Released: October 6, 2023
Madrid — Top 10 Highlights for your 2023 Autumn Trip
Located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, the capital of Spain is not only the geographical and political, but also the cultural center of the southern European country. Thanks to countless museums, parks and historic buildings, there are far more Madrid sights to discover, but 10 sights in Madrid that should be on your must-see list without any ifs and buts, can be found in this article.
The monastic castle is considered the largest Renaissance building in the world. The first king to move in here was King Charles III and his family. To this day, the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) is the official residence of the Spanish royal family.
However, the family does not live here, but in the somewhat more modest, but still magnificent Zarzuela Palace northwest of the capital.
The Palacio Real city palace is used only for representational purposes and state receptions. Many parts of the Royal Palace are therefore open to the public. It houses about 2,000 halls, salons and cabinets.
Las Ventas in the Plaza de Toros
Las Ventas is one of the largest bullrings in the world, located in the center of the Spanish capital. Opened in 1934, the arena seats 23,798 spectators and is topped only by Plaza México in Mexico City.
Not only bullfights, which are not everyone’s cup of tea, take place here:
Las Ventas also serves as a venue for concerts and other sporting events. For example, the Davis Cup Final 2008 (tennis) took place here.
When there is not an event taking place in the arena, which you can of course also visit, guided tours of the arena are offered, during which the tradition of bullfighting is explained and brought closer to you in one and a half hours.
Over the centuries, the square has served as a venue for markets, bullfights, soccer matches, theater performances, public exhibitions and the cruel burnings of alleged heretics at the stake.
Today, many bars and restaurants are located in the basements of the four-story residential buildings with a total of 237 balconies.
The oldest and probably most famous building is the Casa de la Panadería (“House of the Bakery”) in the center of the north side of the Plaza Mayor.
Directly opposite on the south side is the Casa de la Carnicería (“House of the Butcher”).
Puerta del Sol
The “Gate of the Sun,” the English translation of “Puerta del Sol,” is one of Madrid’s busiest intersections. The popular meeting place in the center of Madrid was once one of the entrances to the city limits of Madrid in the 15th century.
The name “Gate of the Sun” comes from an image of a sun positioned towards the east, which decorated the entrance.
A special feature of the Puerta del Sol is the zero kilometer stone, from which all six of Spain’s main national roads extend across the country in a star shape. Thus, the Puerta del Sol is often referred to as “kilometer zero”.
Plaza de Oriente
With its beautiful gardens, the square is one of the most beautiful of its kind in all of Madrid. The gardens are laid out in geometric shapes. On the central parterre is enthroned the equestrian statue of Philip IV, which makes an excellent subject for a selfie with the Royal Palace in the background.
In addition to the surrounding buildings, the sculptures of 20 Spanish kings are one of the main attractions of the Plaza de Oriente.
Among them are five Visigothic kings and fifteen of the first Christian kings of the Spanish Reconquest (Reconquista). Arranged in two rows, the statues are called “Reyes Gordos” (fat kings) by the locals.
The construction of the world-famous soccer stadium began on October 27, 1944, at a cost of 37 million pesetas, which is equivalent to about 222,300 euros.
Over time, however, the stadium was rebuilt several times and adapted to modern requirements.
The goal was to build the largest stadium in the world at that time, in order to be able to sell more tickets than other clubs.
Along with Plaza Mayor, “the great street” Gran Vía forms one of the Madrid attractions and a hotspot in the center of Madrid.
Until the 1960s, it was considered one of the most important shopping streets in the capital, before the noble boutiques also settled in streets such as Calle de Goya, which begins at Plaza Colón, and Calle Ortega y Gasset.
To this day, Gran Via is home to numerous boutiques, cinemas, ice cream parlors and Spain’s most famous theaters. Those who want to turn night into day will also find a number of nightclubs.
Paseo del Prado
A beautiful place to walk or jog is the Paseo del Prado in Madrid.
The fashionable north-south axis on the eastern edge of the historic city center stretches from the Plaza de Cibeles in the north to Atocha in the south and is considered Madrid’s boulevard of splendor.
Through the countless plane, acacia and chestnut trees, the Paseo del Prado offers the best conditions to take a deep breath and vllt. a little break.
Puerta de Alcalá
The gate was built in 1599 as a welcome for Margaret of Austria, who had married the Spanish king Filipe III.
Carlos III, who came to power in 1759, did not like the gate in its original form — the gate was also in very poor condition.
The king therefore commissioned a new construction, replacing the former archway with two turrets with the 44-meter-wide and 22-meter-high gateway structure that still stands today, complete with its five wall openings. The arches are decorated with six ornamental statues.
Originally, the park was intended as a royal garden for Philip IV, who had it built on the site of the palace gardens that had already been created under Philip II. Since 1868, Retiro Park has been open to the public and has always been a 1.43 km² green oasis with more than 15,000 trees in the middle of the big city.
Young and old people meet here, have conversations, walk along the sculptures and fountains and enjoy the mostly nice weather.
Madrid — Top 10 Highlights for your 2023 Autumn Trip was originally published in Tourisfair English on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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