Madrid. It is the largest building of the city and the largest palace of the Western Europe. The palace is located near the Plaza de Oriente square. It was built on the old Moorish castle ruins.

The Royal Palace appeals tourists and visitors for many reasons. It has beautiful ceramics, furniture, paintings, tapestries and other masterpieces of art. The art pieces kept in the Palace depicts Goya, Velazquez, Mengs and Giordano’s works which increases the Palace’s importance as thousands of visitors arrive throughout the year to have a look at those masterpieces.

The gardens nearby the Palace are also worth a visit. They are called Campo del Moro and Sabatini.

La Puerta del Sol

La Puerta del Sol is a main square of the city. It is situated near the Plaza Mayor. It was once the city’s main entrance to the east and so sun was on its head. La Puerta was renovated in the 19th century to its current appealing semi-circular shape. There is a beautiful clock tower to its southern side. It was built as a post office part back in the 18th century. Today, the Madrid’s President’s Autonomous Community uses it as headquarter.

People gather here near the clock on New Year’s night to watch time movements. Millions other see this place on their television sets on the 31st of December each year. The famous statues of “El Oso y El Madrono” and others can also be seen opposite to the La Puerta building. It is a great place which leads to many important streets and national roads of the city. So, gather around the La Puerta del Sol to enjoy especially at your New Year Night!

La Plaza Mayor

Five minutes walking from the La Puerta is the La Plaza Mayor which is the city’s main street. There are high reputation cafes, restaurants and hotels around it to offer great tapas and wine. Due to the quality, their charges are also high. It is a 17th century square built by the great Felipe III. His statue welcomes visitors at the center of the square plaza.

La Plaza took many names throughout the years. It was formerly the site for the “Plaza Del Arrabal.” And it was given many names such as the Plaza de la Republica, Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza Real etc. All important ceremonies or events take place in the Plaza from crowning ceremonies to bullfights and from fiestas to Public executions.

There are three storey houses around the Plaza with balconies inhibited by a few fortunate Spaniards.

The Templo de Debod

To surprise many, there is also a great and different temple in Madrid. It is the Templo de Debod which belongs from the 2 BC times. It is a genuine Egyptian temple located in the center of the city dedicated to Isis and Amon gods. In 1968, to save many archaeological buildings that were in danger, the Egyptian government donated the Temple to Spain. It was originally built on the Nile valley but to construct dam on the place, the Temple had to be removed. It is a great piece of carvings.

Other places to visit at Madrid include La Gran Via which is a famous street pictured in many International movies and films. The neoclassical, neo Romanesque and gothic in nature, Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, Plaza de la Villa, a 15th Century historical square, Puerta de Alcala, Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de Oriente etc.

Hotels, restaurants and clubs

Best hotels, restaurants and clubs of Madrid include: Only You Hotel and Lounge, Villa Manga, Hotel Atlantico, Francisco 1, Artrip, Ritz Hotel, Catalonia Las Cortes and Hotel Unico etcetera. The Only You hotel is originally a restored 19th Century palace building. It has a luxurious feel and a relaxed environment. Villa Manga is another best option to live in for its beautiful garden, elegance and luxury.

Restaurante La Barraca, Botin, Corral de la Moreria, La Buganvilla, Cafe de Chinitas, El Invernadero, La Capilla de La Bolsa, El Corral de la Pacheca, Cornucopia and La Vaca Argentina are some of the most liked restaurants of Madrid. If you ‘paellas’ La Barraca should be your choice in the city. Corral de la Moreria is for those who love flamenco from the most skillful artists; while Botin is for classic-lovers. Ones who want to go in history and see how it feels; the restaurant is regarded as the world’s oldest according to the Book of world records.

Madrid is a place of artists and lovers of art and history. You can find artistry everywhere from buildings, plazas, malls, shops, houses, hotels and streets. There are world’s best flamenco artists, singers, musicians everywhere in the city. Also, Madrid is regarded as the city of museums, rich heritage and restored culture. Go to Madrid to feel the air of ancient times mingled with modern lifestyle! (to be conti…)

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