Built on the ruins of a Moorish fortress called Mager, the city became the capital of Spain in 1561 during the reign of Philip II of Spain. Turning into one of the most flourishing cities of the peninsula, Madrid is culture rivaled only by Barcelona.  There is much to discover in the Spanish capital.

 

  • Templo of Debod : Debod Temple – is an Egyptian temple dedicated to Amon Debod, located in one of the most beautiful parks in Madrid – Parque de la Montaña.
  • Royal Theatre : Teatro Real or the Teatro Opera – building construction began in 1818, after demolishing the old theater Caños del Peral.
  • Santiago Bernabéu Stadium : It is named after the club president, who lent money to buy land on which they are. Founded in 1902, the stadium has a capacity of 75,342 people and has become famous worldwide thanks to the team’s success in international competitions.
  • Puerta del Sol: or Sun Gate is the most popular and commercial area in the old city of Madrid. 500 years ago it was just another gateway to the city with the sun painted on it, hence iys name.
  • Royal Palace : Palacio Real – today is no longer inhabited by members of the royal family, but it houses a fantastic collection of paintings (Velázquez, Caravaggio and Goya), sculptures, furniture, tapestries, glassware, silverware, medals, porcelain and musical instruments.
  • Parque del Retiro is a former royal hunting ground. In the 1630s Duke of Olivares created the park for Philip IV, as part of the Buen Retiro Palace. The palace was used until the era of Carlos III, and in the 1770s was partly open to the public.
  • Torres KIO – Puerta de Europa: The official name is Puerta de Europa – Gateway to Europe, however, the Madrid inhabitants call this architectural monument KIO Towers after the company responsible for the whole construction.
  • National Museum Reina Sofia Art Center – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía – houses the best collection of modern art of Madrid. This includes some of the most famous works by Pablo Picasso, including the famous “Guernica”.
  • El Prado Museum – Museo del Prado – has one of the most beautiful art collections in Europe – more than 7,000 paintings, of the XII century until IXX century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection.
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art – Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – is an art gallery, part of the “Golden Triangle of Art”, which includes the Prado Museum and Reina Sofia galleries.

Madrid is known for its nightlife and discotheques, for Madrid is not uncommon to dance all night, then morning to go to work. This night life called the movida, has blossomed after the death of Franco.

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