Madrid Hotels Articles

June 3, 2010

What You Should Know About Madrid

Madrid is the capital and geographical centre of Spain, situated south of Sierra de Guadarrama mountain ridge in the middle of Castille plateau and established by the Moor in the IX century. Nowadays Madrid is one of the most visited large cities of the world where, together with numerous heritage sites, you will get familiar with the city’s life in its full swing.

Historical monuments and sculptural ensembles of Madrid are concentrated in its central part, which is bordered by three squares: The Main Square (Plaza Mayor), ¡°The Gates of the Sun¡± (Plaza Puerta del Sol), traditionally called the centre of the city, and The Spanish Square (Plaza de Espana). Here you will find Church of San Gines and San Isidro el Real, the magnificent ensemble of the Royal Palace, surrounded with gardens, picturesque §·VIII century fountains, Retiro park, famous statues of Philip III and Philip IV, statue of Columbus, Servantes, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

So what is there in Madrid that may raise interest in tourists? Like in any other large city, it is the city’s museums in the first place. Only in Spain can you get acquainted with the Arabian- Moorish art in its full measure and trace the history of its evolution from the very beginning to the epoch of its utmost development in XIII-XIV. More than 100 museums can be found in the city of Madrid, which are all definitely worth visiting. Among the most prominent ones is the Prado museum, which at the same time is the main Madrid’s attraction. At the archaeological museum you will find almost all the Spanish cultures from the ancient times represented. The museum of contemporary Spanish arts is also of particular interest, boasting its first-rate private collection in Europe – the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and many others.

The museum del Prado keeps one of the best collections of west-european paintings, while the most richest part of the gallery is the Spanish one. Stroll around the rooms to observe the works of such craftsmen as Vel¨¢zquez, El Greco, Murillo, Goya, Ribeira. The works created by masters of old European Schools can also be found here: for instance, Raphael’s, Titian’s, Rubens’, Veronese, Caravaggio, Rembrandt’s, Van Dyke’s masterpieces and more. In single rooms you can find examples of classical sculpture and works of jeweller’s art. The museum works every day except for Monday, 9 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

Spain is also famous for its corrida, and Madrid is not the exception. Still, it is one of the mostly loved Spanish performances while toreador who shows himself in corida’s last part, is a person of importance among the Spanish citizens. It is he who makes women fall in love with him, who is greatly honoured and who makes his acquaintances be proud of having such a friend. The corrida season starts in March and finishes in October. The most prominent performances are organized in the middle of June, during the ¡°Saint City¡± holiday. Moreover, a large-scale corrida takes place on May, 2nd and in October during the religious holiday of San Ysidro Labrador.

This is the generalized information on what is worth visiting while going to Madrid. However, you might also need some information about how the Madrid’s premises and organizations work.

Monday till Friday, banks are opened 9 a.m. – 14 p.m., while on Saturday from 9 a.m. till 12 a.m. The currency exchange offices in the central part of the city work 24 hours a day, and in hotels they are opened on Sundays as well. Post offices work 9 a.m. – 17 p.m., shops ¨C 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. On Saturdays, shops are usually opened till 12 o’clock.

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