Tourism guide for annual Inlingua congress Madrid 2012
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Tourism guide for annual inlingua congress Madrid 2012. Contents: ...

Tourism guide for annual inlingua congress Madrid 2012. Contents:
INTRODUCTION 1
TOURIST TRAVEL PASS 2
WALKING ROUTES THROUGHOUT TOURISTY AREAS 3
OLD MADRID WALKING TOUR 3
DESIGNER BARRIO WALKING TOUR 5
TAPAS IN MEDIEVAL MADRID WALKING TOUR 6
BEYOND THE CENTRE 7
BICYCLE 7
TOURIST BUS. 8
MUSEUMS 11
PRADO MUSEUM 11
REINA SOFÍA MUSEUM 12
THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA MUSEUM. 13
MUSEUM OF AMERICA 14
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE DECORATIVE ARTS 14
ROMANTIC MUSEUM 15
CAIXA FORUM MADRID 15
TELECOMMUNICATIONS MUSEUM 15
MUSEUM AND BIRTH HOME OF CERVANTES IN ALCALÁ DE HENARES 15
PLAZA DE LAS VENTAS BULLFIGHTING MUSEUM 16
SANTIAGO BERNABEU MUSEUM 16
MUSEO SOROLLA 17
TEMPLO DE DEBOD 17
MUSEO LÁZARO GALDIANO 17
SHOPPING 18
EATING 18
DRINKING & NIGHTLIFE 19
GREEN AREAS IN MADRID 20
PARQUE DEL BUEN RETIRO 20
REAL JARDÍN BOTÁNICO 21
MADRID RÍO 22
LAS VISTILLAS, VIADUCT & CALLE DE SEGOVIA 22
SURROUNDING AREAS & DAY TRIPS 23
BEAUTIFUL CITIES 24
ROYAL PLAYGROUNDS 24
VILLAGES & MOUNTAINS 25
INTERNET RESOURCES 25
CREDITS AND SOURCES 26

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Tourism guide for annual Inlingua congress Madrid 2012 Document Transcript

  • 1. Annual inlingua Congress 2012 Guide to the city & RecommendedLeisure Activities: Madrid, May 2012
  • 2. INDEXINTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................... 1  TOURIST TRAVEL PASS ........................................................................................................ 2 WALKING ROUTES THROUGHOUT TOURISTY AREAS ....................................................... 3  OLD MADRID WALKING TOUR ............................................................................................. 3  DESIGNER BARRIO WALKING TOUR .................................................................................. 5  TAPAS IN MEDIEVAL MADRID WALKING TOUR ............................................................... 6 BEYOND THE CENTRE ............................................................................................................... 7 BICYCLE ....................................................................................................................................... 7  TOURIST BUS. ......................................................................................................................... 8 MUSEUMS .................................................................................................................................. 11  PRADO MUSEUM ................................................................................................................... 11 REINA SOFÍA MUSEUM ............................................................................................................ 12 THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA MUSEUM. ....................................................................................... 13  MUSEUM OF AMERICA ........................................................................................................ 14  NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE DECORATIVE ARTS ......................................................... 14  ROMANTIC MUSEUM ............................................................................................................ 15  CAIXA FORUM MADRID ....................................................................................................... 15  TELECOMMUNICATIONS MUSEUM ................................................................................... 15  MUSEUM AND BIRTH HOME OF CERVANTES IN ALCALÁ DE HENARES .................. 15  PLAZA DE LAS VENTAS BULLFIGHTING MUSEUM ........................................................ 16  SANTIAGO BERNABEU MUSEUM ...................................................................................... 16  MUSEO SOROLLA ................................................................................................................. 17  TEMPLO DE DEBOD ............................................................................................................. 17  MUSEO LÁZARO GALDIANO .............................................................................................. 17 SHOPPING .................................................................................................................................. 18 EATING ....................................................................................................................................... 18 DRINKING & NIGHTLIFE  .......................................................................................................... 19  .GREEN AREAS IN MADRID ..................................................................................................... 20  PARQUE DEL BUEN RETIRO .............................................................................................. 20  REAL JARDÍN BOTÁNICO .................................................................................................... 21  MADRID RÍO ........................................................................................................................... 22  LAS VISTILLAS, VIADUCT & CALLE DE SEGOVIA .......................................................... 22 
  • 3.    SURROUNDING AREAS & DAY TRIPS .................................................................................. 23  BEAUTIFUL CITIES  ............................................................................................................... 24  . ROYAL PLAYGROUNDS  ...................................................................................................... 24  . VILLAGES & MOUNTAINS .................................................................................................... 25 INTERNET RESOURCES .......................................................................................................... 25 CREDITS AND SOURCES ........................................................................................................ 26  ii  
  • 4.    Introduction Madrid capital city is strategically located at the geographical centre of the Iberian peninsula,646 meters above sea level. It is in the centre of one of the warmest countries in Europe, thereforehaving a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balancedtemperatures. Here you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then,that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe. Its old town is exemplary among major European cities, and blends harmoniously with themost modern and convenient of urban infrastructure. Madrid offers a broad range of accommodationand services along with the most advanced Audio-visual and communication technology. Due to itseconomic output, standard of living and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre ofSpain; it hosts the head offices of eminent Spanish companies and main subsidiaries of manymultinational ones. Art and culture are central to Madrid life. The city has 73 museums that cover all fields ofhuman knowledge. Of these, the most important are the Prado Museum, one of the worlds greatestart galleries, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum with more than 800 paintings, sculptures andtapestries that go from the earliest Dutch masters to the most avant-garde trends, and the Reina SofíaNational Art Centre, which is dedicated to Spanish contemporary art, with works by Picasso, JoanMiró, Salvador Dalí and Juan Gris among others. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy the sun, go for walks, go rowing or feed the squirrels inMadrids large, impeccable parks and gardens. The Retiro Park, once playground of SpanishMonarchs, the Casa de Campo and the Juan Carlos I Park among others make Madrid one ofEuropes greenest capitals. Madrid is also one of Europes most attractive business centers. Itsinternational airport receives more than one thousand flights weekly from all over the world and it hastwo main conference centers, as well as the modern Campo de las Naciones exhibition centre and acapacity to hold more than 80,000 people in other varied conference and meeting facilities. If there is one thing, however, that characterizes Madrid, it is the deep, contagious passion forlife reflected in its friendly, welcoming people. Madrid boasts concerts, exhibitions, ballets, selecttheatre productions, and the latest cinematographic releases. You can sample a wide variety of thefinest Spanish and international cuisine or be enchanted by its bars and taverns. These are just someof Madrids leisure alternatives, alongside tempting shopping in the most traditional establishmentsand world-famous outlets stocking the finest international brands. Madrids happening nightlife is another major attraction. Its pubs, bars, discos and flamencoclubs have a tremendous atmosphere, while by day there are traditional verbenas (open-air dances),popular festivals or the San Isidro bullfighting festival - rated as the worlds most important. But the capital city is not everything: the surrounding area contains amazing monuments andfragile ecosystems and protected areas, no less significant that the capital. A few examples are: • Cultural places: San Lorenzo del Escorial, Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares, and more far away the cities of Toledo, Ávila and Segovia. • Natural places: Guadarrama Mountain Range with the Peñalara, the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares or the Hayedo de Montejo, are good options as well as the Gredos Mountain Range in the northwest.All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic and open, and at the same timewarm and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western worlds great capitals. 1  
  • 5.      Madrid Public Transport Network (http://www.ctm-madrid.es) is renowned for its high quality and state-of-the-art service which comprises different means of transport with the most convenient connecting points and interchanges. TOURIST TRAVEL PASS When planning to stay in Madrid for only 7 or less days, the best option is to have a Tourist Travel Pass. It is a personalized transport pass, which entitles the holder to make an unlimited number of trips, using the public transport system operating within a chosen zone, with the indicated exceptions. According to the validity, there are five types of Tourist Travel Passes: for 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 natural days. Two different zones have been established: zone A and zone T. Zone A passes have the same limits as the regular fare zone A and correspond almost entirely with the Madrid city limits. Zone T covers the entire area where Travel Passes are valid. Zone A Tourist Travel Passes can be used on all Metro lines, EMT lines, Suburban Train stations and Light Rain ML1 inside the zone. Zone T Tourist Travel Passes, in the addition to the above, can also be used on all lines of Regular Passenger Public Transport by road, all RENFE¹, Suburban Train lines and Light Rail ML2 and ML3 and Parla Tramway.The fares are as follows: TOURIST TRAVEL PASS Zone 1 day 2 days 3 days 5 days 7 days 10,00 13,00 19,00 25,00 A 6,00 € € € € € 12,00 20,00 25,00 36,00 50,00 T € € € € € 2   
  • 6.    Walking routes throughout touristy areasOLD MADRID Walking Tour Spain’s seat of royal power for centuries,1 Plaza de Oriente the Royal Palace imposes itself upon the Plaza de Oriente and stands as one of theBegin in this splendid arc of greenery and capital’s most emblematic sights. Itsgraceful architecture, which could be interior is lavish, crammed with theMadrid’s most agreeable plaza . You’ll find accumulated extravagance of royalyourself surrounded by gardens, the excess.Palacio Real and the Teatro Real, in asquare peopled by an ever-changing castof madrileños at play. 3 Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la2 Palacio Real Almudena 3  
  • 7.    Madrid’s modern cathedral may lack the 8 Iglesia de San Ginésold-world gravitas of other Spanishcathedrals, but it’s a beautiful part of the The pedestrianised Calle del Arenal, whichskyline when combined with the adjacent leads northwest from the plaza, takes youPalacio Real. Climb to the summit, and past the pleasing brick-and-stone Iglesiathen take a quick look within. de San Ginés , one of the longest-standing relics of Christian Madrid. If you’re able to4 Plaza de la Villa peek inside, make straight for the El Greco masterpiece in the Santísimo Chapel.From the cathedral, climb gently up CalleMayor, pausing to admire the last 9 Chocolatería de San Ginésremaining ruins of Madrid’s first cathedral,Santa María de la Almudena, then on to Tucked away in the lane behind thePlaza de la Villa, a cosy square church, this bar-cafe is justifiably famoussurrounded on three sides by some of the for its churros y chocolate (Spanish donutsbest examples of Madrid baroque fresh from the oven with a large cup of hotarchitecture. chocolate), the ideal Madrid hangover cure or a delicious indulgence at any hour of5 Mercado de San Miguel the day.One of Madrid’s oldest markets (dating 10 Convento de las Descalzas Realesfrom 1616) has become one of the coolestplaces to eat and mingle with locals in Across the other side of Calle del Arenal,downtown Madrid. The recently in Plaza de San Martín, this austererefurbished Mercado de San Miguel is just convent has an extraordinarily rich interioroff Calle Mayor, between Plaza de la Villa behind the high brick walls, loaded withand Plaza Mayor. tapestries, master paintings and a jaw- dropping Renaissance stairway.6 Plaza Mayor 11 PLAZA DE LA VILLA & AROUNDHead down the hill along Calle de la Cavade San Miguel, then climb up through the There are grander plazas, but this intimateArco de Cuchilleros to Plaza Mayor, one of little square is one of Madrid’s prettiest.Spain’s grandest and most beautiful Enclosed on three sides by wonderfullyplazas. The frescoes on the north side preserved examples of 17th-centuryperfectly complement the slate spires and Madrid-style baroque architecture (barrocoochre tones that surround a square that madrileño), it was the permanent seat ofhas witnessed many of the grand events – Madrid’s city government from the Middleas well as some distasteful ones – of the Ages until recent years when Madrid’s citycity’s history. council relocated to the grand Palacio de Comunicaciones on Plaza de la Cibeles.7 Plaza de la Puerta del Sol WALK FACTSLeave Plaza Mayor via the northeastcorner, down Calle de Postas to Puerta Start: Plaza de Oriente. End: Plaza dedel Sol. This is Madrid’s heartbeat, a España. Distance: 3km. Time: Two toclamorous wedge of activity and pretty three hoursarchitecture dead in the centre of Madrid. 4  
  • 8.    DESIGNER BARRIO Walking Tour Paris. This street is glamour central, the most1 Plaza de la Independencia prestigious shopping street in Spain.From this roundabout crowned with the 3 Museo Arqueológico Nacionalmonumental Puerta de Alcalá, you’ve many ofMadrid’s highlights on your doorstep. Just before you reach Plaza de Colón (it’s theSoutheast is the Parque del Buen Retiro, down one with the largest Spanish flag you’ll everthe hill to the west is the glorious Plaza de la see) is the grand Museo ArqueológicoCibeles and, beyond, the city centre. But Nacional. If the renovations have finished, takeyou’re headed north, into the distinguished the time to wander through this fascinatingSalamanca barrio. journey spanning Spanish prehistory through to the glories of Muslim Spain. 4 Calle de Serrano Part Two Back on Calle de Serrano, stop in at Loewe Thus initiated into the world of classy Spanish fashion, continue north to the cheerful, bright colours of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (before toning things down a little in the boutique of Roberto Verino. 5 Calle de José Ortega y Gasset Shopping in Salamanca can give you a newly acquired Spanish look, but Calle de José Ortega y Gasset is all about international glamour, with just about every mainstream luxury clothes designer having a shop front here. To treat yourself, head east as far as Oriol Balaguer , where chocolate becomes art. 6 Museo de la Escultura Abstracta Retrace your steps to Calle de Serrano, turn right, then left on Calle de Juan Bravo. Beneath the bridge where the street starts to cross the Paseo de la Castellana, the openair Museo de la Escultura Abstracta is about Spanish design of a more enduring kind, with the works of big-name Spanish sculptors on permanent display. WALK FACTS Start Plaza de la Independencia End Museo de la Escultura Abstracta2 Calle de Serrano Distance 4kmSweeping away to the north is C/ de Serrano Time Two hours, plus shopping timewhich is to Madrid what Blvd Haussmann is to 5  
  • 9.    TAPAS IN MEDIEVAL MADRID 3 Juana La LocaWalking Tour You haven’t come very far, but walking La1 Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Buen Latina means regular tapas pit stops.Consejo If it’s not Sunday and time for El Purple-clad Juana La Loca, just off theRastro, begin at what once served as southwestern end of Calle de la CavaMadrid’s interim cathedral and last resting Baja, is the place for what’s possiblyplace of the city’s patron saint. At once Madrid’s best tortilla de patatas (Spanishaustere and gilded in gold leaf, this potato omelette) and fine wines.imposing basilica has much greaterresonance for most madrileños than the 4 Basílica de San Francisco El Grandecathedral that replaced it. All the way down the bottom of Carrera de2 Calle de la Cava Baja San Francisco, this formidable basilica looms over southwestern Madrid. Inside,Head across Plaza de Segovia Nueva and note the extraordinary dome and Goyaturn left into Calle de la Cava Baja, a fresco and consider how far this patch ofwinding medieval street along the site of land has come since St Francis of AssisiMadrid’s old city walls. This is Madrid’s passed through in the 13th century. 5 Lastapas central, with wonderful bars like Vistillas Calle de Bailén runs north to LasTxacolina, Casa Lucas and the Vistillas, with its sweeping views out overextravagantly tiled La Chata. Madrid’s sprawl, and the viaduct from where there are even better views back 6  
  • 10.    towards the spires and terracotta roofs of 8 Museo de los OrígenesLos Austrias. You’re now looking at themorería (Moorish quarter) from medieval Time for a history lesson. Along the Plazatimes, and it’s here that you’re headed. de San Andrés, this fine museum takes you on a journey through Madrid’s history6 Plaza de la Paja with maps, old photos and memorabilia from San Isidro.Take Calle de la Morería as far as Calle deSegovia, then climb back up to Plaza de la 9 Almendro 13Paja, which is unlike any other Madridsquare. Feeling for all the world like you’ve Rest your weary legs perched atop one ofstumbled upon a plaza del pueblo (village the wooden stools at Almendro 13 andsquare) in the heart of the city, Plaza de la cast a lingering look over the extensivePaja is one of our favourite corners of menu. And hold on to your seat – this ismedieval Madrid. among the most celebrated tapas bars in Madrid and tables are at a premium.7 Iglesia de San AndrésOverlooking the plaza (although entry isfrom the southern side), this imposing WALK FACTSchurch is glorious when floodlit at night Start: Basílica de Nuestra Señora deland filled with baroque flourishes within, Buen Consejo End: Almendro 13especially the altar and the sculpted Distance: 2.5km Time: Three to four hourscolumns.BEYOND THE CENTREIn general the attractions beyond Madrid’s central barrios are spread pretty far and wide and,in most cases, there’s little reason to do anything other than see the sight and come back.There are, however, exceptions. The Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, which on noaccount should be missed, lies just beyond the Argüelles district and is easily reached bypublic transport. The Real Fábrica de Tapices and Casa de la Moneda are similarly close,away to the east and southeast.BICYCLELots of people zip around town on motos (mopeds), but little has been done to encouragecyclists in Madrid and bike lanes are almost as rare as drivers who keep an eye out forcyclists. You can transport your bicycle on the metro from 10am to 12.30pm and after 9pmMondays to Fridays and all day on weekends and holidays. You can also take your bikeaboard cercanías (local trains serving big cities and nearby towns) from 10am onwardsMonday to Friday and all day on weekends. A good option is the recently built “Madrid Río”,around the Manzanares River (<M> Príncipe Pío) or the modern “Juan Carlos I” Park (<M>Campo de las Naciones) where you can rent a bike.Cycling ring and map: www.anilloverdeciclista.es 7  
  • 11.    - Tourist Bus 8  
  • 12.    Madrid is a privileged cultural destination. This is not simply on account of the Prado Museum, oneof the world’s finest art galleries. This capital city is a living reflection of the diversity and variety thatare so characteristic of Spain. It is happy and dynamic, and the vitality of its streets, by day and night,is infectious. It is an open, welcoming city, where no one is a stranger.Madrid is located in the heart of Spain, in the geographical centre of the country. A lot can be saidabout Madrid, because in this city, everything goes. It is modern yet traditional, majestic yet popular,lively yet peaceful. More than anything else it is a haven of culture. Madrid is one of the world capitalsfor art. Its museums, headed by the Prado, and its rich, diverse heritage and monuments, make it aunique cultural destination.If you enjoy art, you will find that Madrid is an essential location to know. You can have a “walk withthe great artistic geniuses” where you can admire the great names and masterpieces of universal art,together on one unique itinerary: The "Paseo del Arte" (Art Route). The Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía National Museum are all located close together. Theircollections will enable you to explore different artistic movements and styles from the 16th to the 20thcenturies: Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Kandinsky… Thegreat works on display in these museums offer the visitor a magical, unforgettable encounter.Besides those three main galleries, Madrid offers many other art centers and special exhibitions tobe found around the city. Their quality is sure to satisfy all tastes. Caixa Forum Madrid, the SanFernando Royal Academy of Fine Art and the Casa de Alba Foundation have collections with works ofincalculable value; the Museum of the Americas and the Armory at the Royal Palace, considered asone of the world’s most outstanding, are just a few examples worth discovering.Another outstanding attraction of the city of Madrid is its historic monuments and architecture to beenjoyed in the open air. Strolling around the city you will have the sensation of being in an open-airmuseum which reflects Madrid’s evolution towards the modern capital it is today.The central area is one of the favorites among locals on account of its bohemian character andhistoric flavor. It is called “old Madrid” and the best way to explore it is on foot, wandering around itsstreets and squares, packed with taverns, restaurants and traditional shops. Soon you feel immersed 9  
  • 13.    in the unusual atmosphere of the busy Puerta del Sol Square and enjoy its most beautiful spots, suchas the famous Plaza Mayor Square with its summer terrace bars.Madrid’s most emblematic places are also those best loved by the local people. This city is not justmonuments and famous historic sites, however. There is much more to do, with places to have fun, goshopping, sample different foods from around the world, or simply relax. The Royal Palace, Casa dela Villa House, Plaza de Cibeles Square, the Teatro Real Theatre, the Gran Vía, Puerta de AlcaláGate, Retiro Park, Plaza de España Square… These are all places where the visitor feels the city’srhythm and intensity to the full.Madrid’s famous regional gastronomy is another important feature worth knowing. There is a broadchoice of dishes, including huevos estrellados (fried eggs and potatoes mixed together), cocido(chickpea casserole), patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), potato omelet and all kinds of fishdishes. Madrid boasts Europe’s best fish market. Apart from the food itself, the best thing is the price,available to suit every budget. You can choose restaurants from the most avant-garde to thosespecializing in traditional cuisine. There are also bars and taverns where the tapas are not to bemissed – this is a typical Spanish social custom which means you can sample a huge range ofdifferent delicacies. 10  
  • 14.    MUSEUMSArt Route (map).Mark a route that travels through the past, present and future of painting. The result is Madrids "ArtRoute". Spains capital has three of the worlds most important collections: the Prado Museum, theThyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía National Museum. All three have recentlyexpanded, so now is a better time than ever to come and see them.Madrid is not only the capital of Spain; it is also the countrys art capital. This is the impression youwill inevitably have when you discover its famous "Art Route". There is nowhere else in the world withas many masterpieces in such a small area. The Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and theReina Sofía National Museum are the stars of this unique route, which will take you on a completetour of the history and evolution of painting. Now there is yet another reason to visit them: the newadditions built to expand their facilities, truly architectural gems. Inside and out, you will find thesemuseums a delight.The three museums are located just a few meters from each other and are connected by one of thecitys main avenues: the Paseo del Prado. Along this route, shaded by leafy trees, you can enjoy suchemblematic landmarks as the 18th-century Cibeles and Neptuno fountains, the Royal BotanicalGardens and the Astronomical Observatory.Prado Museum The Museo del Prado features one of the worlds finestcollections of European art, from the 12th century to theearly 19th century, based on the former Spanish RoyalCollection. Founded as a museum of paintings andsculpture, it also contains important collections of morethan 5,000 drawings, 2,000 prints, 1,000 coins andmedals, and almost 2,000 decorative objects and worksof art. Sculpture is represented by more than 700 worksand by a smaller number of sculptural fragments. Thepainting collection comprises about 7,800 paintings, of which only about 900 are at public display,mainly because of the museums lack of space for it. A new, recently opened wing enlarged thedisplay area by about 400 paintings, and it is currently used mainly for temporary expositions. El Pradois one of the most visited sites in Madrid, and it is considered to be among the greatest museums ofart in the world.With about 1,300 paintings on display in the museum,[3] themuseums world class status is secured. The Prado has easilythe worlds finest collection of Spanish painting, with largenumbers of the finest works of Diego Velázquez andFrancisco Goya, as well El Greco, Bartolomé Estéban Murillo,Jusepe de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán, and most otherleading Spanish old masters. There are also large groups ofimportant works by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (apersonal favorite of King Philip II of Spain), Titian, Peter PaulRubens, Anthony van Dyck, Raphael, and Joachim Patiner.Fine examples of the works of Andrea Mantegna, Botticelli,Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, OrazioGentileschi, Artemisia Gentileschi, Veronese, Hans BaldungGrien, Fra Angelico, Antonello da Messina, Van der Weyden,Nicolas Poussin, Claude Gellée, Thomas Gainsborough,Thomas Lawrence, and many other notable artists are also ondisplay in the museum. 11  
  • 15.    The best known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez not onlyprovided the Prado with his own works, but his keen eye and sensibility was also responsible forbringing much of the museums fine collection of Italian masters to Spain. Pablo Picassos renowned work Guernica was exhibited in the Prado upon its return to Spain after therestoration of democracy, but was moved to the Museo Reina Sofía in 1992 as part of a transfer of allworks later than the early 19th century to other buildings for space reasons.The Museo del Prado is one of the buildings constructed during the reign of Charles III (Carlos III) aspart of a grandiose building scheme designed to bestow upon Madrid a monumental urban space. Thebuilding that lodges the Museum of the Prado was initially conceived by José Moñino y Redondo,Floridablanca Count and was commissioned in 1785 by Charles III for the re-urbanization of the Paseodel Prado. To this end, Charles III called on one of its favorite architects, Juan de Villanueva, authoralso of the nearby Botanical Garden and the City Hall of Madrid.The prado ("meadow") that was wherethe museum now stands gave its name to the area, the Salón del Prado (later Paseo del Prado), andto the museum itself upon nationalization. Work on the building stopped at the conclusion of CharlesIIIs reign and throughout the Peninsular War and was only initiated again during the reign of CharlesIIIs grandson, Ferdinand VII. The structure was used as headquarters for the cavalry and agunpowder-store for the Napoleonic troops based in Madrid during the War of Independence.Reina Sofía MuseumThe Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía isthe official name of Spains national museum of20th century art (informally shortened to theMuseo Reina Sofía, Queen Sofia Museum, ElReina Sofia, or simply The Sofia). The museumwas officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992and is named after Queen Sofia of Spain. It islocated in Madrid, near the Atocha train and metrostations, at the southern end of the so-calledGolden Triangle of Art (located along the Paseodel Prado and also comprising the Museo delPrado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza). 12  
  • 16.    The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellentcollections of Spains two greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Certainlythe most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picassos great painting Guernica. The Reina Sofíaalso has fine collections of the works of Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Julio González, Eduardo Chillida, AntoniTàpies, Pablo Gargallo, Lucio Muñoz, Luis Gordillo, Jorge Oteiza, José Gutiérrez Solana and manyother significant artists.Foreign artists are few, but there are works by Robert Delaunay, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, JacquesLipchitz, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, cubist still-lifes by Georges Braque and a large work by FrancisBacon. It also hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books,over 3,500 sound recordings and almost 1,000 videos.The central building of the museum was an 18th century hospital. Extensive modern renovations andadditions to the old building were made starting in 1980. In 1988 portions of the new museum wereopened to the public, mostly in temporary configurations; that same year it was decreed a nationalmuseum. An 8000 m2 (86,000 ft2) expansion costing €92 million designed by French architect JeanNouvel opened October 2005.Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, or in Spanish Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, is an art museum near the Prado Museum. It is knownas a part of the "Golden Triangle of Art", which also includes thePrado and the Reina Sofia galleries. The Thyssen-Bornemisza fillsthe historical gaps in its counterparts collections: in the Pradoscase this includes Italian primitives and works from theEnglish, Dutch and German schools, while in the case of the ReinaSofia the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, once the second largestprivate collection in the world after the British Royal Collection,includes Impressionists, Expressionists, and European andAmerican paintings from the second half of the 20th century, withover 1,600 paintings. The competition was won after in 1986 BaronThyssen having tried to enlarge his Museum in Villa Favorita andsearched for a location in Europe.The Old Masters were mainly bought by the elder Baron,while Hans focused more on the 19th and 20th century,resulting in a collection that spans eight centuries of Europeanpainting, without claiming to give an all-encompassing viewbut rather a series of highlights.One of the focal points is the early European painting, with amajor collection of 14th and 15th century Italian paintings byDuccio, and his contemporaries, and works of the earlyFlemish and Dutch painters like Jan Van Eyck, AlbrechtDürer, and Hans Holbein. Other highlights include works bythe most famous Renaissance and Baroque painters,including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Caravaggio, Rubens,Van Dyck, Murillo, Rembrandt and Frans Hals and wonderfulportraits by Domenico Ghirlandaio and Vittore Carpaccio. Alsoimportant for the Museums collection are Impressionist andPost-Impressionist works by artists like Claude Monet,Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh, as wellas twentieth century masterpieces, like a Cubist work byPicasso or late works by Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper. A collection of works from the museum is housed in Barcelonain the Museu Nacional dArt de Catalunya. 13  
  • 17.    Museums GuideBesides the three major museums included in the Art Route, Madrid has many more museums andexhibition spaces spread throughout its region. Such museums cover not only art from the Ancienttimes to the most avant-garde works of Contemporary Art, but also Science, Technology,Anthropology or History and customs. In the lines below you will find a selection which can beextended with the Museums Guide enclosed in the Addends.National Archeological MuseumClosed due to improvements. Next to the NationalLibrary. <M> Colón or Banco de España.Museum of America The Museum of America was founded in 1941,with collections from the Royal Museum of NaturalHistory. It is a colonial-style building, with an archon the façade, a tower reminiscent of AmericanBaroque churches and a convent layout,constructed between 1943 and 1954 by the architects Luis Moya and Luis Martínez Feduchi, locatedin Avenida de los Reyes Católicos.Its subject matter covers an extended period, ranging from American pre-historical times to thepresent day, with particular emphasis on pre-Columbian archaeology, ethnography and colonial art.The permanent collection is arranged into five large sections that exhibit the complexity of Americanhistory: knowledge of America; American reality; society; religion and communication.In 1875 King Alfonso XII of Spain inaugurated the “Anatomical Museum”, which was founded further tothe initiative of Pedro González Velasco in an eclectic-style building constructed by the architectMarqués de Cubas.The National Anthropology Museum is the first anthropological museum to be created in Spain. Itoffers visitors a global view of the culture of various peoples in the world and points out their culturalsimilarities and differences in order to reveal their cultural diversity.It holds documentary collections and objects that have gradually been incorporated into its assets overtime, providing samples of the material culture of various peoples in Africa, America, Asia, Europe andOceania. It also offers fine examples of physical Anthropology.National Museum of the Decorative ArtsIt was one of the first institutions dedicated toindustrial arts in Spain, created by Royal Decree on 5May 1871 as the Industrial Museum. In 1932 it wastransferred to its current location, the small palaceconstructed by the architect José María González.Its collections consist of close to 65,000 pieces,depicting various periods of history of art and theassimilation of daily and luxury objects over thecenturies. The Museum hosts fine examples ofceramic and porcelain, tapestries, carpets, furniture,silver objects, jewellery, glassworks and glass, leathergoods, etc. The oldest items of the collection date back to the fourth century but the chronologicalsequence start off in the fourteenth century and continue until the first half of the 20th century. 14  
  • 18.    Romantic MuseumThis Museum was created by Mr. Benigno de laVega-Inclán y Flaquer, II Marqués de la Vega Inclán(1858-1942), through a donation to the State in1921, after presenting a fine collection of paintings,furniture and personal objects at an exhibition heldin the former Friends of the Arts Society, inanticipation of what would be the future museum.The assets were installed from the very start in itscurrent location, San Mateo 13 (Madrid), in abuilding constructed in 1776 under the managementof the architect Manuel Rodríguez andcommissioned by the lieutenant general Marqués deMatallana.Caixa Forum MadridLocated in the heart of the city, occupying the former“Mediodía” Electrical Plant, it is a new cultural forumdesigned by the Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron.The building is supported by a single column included inthe internal space, used as exhibition rooms.Inside, an outstanding vertical garden more than twentymeters high offers more than fifteen thousand types ofplants belonging to 250 different species.Telecommunications MuseumThe collection’s origin lies in the initiative by a group ofTelefónica employees in the seventies and is currentlymanaged by the Art and Technology Foundationdependent upon Telefónica. It has gathered the fullcollection into this museum opened in 1992. Preserved within its halls are the pieces of equipmentwhich made it possible to provide telephone servicesthroughout the company’s history, as well as variousmaterials devoted to telecommunications, telegraphs,telephones and radio.Museum and Birth Home of Cervantes in Alcalá de HenaresMonographic museum located in the house where writer Miguelde Cervantes is believed to have been born. Through arecreation, it shows the different rooms in a wealthy home fromthe sixteenth to seventeenth centuries. The space is designedaround a two-story central courtyard which preserves thehome’s original well. The lower floor shows the rooms where social and family life took place: the living room, the botica(room of Rodrigo de Cervantes), the kitchen, the dining room and the dais. The upper floor displaysthe rooms devoted to the family’s private life: the gentlemen’s alcove and the ladies’, proprietresses’and children’s chambers. Located on this same floor is the room which exhibits a collection of editionsof Cervantes’ works. The former wine cellar has been recovered in the basement and is used to showan audio-visual life of Cervantes. 15  
  • 19.    Plaza de las Ventas Bullfighting MuseumMuseum specifically dedicated to the world of bullfighting. The collection is arranged into six thematicareas with access from the entrance hall, where there is a collection of bullfighting signs, the mostnotable of which is the sign for the original opening of the Ventas Bullfighting Ring. The first thematicarea is devoted to the nineteenth century, with common scenes from the era and documents onbullfighting rings and tickets.The second section takes us to theeighteenth century and mythicalfigures in the bullfighting world suchas Paquiro, Costillares and PedroRomero, founders of the science ofbullfighting and the first heroes ofbullfighting on foot. The third area is dedicated tobullfighting clothes and the historicalchanges in bullfighters’ garments.You will find their capes, suits of lightand accessories belonging to themost important figures in bullfighting.After a sculpture collection, the fifth area is devoted to the bulls themselves and there is an exhibitionon bullfighting tools.Santiago Bernabeu MuseumThe Real Madrid Museum contains a wealth of treasures that will interest all fans. Even if you cant getthere in person, this page will serve as a guide as to what can be found there. The museum has lots ofwritten history about the team, and a wall full of photos as well as hundreds of trophies. There is alsoessential information about How To Travel To the museum.The Real Madrid museum is crammed full of all the cups that the team have ever won. There aredetailed histories written on the walls next to each section of the display. The Real Madrid museumgives you the chance to travel back in time with the team and learn about their earliest victories. 16  
  • 20.    MUSEO SOROLLA (http://museosorolla.mcu.es), inSpanish; Paseo del General MartínezCampos 37; adult/child under 18yr &senior/student €3/ free/1.50, free Sun;h9.30am-8pm Tue-Sat, 10am-3pmSun & holidays; <M> GregorioMarañón or Rubén Darío. TheValencian artist Joaquín Sorollaimmortalised the clear Mediterraneanlightn of the Valencian coast. HisMadrid house, a quiet mansionsurrounded by lush gardens that hedesigned himself, was inspired bywhat he had seen in Andalucía andnow contains the most completecollection of the artist’s works. On theground floor there’s a cool patiocordobés, an Andalucian courtyardoff which is a room containingcollections of Sorolla’s drawings. The 1st floor, with the main salon and dining areas, was mostlydecorated by the artist himself. On the same floor are three separate rooms that Sorolla used asstudios. In the second one is a collection of his Valencian beach scenes. The third was where heusually worked. Upstairs, works spanning Sorolla’s career are organised across four adjoining rooms.Templo de DebodWith your feet back on the ground, the Paseo del Pintor Rosales leads to the Templo de Debod, a4200-year-old Egyptian temple transplanted into the heart of Madrid. It’s an intriguing apparition. Don’tneglect to wander in the gardens behind the temple for fine views (especially at sunset) towards thePalacio Real.MUSEO LÁZARO GALDIANO91 561 60 84; www.flg.es, in Spanish; Calle deSerrano 122; adult/student €4/2, free Sun;h10am-4.30pm Wed-Mon; mGregorio Marañón104 NEIGHBOURHOODS SALAMANCA Thisis just the sort of place you expect to find alongCalle de Serrano, with an imposing early-20th-century Italianate stone mansion set discreetlyback from the street. And Don José LázaroGaldiano (1862–1947), a successful andcultivated businessman, was just the sort ofperson you’d expect to find in Salamanca. Apatron of the arts, he built up an astonishing lived, with hundreds of curios from all aroundprivate collection that he bequeathed to the city the world on show. The lovely 1st floor isupon his death. It was no mean inheritance, dominated by Spanish artworks arrayedwith some 13,000 works of art and objets d’art, around the centrepiece of the former ballrooma quarter of which are on show at any time. and beneath lavishly frescoed ceilings. TheThe highlights are the works by Zurbarán, 2nd floor contains numerous minorClaudio Coello, Hieronymus Bosch, Esteban masterpieces from Italian, Flemish, EnglishMurillo, El Greco, Lucas Cranach, Constable and French painters, while the top floor isand there’s even a painting in room 11 jammed with all sorts of ephemera, includingattributed to Velázquez. But the undoubted star some exquisite textiles in room 24. Theof the show is Goya, who dominates room 13, labelling throughout the museum is excellent,while the ceiling of the adjoining room 14 appearing in both English and Spanish, and isfeatures a collage from some of Goya’s more accompanied by photos of each room as itfamous works in honour of the genius. The appeared in Galdiano’s prime.ground floor is largely given over to a displaysetting the social context in which Galdiano 17  
  • 21.    - ShoppingShopping in the Spanish capital is about so much more than Zara, bull postcards and tackyflamenco posters. If we had to identify our favourite aspect of shopping here, it would have tobe the small boutiques and quirky shops that you find all across the city and which enableyou to escape the over-commercialisation of mass-produced Spanish culture. Often run bythe same family for generations, these engaging little outposts of traditional Spanish culturesell everything from handcrafted abanicos (Spanish fans) and old-style ceramics to rope-soled espadrilles, and from guitars favoured by the Beatles, Eric Clapton and numerousflamenco greats to corner shops specialising in Spanish wines and food delicacies. Madrid isalso Spain’s fashion capital and the streets are lined with shops that showcase all the colourand creativity of Spanish and international designers, from haute couture to earthy streetwear.The key to shopping Madrid-style is knowing where to look. Salamanca and parts of Chuecaare the home of upmarket fashions. Malasaña, Salamanca’s alter ego, is all about fashionthat’s as funky as it is offbeat and ideal for that studied underground look that will fit right inwith Madrid’s after-dark crowd. Huertas and Chamberí defy easy categorisation with theirengaging, often old-style little boutiques, while La Latina has become a magnet for some ofSpain’s most imaginative jewellery designers. The downtown area close to the Puerta del Solthrows up plenty of individual surprises but, in keeping with the character of central Madrid,there’s a little bit of everything on offer. That sense is multiplied a hundredfold in El Rastromarket, where madrilènes converge in epic numbers on Sunday to pick through the junk insearch of treasure.  For a shopping route, check page #5- EatingAfter holding fast to its rather unexciting local cuisine for centuries (aided, it must be said,by loyal locals who never saw the need for anything else), Madrid has finally become one ofEurope’s culinary capitals.This is a city that grew and became great because of immigrants from all over Spain whomade Madrid their home. On their journey to the capital, these immigrants carried with themrecipes and ingredients from their villages, thereby bequeathing to the city an astonishingvariety of regional flavours that you just don’t find anywhere else. Travel from one Spanishvillage to the next and you’ll quickly learn that each has its own speciality; travel to Madridand you’ll find them all. Throw in some outstanding restaurants serving international cuisineand the choice of where to eat well is almost endless.There’s not a barrio where you can’t find a great meal. Restaurants in Malasaña, Chuecaand Huertas range from glorious old tabernas (taverns) to boutique eateries across all priceranges. For more classically elegant surrounds, Paseo del Prado, El Retiro, Salamanca andnorthern Madrid are generally pricey but of the highest standard and are ideal for spottingroyalty and celebrities. In the central barrios of Los Austrias, Sol and Centro, as is their wont,there’s a little bit of everything. Splendid tapas bars abound everywhere, but La Latina is theundoubted king. 18  
  • 22.    Aside from the myriad tastes on offer, it’s the buzz that accompanies eating that defines thecity as a memorable gastronomic experience. Here, eating is not a functional pastime to besqueezed in between other more important tasks; instead, it is one of life’s great pleasures, asocial event always taken seriously enough to allocate hours for the purpose and to besavoured like all good things in life.  For a TAPAS route, check page #6- Drinking & NightlifeNights in the Spanish capital are the stuff of legend and what Hemingway wrote of the city inthe 1930s remains true to this day: ‘Nobody goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed thenight.’Madrid has more bars than any other city in the world, six, in fact, for every 100 inhabitants,and, wherever you are in town, there’ll be a bar close by. But bars are only half the story. Onany night in Madrid, excellent flamenco venues, funky jazz clubs and an otherwiseoutstanding live music scene keep you going beyond midnight, then segue easily intococktail bars and the nightclubs that have brought such renown to Madrid as the unrivalledscene of all-night fiestas.Although you could spend your night criss-crossing the city in search of the perfect vibe,most madrileños take a fairly localised approach to a night out – once they’ve begun to drinkand otherwise settle into the night, they tend to move from one place to the next within thesame barrio.These are intended to serve as a guide only – you could, for example, easily pass an entirenight in a live music venue where pre-performance cocktails are served and DJs take upwhen the live performers head home, or combine first and last drinks in the same place.Every barrio in the city (with the exception of Paseo del Prado and El Retiro) makes itscontribution to the pulsating after-dark marcha (action), but some barrios definitely offer morethan others. Los Austrias, Sol and Centro have a small selection of venues across a range ofgenres, while Huertas attracts a local and international crowd most nights of the week.Chueca is exuberantly and extravagantly gay, although everyone’s welcome. NeighbouringMalasaña, the spiritual home of la movida madrileña, has never really grown up and is thebarrio of choice for grunge rockers, sideburns and an eclectic crowd; it’s the antithesis ofSalamanca, where it’s all about hair gel and designer clothing. La Latina and, to a lesserextent, Lavapiés are gritty, groovy and cool all at once, and definitely among night-timeMadrid’s bestkept secrets, while Chamberí and Argüelles don’t have many venues, butthey’re worth checking out. And northern Madrid has a handful of outstanding bars and livevenues.A final piece of advice: If you plan to stay out the whole night, sleeping the siesta theafternoon before will be the key to your staying power. 19  
  • 23.    - Green Areas in MadridPARQUE DEL BUEN RETIRO<M> Retiro, Príncipe de Vergara, Ibiza or On the southern end of the lake, the oddAtocha The glorious gardens of El Retiro structure decorated with sphinxes is theare as beautiful as any you’ll find in a Fuente Egipcia (Egyptian Fountain) andEuropean city. Littered with marble legend has it that an enormous fortunemonuments, landscaped lawns, the buried in the park by Felipe IV in the mid-occasional elegant building and abundant 18th century rests here. Park authoritiesgreenery, it’s quiet and contemplative assured us that we could put away ourduring the week but comes to life on spade and that the legend is rot.weekends. Put simply, this is one of ourfavourite places in Madrid. Hidden among the trees south of the lake is the Palacio de Cristal, a magnificentLaid out in the 17th century by Felipe IV as metal and glass structure that is arguablythe preserve of kings, queens and their El Retiro’s most beautiful architecturalintimates, the park was opened to the monument. It was built in 1887 as a winterpublic in 1868 and ever since, whenever garden for exotic flowers and is now usedthe weather’s fine and on weekends in for temporary exhibitions organised by theparticular, madrileños from all across the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Just north ofcity gather here to stroll, read the Sunday here, the 1883 Palacio de Velázquez ispapers in the shade, take a boat ride or generally used for temporary exhibitions,nurse a cool drink at the numerous although it was closed for renovations atoutdoor terrazas. Weekend buskers, the time of writing. Another buildingChinese masseurs and tarot readers ply occasionally used for temporarytheir trades, while art and photo exhibitions is the Casa de Vacas (x91 409exhibitions are sometimes held at the 58 19; h11am-10pm), on the north side ofvarious sites around the park, but it’s so the lake.big that even on weekends there areplenty of quiet corners away from the At the southern end of the park, near Lacrowds (apart from the lovers under trees Rosaleda (Rose Garden) with its morelocked in seemingly eternal embraces). than 4000 roses, is a statue of El Ángel Caído (the Fallen Angel, aka Lucifer), oneThe focal point for so much of El Retiro’s of the few statues to the devil anywhere inlife is the artificial lake (estanque), which the world. Strangely, it sits 666m aboveis watched over by the massive sea level… In the same vein, the Puertaornamental structure of the Monument to de Dante, in the extreme southeasternAlfonso XII on the east side, complete with corner of the park, is watched over by amarble lions. If you want to catch the carved mural of Dante’s Inferno.essence of Madrid’s endless energy, comehere as sunset approaches on a Sunday Occupying much of the southwesternafternoon in summer – as the crowd corner of the park is the Jardín de losgrows, bongos sound out across the park Planteles, one of the least-visited sectionsand people start to dance. of El Retiro, where quiet pathways lead beneath an overarching canopy of trees. West of here is the moving Bosque del 20  
  • 24.    Recuerdo (Memorial Forest), an del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios (h8am-understated memorial to the 191 victims of 5pm Mon-Fri).the 11 March 2004 train bombings. Foreach victim stands an olive or cypress With playgrounds dotted around the parktree. About 200m north of the monument and plenty of child-friendly activities, Elis the Bosque del Recuerdo information Retiro should have more than enoughoffice (h10am-2pm & 4-7pm Sat, Sun & space and interest to keep children happy.holidays). To the north, just inside the If they need something more, puppetPuerta de Felipe IV, stands what is shows are a summertime feature (look forthought to be Madrid’s oldest tree, a signs to Titirilandia – Puppet Land – in theMexican conifer (ahuehuete). Planted in park’s northwest). The Casa de Vacas1633 and with a trunk circumference of also sometimes hosts children’s theatre52m, it was used by French soldiers during (teatro infantil) on weekends. Ask at one ofthe Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th the information offices to see what’s on.century as a cannon mount.In the northeastern corner of the park,there’s another information office (h10am-2pm & 4-7pm Sat, Sun & holidays) in thecute Casita del Pescador, a former royalfishing lodge. Inquire here for the freeguided tours (x91 588 46 20;inforetiro@munimadrid.es) of the Parquedel Buen Retiro, which cover bird andplant life as well as history andarchitecture; reservations are essential.A stone’s throw from this information office REAL JARDÍN BOTÁNICOare the pleasing ruins of the Ermita de San <M> Atocha Although not as expansive orIsidro (cnr Calle de O’Donnell & Avenida as popular as the Parque del Buen Retiro,de Menéndez Pelayo; mPríncipe de Madrid’s botanical gardens are anotherVergara), a small country chapel leafy oasis in the centre of town. Withnoteworthy as one of the few, albeit some 30,000 species crammed into amodest, examples of Romanesque relatively small 8-hectare area, it’s more aarchitecture in Madrid. Parts of the wall, a place to wander at leisure than laze underside entrance and part of the apse were a tree, although there are benches dottedrestored in 1999 and are all that remain of throughout the gardens where you can sit.the 13th-century building. When it was In the centre stands a statue of Carlos III,built, Madrid was a small village more than who in 1781 moved the gardens here from2km away. their original location at El Huerto deSoutheast of the hermitage, beyond the Migas Calientes, on the banks of the Ríochildren’s playgrounds and the Casa de Manzanares. In the Pabellón Villanueva,Fieras – which served as Madrid’s zoo on the eastern flank of the gardens, artuntil 1972 and was once home to camels exhibitions are frequently staged – thethat appeared in Lawrence of Arabia – are opening hours are the same as for thethe sculpted hedgerows, wandering park and the exhibitions are usually free.peacocks and lily ponds of the Jardines 21  
  • 25.    MADRID RÍO LAS VISTILLAS, VIADUCT &<M> Príncipe Pío. An impressive 10km- CALLE DE SEGOVIAlong park that runs along the banks of the <M> Ópera The leafy area around andManzanares River and offers a wide beneath the southern end of the viaductselection of sports and recreational that crosses Calle de Segovia, is an idealfacilities for the whole family. spot to pause and ponder the curious history of one of Madrid’s oldest barrios.The waters of the Manzanares River flowonce again as a result of the ambitious Probably the best place to do this is justplan to move the old M-30 motorway across Calle de Bailén where the terrazasunderground, creating over ten kilometres (open-air cafes) of Jardines de las Vistillasof pedestrian and cycling routes. (Las Vistillas) offer one of the best vantage points in Madrid for a drink, with viewsThe new park shows off gems such as the towards the Sierra de Guadarrama. Duringold Puente de Segovia and Puente de the civil war, Las Vistillas was heavilyToledo bridges, the Virgen del Puerto bombarded by Nationalist troops from theChapel and new urban landmarks, like the Casa de Campo, and they in turn werePuente Monumental bridge in Arganzuela shelled from a republican bunker here.Park and the city beach. Madrid Río hasopened up new spaces and incorporated The adjacent viaduct was built in the 19thexisting areas into a project tackling three century and replaced by a newer versionaspects of city life: the environment, in 1942; the plastic barriers were erectedleisure and sport. Its most outstanding in the late 1990s to prevent suicide jumps.achievement, however, is doing away withthe barrier hindering communication Before the viaduct was built, anyonebetween the two river banks, which wanting to cross from one side of the roadseparated one side of the city from the or river to the other was obliged to makeother. their way down to Calle de Segovia and back up the other side. 22  
  • 26.    - Surrounding Areas & Day TripsLocated as it is in the geographical heart of Spain, Madrid is an ideal base for exploring thecountry. Well-developed road and rail networks fan out across the peninsula, with a host ofbeautiful historical towns and other sights within easy reach of the capital.If you’re a city person, Toledo, Segovia and Ávila are an hour away from Madrid by train. Avisit to these cities takes you on a journey through the country’s polyglot history, from thesoaring Roman remains of Segovia, to the medieval defensive battlements of Ávila and thegrand monuments to religious enlightenment in Toledo.If you’re needing a break from city life, villages like Chinchón and those of the Sierra deGuadarrama or Sierra Pobre provide an antidote. In the sierras, you can also leave behindthe last outposts of civilisation and hike out into the wilderness and still be back in Madrid fora late dinner. Alcalá de Henares straddles the two experiences, with all the life and energy ofan elegant university town and the intimacy of a large village.The royals who have always made Madrid their capital also understood that a country retreatwas sometimes necessary from all the noise of the city. From a ledge in the mountains to thewest of the city, San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most extraordinary palace-monasteries in Spain. South of Madrid, Aranjuez is equally eye-catching, with a statelypalace surrounded by monumental gardens. And on any of the day trips covered in thischapter, you’ll find restaurants where you can eat like a king.Although you could easily stray further and make it back to Madrid by nightfall, you’d berushing to do so. For this reason, we have restricted our coverage to places that require nomore than a two-hour round trip. We understand, however, that if you have more time, youmay wish to stay overnight in cities such as Toledo, Segovia and Ávila with their manyattractions. 23  
  • 27.    BEAUTIFUL CITIES ROYAL PLAYGROUNDSToledo is a grandly austere city that once The imposing 16th-century monastery andrivalled Madrid for the role of capital. palace complex of San Lorenzo de ElComing here is like stepping back into the Escorial guards the gateway to MadridMiddle Ages, into a history when from the northwest and is a terrificChristians, Muslims and Jews turned this excursion. Nearby the Valle de los Caídosinto one of Spain’s most enlightened cities. is a curious monument to GeneralÁvila, too, resonates with history, most Francisco Franco’s delusions of grandeurnotably in its imposing cathedral and – not royalty, but he would have liked toencircling medieval walls. The Unesco have been. Graceful Aranjuez is home toWorld Heritage-listed old city of Segovia a magnificent palace and expansivehas an entirely different, lightfilled charm gardens, and now serves as a fine retreatas it surveys the surrounding mountains from the noise and bustle of Madrid just asfrom its hill-top perch. The exceptional it did for Spanish royalty down through thealcázar (Muslim-era fortress) and Roman- ages.era aqueduct are its signature sights, butit’s also a place where eating is an artform. 24  
  • 28.    VILLAGES & MOUNTAINS and is still home to one of Spain’s oldestChinchón, southeast of Madrid, has a universities and distinguished architecture.stunning, ramshackle charm; its uneven,porticoed Plaza Mayor ranks amongSpain’s most enchanting plazas. Chinchónis also a fine place for eating. Protecting Madrid from the north, the Sierra de Guadarrama and Sierra Pobre shelter charming old villages, including Manzanares El Real and Buitrago.Alcalá de Henares, east of the capital,has almost outgrown its village origins, butis worth as much time as you can give it. Itwas the birthplace of Miguel de CervantesINTERNET RESOURCESwww.atapear.com. in Spanish. Customer reviews and rankings of tapas bars in Madrid (407at the last count) and other Spanish cities under its Gufa de Bares de Tapas.www.tapaspormadrid.com. In Spanish- Occasional tapas routes (where you collect stamps ina booklet) offering discounted prices and signature tapas dishes from a range of bars.EsMadrid.com (www.esmadrid.com) The Ayuntamientos revamped website is super-sexy,although it can be a little tough to navigate (scroll down and try the Site Map if youre havingtrouble). Lots of info on upcoming events. It also has a section Donde corner en Madrid,which gives an overview of emblematic restaurants and tapas bars.www.lacuchara.es. in Spanish. Guide to restaurants and tapas bars. 25  
  • 29.    In Madrid (www.in-madrid.com) A direct line to Madrids ex pat community with upcomingevents, nightlife reviews, articles, a forum, c1assifieds and some useful practical information.La Netro (http://madrid.lanetro.com, in Spanish) Allows you to search for bars, restaurants,nightclubs and just about any kind of Madrid business, and most have customer reviews. Itstops section lists top 10s across a range of categories as voted by users. Le Cool(www.lecool.com) Weekly updates on upcoming events in Madrid with an emphasis on thealternative, offbeat and avant-garde. The name is pretty accurate.Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com) An overview of Madrid with hundreds of useful links,including to the Thorn Tree, Lonely Planets online bulletin board.www.restaurantesmadrid.net.in Spanish. Rankings and reviews by the public.Turismo Madrid (www.turismomadrid.es) Portal of the regional Comunidad de Madrid touristoffice thats especially good for areas outside the city but still within the Comunidad deMadrid.Vive Madrid (www.guiavivemadrid.com) A privately run site that has some moderately usefulinfo on bars, restaurants, hotels and transport, as well as a booking service.- Credits and sources  Beatriz Narbona Reina (Inlingua – Madrid)  Inlingua Madrid Leisure Activities Department  Juan Archanco (Tradyco – UAM)  Lonely Planet  www.madrid.es ; www.esmadrid.com ; www.google.es ; www.wordreference.com ; www.zonu.com ; www.arteguias.com ; www.wikipedia.org (EN & SPA) 26