Madrid Hotels Articles

July 30, 2010

Essentials of Madrid

Sightseeing in Madrid is divided into two: the city centre and outside the centre. The city centre hosts the majority of the tourist attractions, including the most important ones. Outside the centre a couple of museums, art galleries and the west park with Casa de Campo and the Zoo can be found.

Focusing on the city centre and in terms of museums, there are three that are well worth visiting. First of all, Museo del Prado which displays the artistic wealth of the country with pieces of work by Velasquez, Goya and El Greco. Also Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza called that way due to the fact that it hosts the private collection of that German-Hungarian family. Another important museum is the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia that is the home of modern art where the Guernica by Pablo Picasso is the principal attraction.

Moving to religious buildings there are numerous churches and monasteries each of them with particular architectural characteristics and history. For example Iglesia de San Gines is one of the oldest churches of Madrid, Iglesia del Sacramento has a unique baroque design, Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales being the home of 33 nuns and hosting 33 chapels, a tapestry museum and the tomb of Dona Juana. The Cathedral of Madrid, Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Almudena, that was finished in the year 1992 after more than 110 years of construction. Basilica de San Francisco el Grande, Iglesia de San Andres, Basilica de San Isidro and Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida are very interesting places to visit as well due to the art work inside them.

City gates and plazas are very important not only for locals but for tourists as a reference or meeting point. Puerta del Sol is the most central point of Madrid. Other famous gates are Puerta de Alcala y Puerta de Toledo. Plaza Mayor is the heart of imperial Madrid, other important plazas are Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de Espana, Plaza de Cibeles, Plaza de Neptuno, Plaza de la Independencia, Plaza de Colon and Plaza de la Villa.

In Madrid there are three significant palaces. Palacio Real divided into Farmacia Real, the pharmacy, which is a set of rooms full of medicine jars. Armeria Real, the Royal Armoury, that hosts a shiny collection of weapons and armour, and Biblioteca Real, the Royal Library. The other two Palaces that must be visited are Palacio Linares and Palacio de Liria.

To have contact with nature within Madrid you can visit any of the following places: Jardines de Sabatini, Campo del Moro, Parque del Buen Retiro or Real Jardin Botanico.

Finally, there are some other nice sights to go to such as Muralla Arabe which is a wall built by early medieval Muslim rulers, Templo de Debod that is an Egyptian temple, Barrio Lavapies and Gran Via.

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