Madrid Trip 2013
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Madrid Trip 2013
Ideas for the Trip to madrd
Curated by Rachel Levine
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Royal Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Jardín Botánico
Plaza de Murillo, 2
Telephone: (+34) 914203017
Bus lines: 10, 14, 19, 24, 26, 27, 32, 34, 45, 57, 140 and Circular
Metro station: Atocha, Atocha-Renfe
Cercanías (local train): Atocha.
Opening hours
January, February, November and December: 10.00-18.00.
March and October: 10.00-19.00.
May, June, July and August: 10.00-21.00.
September: 10.00-20.00.
Open every day except on Christmas and New Year's days.
Normal: 3 euros.
Student with ID: 1,50 euros.
Groups over 10 people: 0,75 euros.
Free entry for seniors over 65, children under 10 and groups of scholars.
Guided Tours
Groups: Monday to Friday, 20 euros.
Individual: week-ends, free.
Compulsory booking though the website or by calling (+34) 914 200 438.
Link to the Royal Botanical Gardens website


Designed 250 years ago, Madrid´s Botanical Garden invites visitors to enjoy a pleasant stroll surrounded by thousands of live plant species

Declared Artistic Garden in 1942, among its collections there is a herbarium with over one million specimens, a library and an archive with almost 10,000 drawings, as well as an exhibition of 5,000 live plant species.

The Huerta de Migas Calientes (Migas Calientes Orchard), near Puerta de Hierro, was chosen in 1755 by King Ferdinand VI as the first location of the Botanical Garden. It remained in this site until 1781, when by order of Charles III, it was moved to its definite setting: the Paseo del Prado. Sabatini and Juan de Villanueva were commissioned the new project, and designed a space composed by staggered terraces –in an architectural attempt to make use of the different levels that existed in this area of the city– that has survived until present times.

Throughout its history, the Botanical Garden has endured a great number of modifications. Since its establishment, it has undergone three major restructuring processes. The first was carried out in the late 19th century and affected the upper terrace, which was given a romantic Elizabethan design, more typical of those times. In the 20th century, in the mid Seventies, the venue was closed to undertake another major alteration –given the state of neglect it was in– and to recover the original 18th century design of the two lower terraces. Since it reopened in 1981, this centre has positioned itself as a reference point for the study of Spanish flora.


To mark the occasion of its 250th anniversary in 2005, the Botanical Garden inaugurated over 7,000 square metres of garden. This extension was possible thanks to the incorporation of the highest part of the garden, a sloped bank adjacent to the street Alfonso XII with stunning views.

Architect Pablo Carvajal and landscape designer Fernando Caruncho spent two years working on this space –known as the terraza de los Laureles (Laurel Terrace)- that comprises an elevated avenue, a central square with a pond, a small greenhouse and a subterranean conference hall.


This area accommodates the bonsai exhibition donated in 1996 by the former Spanish President, Felipe González, to the Spanish National Research Council (Spanish acronym CSIC). This sample, composed by 109 specimens, represents almost all the trees typical of Spain’s autochthonous flora.

Another of the innovations included in 2005 was the Paseo de los Olivos (Olive Tree Avenue). It required the recuperation of an old collection of olive trees from the mid-19th century including some of the peninsula’s most representative species. The orchard area was also remodelled. Visitors will garner a great deal of information from the panels distributed along the route.

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Scooped by Rachel Levine! / WHAT'S ON -- exhibitions and museums / WHAT'S ON -- exhibitions and museums | Madrid Trip 2013 |, Entertainment, Culture and Business in Madrid...
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National Museum of Romanticism permanent collection - National Museum of Romanticism

National Museum of Romanticism permanent collection - National Museum of Romanticism | Madrid Trip 2013 |

National Museum of Romanticism permanent collection
The atmosphere that dominates this palace is from the same period that inspires the museum: the 19th century.

The figure of Benigno de la Vega Inclán, II Marquis de la Vega Inclán serves as a connecting thread in this museum, as a number of works owned by the Marquis make up the core of its collection.

The museum's collection has grown little by little, mainly thanks to donations from various institutions and individuals.

One of the museum's main objectives is to provide a comprehensive, global vision of this ideological movement.

Built in 1776 by the architect Manuel Martín Rodríguez, this palace houses works of great value. Its halls are filled with paintings by Goya, portraits by Vicente López and Valeriano Bécquer and many other treasures that reflect the bourgeois population of the period.

Also on display are curiosities such as Queen Isabel's Pleyel piano, dishware, miniatures, decorative pieces from the Orient and many others that recreate the literary, historic, political and ornamental aspects of the Romantic period.


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Blanca Muñoz - Alcalá 31 Exhibition Hall

Blanca Muñoz - Alcalá 31 Exhibition Hall | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 16/01/2013
Ending: 31/03/2013
Where: Alcalá 31 Exhibition Hall
Closed / No performance on: Monday.
Times: Tuesday ? Saturday, 11:00 am to 8:30 pm; Sundays and bank holidays, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Mondays, closed.
Price: Free admission
Metro: Sevilla (L2)


Blanca Muñoz
A retrospective dedicated to this artist from Madrid.

Over the course of her career, Blanca Muñoz has gone back and forth between graphic work - which earned her the National Printmaking Award in 1999 - and sculpture, with pieces in museums, collections and public spaces in cities around the world.

For the first time in the Spanish capital, we will be able to get a comprehensive view of this artist's work, thanks to over 80 sculptures, graphic pieces, models and jewelry in various formats.

Muñoz's sculptures are also represented in this exhibition, in a documentary accompanied by an audiovisual performance.

In addition to the National Printmaking Award (1999), Blanca Muñoz has also won a number of other awards such as First Prize in Sculpture from Bancaixa (2000) and First Prize at the Riofisa Sculpture Biennial (2001).

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Painting Outdoors (I) - Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Painting Outdoors (I) - Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 05/02/2013
Ending: 12/05/2013
Where: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Ticket sales: At the museum ticket office, and tel. 902 76 05 11.
Times: From Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 7pm ; Mondays closed. Every Saturday the temporary exhibitions will be open until 11 pm.
Price: To be determined.
Bus: 10, 14, 27, 34, 37, 45, N9 a N15 y N17
Metro: Banco de España (L2), Antón Martín (L1)


Painting Outdoors (I)
Painting in 'plein air', from 1780 to 1900.

The goal of this exhibition is to show the evolution of outdoor painting, which brought about an unprecedented transformation in art of the 1900s, reaching its apogee towards the end of the century with Impressionism.

The show covers the entire movement, starting with some of the founders of painting en plein air, such as Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, and concluding with some of the great Impressionist masters such as Van Gogh and Cézanne. This is one of the most notable aspects of the show: the emphasis placed on Impressionism.

This may be just a chapter in the history of outdoor painting, yet is possibly the most brilliant, as evidenced by the work of artists represented in this exhibition, such as Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Pissarro.

'Painting Outdoors' is curated by Juan Ángel López, conservator of the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Madrid. It consists of 175 pieces, divided up between the museum and the Caja Madrid Foundation.

One of the factors that inspired artists to go outdoors was their desire to work in natural light. The popularity of plein air painting increased with the invention of tubes for paint and the box easel.

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Exhibition at the Paseo del Arte The Legacy of the House of Alba: Patronage at the Service of Art - CentroCentro

Exhibition at the Paseo del Arte The Legacy of the House of Alba: Patronage at the Service of Art - CentroCentro | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 30/11/2012
Ending: 31/03/2013
Where: CentroCentro
Ticket sales:
Times: 10 am to 8 pm Closed: December 25 january 1 and 6
Price: €10, 6€ reduced
Bus: 1,2, 202, 3, 5, 6 ,9, 10, 15, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 32, 37, 45, 46, 50, 51, 52, 53, 65, 74, 146, 150, 203, M1, M2, 65.
Metro: Banco de España (L2), Entertainment, Culture and Business in Madrid...


This winter, the Paseo del Arte ('Art Walk') has the privilege of including the biggest ever exhibition of works owned by the House of Alba, one of the most prominent noble families in the political and cultural history of Spain.

The show features a spectacular group of brilliant painters from the artistic legacy of the Palacio de Liria, the family's landmark Madrid residence. In The Legacy of the House of Alba you can see works by Titian, Murillo, Ingres, Renoir, Rubens, Ribera, Zurbarán and Zuloaga, among others.

The most recognizable work is The Duchess of Alba in White, painted by Francisco de Goya in 1795. Its closest rival is a panel by Fra Angelico, The Virgin of the Pomegranate, a masterpiece that the House of Alba Foundation is showing to the public for the first time ever.

Letters by Colombus
The exhibition makes the most out of the space at CentroCentro, dividing the collection into three sections. The first section reviews the role of the House of Alba in history, with Christopher Columbus's letter collection as a highlight.

The second part focuses on the family's role as patrons. It contains most of the paintings featured in the exhibition such as Landscape with Small Fort and Landscape with Shepherds, two exceptional works by Jusepe de Ribera.

Finally, the third section shows us the role played by the family in society over the centuries, through personal and family objects. This is an important aspect, considering the House of Alba's influence on modern-day social and cultural relations, the reason for its popularity.

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Searching for Holy Cookies

Searching for Holy Cookies | Madrid Trip 2013 |
I am a cookie connoisseur and I search out the desserts in each of my destinations (France still holds the cookie crown, by a landslide). I was super psyched when I was doing research for my friend...


The convent square has none of the barkings of the bakery. The entrance is all the way back, towards the right.

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A View of Madrid: High Wire Act -- in the cable cars over the city

A View of Madrid: High Wire Act -- in the cable cars over the city | Madrid Trip 2013 |
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Parque Juan Carlos Primero

Parque Juan Carlos Primero | Madrid Trip 2013 |

With 229 hectares of land in total, this is undoubtedly one of Europe's largest parks. Everything here is on a grand scale. The massive olive grove has a diameter of 1km. The avenues that cross the fields are huge. There is even a 2km-long river where you can sail a catamaran. The most impressive feature, however, is the water-show, accompanied by music and lights that takes place at 10:30pm Thu-Sun between June and September in the auditorium. You can take a cute little train ride round the most important sites, depending on the weather, of course. Admission: free. Water-show or catamaran: EUR2.40; train: EUR1.80; catamaran and train: EUR3. Discounts of EUR1.20 for children and senior citizens. The nearest metro is Campo de las Naciones on line 8.


Eccentric and weird sculptures. A 2 km long river. 


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A View of Madrid: The Best Metro In The World

A View of Madrid: The Best Metro In The World | Madrid Trip 2013 |

The Madrid Metro is considered by some to be the best in the world!

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The Cheap In Madrid Blog

The Cheap In Madrid Blog | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Run by Brits, this blog gives a list of activities, events, and other things that are... well... cheap in Madrid

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Isidore the Laborer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Isidore the Laborer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia | Madrid Trip 2013 |

c 1070-1130

Spanish day laborer for kindness to the poor and animals

Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid


Born to poor parents in Madrid and in the service of madrileno landowner Juan de Vargas. 


Isidore would hear mass every morning at the churches of Madrid. One laborer complained and the de Vargas found angels ploughing the fields for him.


Brought his master's dead daughter back from the dead and caused a fountain of fresh water to burst from the earth to quench his thirst. 


Married  Maria Torribia, a canonised saint (her head is carried in procession to ward of droughts). They  had a son. The son fell in a well and died. The well rose miraculously to the level of the ground and brought the child with it. They vowed chastity after that and lived in separate houses. 

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Scooped by Rachel Levine! - Caixaforum Madrid - Caixaforum Madrid | Madrid Trip 2013 |

CaixaForum Madrid
Paseo del Prado, 36 
Phone number: (+34) 91 330 73 00

Opening hours: 10 am-8 pm
Admission: free
Metro: Banco de España (Line 2) / Atocha (Line 1)
Bus lines: 9, 10, 14, 19, 27, 34, 37 and 45.
Suburban train (Cercanías): Atocha


A live space opening its doors to old, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry festivals, multimedia art, debates, and family and educational workshops.


CaixaForum Madrid emerges as a live space opening its doors to old, modern and contemporary art, to music and poetry festivals, to multimedia art, to debates on current affairs, to social symposiums and family and educational workshops. The spectacular construction housing it, located on Paseo del Prado in a building which once was the Mediodía Electric Power Station, is already one of the new landmarks in our city.

The new centre of Obra Social "la Caixa" is conceived as a 21st-century sociocultural centre. The impressive building is a former electric power station rehabilitated by the architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron, and is located on Paseo del Prado, 36, next to the Art Walk with the three major museums in Madrid: the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofía. Its calendar is open to all disciplines and audiences, guaranteeing the success of an institution which contributes even more to the already rich cultural offering in Madrid.

A New Landmark

The former Mediodía Electric Power Station -designed in 1899 by Jesús Carrasco, and one of the few examples of industrial architecture in the old part of town- has been rehabilitated by the prestigious Swiss firm founded by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001). Thanks to this refurbishment the area of the building is now five times larger -10,000 square metres-, placing this building back on the map. It has maintained the Power Station's four original façades, delimited by calles Gobernador, Alameda, Almadén and Cenicero.

The brick façade of the former construction has been restored by hand. Furthermore, added volume has been given to a building which has two easily recognisable features: its vertical garden and its "levitation". The latter comes with the removal of the granite base surrounding the old factory, giving the impression of a floating building over a large public plaza, open on all four sides. 

Caixaforum will devote over 2,000 square metres to exhibition rooms, an auditorium with capacity for 322 people, a media library, several multi-function rooms for conferences and other events, preservation and restoration workshops and a storage area for works of art. The spacious lobby, the café, the gift and book sho

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Flea market -- El Rastro

Flea market -- El Rastro | Madrid Trip 2013 |

El Rastro
Set in Plaza de Cascorro, between San Millán and Ribera de Curtidores, and between Embajadores to the corner of Encomienda - Ribera de Curtidores - Amazonas - Plaza General Vara de Rey - Rodrigo de Guevara - Mira el Río Alta, between Carlos Arniches and Bastero - Carnero, between Ribera de Curtidores and Mira el Río Baja - Callejón del Mellizo - Carlos Arniches - Mira el Río Baja - San Cayetano, from number 4 to Ribera de Curtidores - Fray Ceferino González, to numbers 9 and 10 - Mira el Sol, between Plaza Campillo del Nuevo Mundo and Ribera de Curtidores - Ronda de Toledo, from Colegio Público Santa María on 193 meters along the side with the odd numbers- Plaza Campillo del Mundo Nuevo - Ribera de Curtidores -Maldonadas along the side with the odd numbers.
Metro stops: La Latina and Puerta de Toledo (Line 5) and Tirso de Molina (Line 1)
Bus lines: 3 , 17 , 18 , 23 , 41 , 60 , 148
Suburban train: Embajadores
Opening hours: Sundays and public holidays 9 am -3 pm.


A mixture of modernity and traditionalism, Madrid's world-renowned flea market sets up for business around the Plaza de Cascorro.


This is one of the key symbols of Madrid. A visit to the Rastro flea market is a must for any visitor's first Sunday in Madrid, and a usual strolling ground for Madrileños on public holiday mornings.

Located around the Ribera de Curtidores, this market encompasses a large, almost triangular block marked by Calle de Toledo, Calle Embajadores and Ronda de Toledo, and spreads into various streets in the area, such as San Cayetano, Fray Ceferino González, Carlos Arniches, Mira el Río or Plaza de General Vara del Rey and Plaza de Campillo del Mundo Nuevo.

This area, where in years gone by the pig abattoir and the nearby tanneries stood, and where bull skins were tanned, nowadays plays host to the world's most traditional street market. On Sundays and public holidays, over a thousand street sellers "open their doors" at around 9am much to the delight of locals and strangers avidly in search of a bargain.

At midday, the square popularly known as Plaza de Cascorro - where the statue of Eloy Gonzalo stands, a soldier from Madrid who in 1897 heroically set fire to the houses of the Cuban community of Cascorro - swarms with people. A stream of tourists and Madrileños observe the tradition of the majority, emerging from the Metro at Tirso de Molina station and wandering through the street market from top to bottom. From Cascorro to the Puerta de Toledo Market.

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Scooped by Rachel Levine! - Cerralbo Museum permanent collection - Cerralbo Museum - Cerralbo Museum permanent collection - Cerralbo Museum | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Where: Cerralbo Museum
Times: Thursday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm; Sunday, from 10:00 am to 15:00 pm
Price: €1,50- €3
Metro: Ventura Rodríguez (L3), Plaza de España (L10, L3)


Cerralbo Museum permanent collection
A palace filled with European art.

The life of Madrid's aristocracy through the artistic collection and layout of the palace halls of this museum.

Arms, archeological objects, ceramics, tapestries, paintings, coins, watches and other objects of great interest make up this varied collection of more than 50,000 pieces.

Enrique Aguilera y Gamboa, 17th Marquis of Cerralbo and great lover of history and the fine arts was the creator of this museum. It offers many clues to the bohemian life of these times: social gatherings in the capital, ball rooms and conferences.

A visit where you can learn about many artistic works from very different scopes, but at the same time learn about the ambience of the residence of an aristocratic family of Madrid from the end of the 19th century.

Works of art that Enrique Aguilera y Gamboa acquired, together with his wife and children, on his many trips throughout Europe.

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Sorolla: Gardens of Light - Sorolla Museum

Sorolla: Gardens of Light - Sorolla Museum | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 30/10/2012
Ending: 05/05/2013
Where: Sorolla Museum
Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 am to 8:00 pm. Sundays and bank holidays, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Price: Admission: €3.
Bus: 5 , 7 , 16 , 27, 40, 45, 61, 147 y 150
Metro: Gregorio Marañón (L7, L10) / Rubén Darío (L5)


Sorolla: Gardens of Light
Courtyards and gardens as a source of inspiration in the work of Joaqúin Sorolla.

After passing through the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, Italy and the Palace of Charles V at the Alhambra, in Granada, 'Sorolla: Gardens of Light' comes to the Sorolla Museum. The show features a total of 56 oils, many of them never shown before in public, which reflect the importance of gardens in the artist's work.

Joined by drawings, photographs, letters and other documents, these paintings are divided into four sections: Water, Courtyard, Garden, and Garden of the Sorolla Home. The first three introduce the visitor to the poetic style that marked the end of Sorolla's career, when he cultivated the values of intimacy and introspection through representations of courtyards and gardens.

The last section, which differentiates this show from the exhibitions in Ferrara and Granada, focuses on Sorolla's depictions of the garden of his own home, a private family space and a source of inspiration for the artist.

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The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection - Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS)

The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection - Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS) | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 23/01/2013
Ending: 16/09/2013
Where: Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS)
Closed / No performance on: Tuesdays
Times: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Price: 6 € permanent collection. 3 € Temporaly exhibitions. Free saturdays from 02.30 pm, sundays from 10.00 am and monday to friday from 7:00 pm
Bus: 6, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 26, 27, 32, 34
Metro: Atocha (L1)


The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection
Contemporary and modern art from Latin America.

The art collection of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, held by the Cisneros Foundation of Caracas, Venezuela, is one of the most important in Latin America. The Reina Sofia Museum is hosting the first comprehensive exhibition of pieces from this collection, with around 200 works.

The exhibition includes works of contemporary and modern art, many of them never shown before in Spain, donated by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to the MOMA. They include 'Construcción en Blanco y negro´ by the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García, 'Box Bolide´ by Brazil's Helio Oiticica and 'Fio', by Cildo Meireles, also from Brazil. It also features works by key artists from Venezuela such as Gego and Jesús Soto, and Argentinean creators such as Tomás Maldonado and Gyula Kosice, among others.

According to Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, abstract art is, together with figurative art, one of the most important yet lesser-known facets of 20th-century Latin American art. According to the museum, 'One of the goals of the exhibition is to analyze and juxtapose the various intentions underlying the language of Latin American geometric abstraction and its derivatives.'



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Scooped by Rachel Levine! - Cristina Iglesias - Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS) - Cristina Iglesias - Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS) | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Starting: 06/02/2013
Ending: 13/05/2013
Where: Reina Sofía Museum (MNCARS)
Closed / No performance on: Tuesdays
Times: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Price: 6 € permanent collection. 3 € Temporaly exhibitions. Free saturdays from 02.30 pm, sundays from 10.00 am and monday to friday from 7:00 pm
Bus: 6, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 26, 27, 32, 34
Metro: Atocha (L1)


The biggest retrospective ever dedicated to Cristina Iglesias

Through a selection of more than 50 pieces, the Reina Sofia Museum examines the extensive career of the sculptor Cristina Iglesias, from the mid-1980s to the present. The exhibition shows the key contribution this influential artist has made to sculpture, both public and private.

The show features around 30 sculptures made from a wide range of materials. These pieces, some of them over nine meters in length, include her well-known 'Celosías' (Jealousies), 'Corredores suspendidos' (Suspended Corridors) and 'Habitaciones Vegetales' (Vegetable Rooms), as well as some of the artist's earlier works.

These sculptures will be accompanied by a complete vision of her silk-screen prints on copper and fabric. They convey the sensation of being made based on photographs of real installations, while they actually represent miniature models of the artist's work.

Since the mid 1980s, Cristina Iglesias has been one of the most highly-regarded Spanish artists on the international art scene. The winner of the 1999 National visual Arts Prize, she has shown her work at museums as important as the Guggenheim New York.

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Plaza de la Villa - Plaza de la Villa information and pictures

Plaza de la Villa -- medieval plaza near Plaza Mayor. Has some of the oldest civil buildings in madrid. Gothic facades to the mansions.

Casa de la Villa is the central building. This was the town hall until it was moved to Palacio de Comunicaciones. Designed by Juan Gomez de Mora and Teodoro Adremas from 1664-1696. 


Casa de Cisneros - The Casa de Cisneros is a magnificent castle built in 1537 for the nephew of Cardinal Cisneros in an exquisitely preserved gothic design, with a façade adorned in the plasteresque style. An arch connects the building to the Casa de la Villa. The interior has a rich collection of medieval tapestries. The building is now used as the residence for the Mayor of Madrid.

Torre de los Lujanes - The Torre de los Lujanes or Lujanes Tower, constructed in the 15th century, is the oldest building in the Plaza de la Villa and one of the oldest in Madrid. Designed in the red brick Mudejar style with a distinctive gothic doorway, the Lujanes Tower has a colorful history as the site for holding noble prisoners. The French King Francis I was imprisoned in the tower in 1525, after the Battle of Pavia.

A soaring statue of Don Alvaro de Bazán, the commander of the so-called “invincible” Spanish Armada stands at the center of the Plaza de la Villa. Miguel Aguado and Mariano Benlliure constructed the statue in 1888 set on a white marble platform. The statue was placed in the square in the 1980s.

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Corpus Cristi Convent

Corpus Cristi Convent | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Las Carboneras ,Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 9:30-1 p.m. and 4-6:30 p.m.

Opera metro

HowStuffWorks blogger Deblina Chakraborty slips into a convent for some sweets.


Many holy women, however, manage to pull it off. The sisters of Convento del Corpus Christi conduct their business and still preserve their secluded way of life, with the help of a Lazy Susan-like turntable. By spinning that device to pass items back and forth, these Hieronimus nuns take your order, give you sweets and pastries and accept payment — all without being seen.
Getting to that Lazy Susan, though, can be a challenge. You have to ring the bell at an old wooden door — marked by a sign that says Venta de Dulces (Sweets for Sale) — on the side of the convent. Then, the nuns buzz you into the 17th-century structure, where you make your purchase. It sounds simple enough, but it took me a couple of tries, mostly because I showed up at the wrong time one day (the nuns only sell sweets during certain hours).
Once that door clicks open and you step inside, you’ll find yourself in an airy foyer — beautiful, yes, but also slightly eerie because it feels like trespassing. Following the signs to the turntable, I could hear voices coming from behind the wall somewhere, speaking Spanish jovially, laughing. But I didn’t see a soul, just paid 8 Euros for a box of almond cookies and left.

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Museo de la Ciudad, the Museum of the City

Museo de la Ciudad, the Museum of the City | Madrid Trip 2013 |

The Museo de la Ciudad is at Calle del Principe de Vergara, 140. Nearest Metro is Cruz del Rayo on line 9. It is open 10:00 to 20:00 Mondays to Fridays. 10:00 to 14:00 at weekends.


Models of the cities, exhibits of dress and old ways of doing things, etc


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A View of Madrid: The Legend Of Madrid

A View of Madrid: The Legend Of Madrid | Madrid Trip 2013 |

the legend of madrid.

Like many cities, Madrid likes to trace its origins to the Trojan war. Prince Bianor fled the war and founded a kingdom. His son Tiberius (!) had two sons. The first ruled the kingdom while the second was sent out into the world with his mother. The mother foudned a city, but the son (named Bianor) had a dream in which Apollo advised him to depart in the direction of the dying son. ...

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A View of Madrid: Madrid Holocaust Memorial

A View of Madrid: Madrid Holocaust Memorial | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Monument in memory of the victims of the holocaust.

In memory of the six million Jews assassinated during the holocaust by the barbarian Nazis, as well as for the Spanish victims, the gypsies, and other groups equally murdered in the extermination camps. The inscription includes the word Shoa. (“ShoÅ”, also haShoah (Hebrew: השואה), Churben (Yiddish: חורבן) properly means “catastrophy, calamity, disaster, and destruction”, but is the accepted Hebrew word for the holocaust.)


Then passing the plaque one steps up on to the railway sleeper platform and gazes around. In the centre stands a rusting spike, some ten metre high. It has Hebrew letters cut into its sides. To your right several tens of sleepers stand upright. They have rudimentary eyes and mouths drilled into their top ends. To your left is a crude sculpture, also constructed from the same sleepers, of a mother carrying a dead child. The upright sleepers stare silently at you, watching you, witnessing your every move. The head of the mothers screams towards the sky asking, “Why?”


You might ask, what has this to do with Spain? Spain was neutral during the Second World War and allowed many Jews escaping from German occupied France to pass through to Portugal on the way to a new and free life. But the atrocities of the Nazi regime were not only directed towards Jews.
It is true, Spain does have a history of Jewish persecution. The expulsion of the Jews and Moslems from Spain in 1492 is a defining moment in the formation of the country. But by the same token there is hardly one European nation that did not at one time or another persecute Jews or some other minority race.

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Frescoes on the facade of Real Casa de la Panaderia, Madrid - Lonely Planet

Frescoes on the facade of Real Casa de la Panaderia, Madrid - Lonely Planet | Madrid Trip 2013 |
Madrid Image - Frescoes on facade of Real Casa de la Panaderia (Royal Bakery) on Plaza Mayor.
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Plaza Mayor, Madrid

Plaza Mayor, Madrid | Madrid Trip 2013 |

Sol Metro


The Plaza Mayor, Madrid's famous central square. All of Madrid's major events seemt o take place here


Appearance: It is uniform and symmetrical. 120 m by 90 m in size. It is built in the Herrerian style -- slate spires are an example of this.



middle ages: market place outside city walls

1560s: King Felipe II asks Juan de Herrera, architect of the Escorial, to turn the market into a real square

1617: construction starts under reign of King Felipe III, with Juan Gómez de la Mora as architect


Originally wood, fire destroyed the square three times: 1631, 1672, 1790


Today's design is by Juan de Villanueva


Things that happen here: festivities, bull fights, coronations, and executions, autos de fé (ritual condemnations of heretics during the inquisition)


Its first event: the beatification of San Isidro Labrador (St Isidro the Farm Labourer), the patron saint of Madrid.


1673 -- King Carlos II issued an edict allowing vendors to put up tarpaulins above their stalls to protect their wares and themselves from the raw sewage people tossed out of windows above


Statue -- King Philip III built in 1616 by Giovanni de Bologna, originally in the Casa de Campo, but moved in 1848 to the plaza when the space was redesigned with gardens (the gardens were removed in 1936. Apparently, madrilenos arranged to meet up "under the balls of the horse" i.e. at this statue. 


Casa de la Panderia -- Seat of the baker's guild. Finished in 1590, before square was laid out. Symmetric towers date to 1790, after last fire. 


Frescoes: Date to 1992. Work of Carlos Franco who used signs of the zodiac and gods and meant to coincide with Madrid's 1992 spell as European Capital of Culture


Sunday morning come here and see the traders of coins, banknotes, and stamps 

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