While Madrid possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. This reason is perhaps why we so love to visit this magnificent city. We always stay in the old section near the center so that we can walk to all the interesting places. We find Madrid to be so clean, friendly and fun.
Madrid landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid; the Royal Theatre with its restored 1850 Opera House; the Buen Retiro park, founded in 1631; the 19th-century National Library building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain’s historical archives; a large number of National museums, and the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three art museums: Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum, a museum of modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Many contend that the original name of the city was “Ursaria” (“land of bears” in Latin), because of the many bears that were to be found in the nearby forests, which, together with the strawberry tree have been the emblem of the city from the Middle Ages. Whatever the derivation of her name, she remains a noble and beautiful city of the world.
When Toledo surrendered to Alfonso VI of León and Castile,
Madrid was conquered by Christians in 1085, and it was integrated into the kingdom of Castile as a property of the Crown.
This becomes important to us because King Alfonso has added Augustine’s family (PENALVER) to the Royal Court just before and given them the Cross of St. John, symbol of the Templars as their crest…
….which is also the Flag of the Country of Malta….where the Knights of Templar took possession of the island, a gift of the Emperor Charles V with the approval of Pope Clement VII.,
including the Knight Penalver from Spain….
Madrid has a beautiful street named after the Penalver’s first Count……
El Calle del Conde de Penalver…
The perfect place to stop and enjoy a coffee….
Christians replaced Muslims in the occupation of the center of the city, while Muslims and Jews settled in the suburbs…
The Calle de Conde de Penalver begins with this iconic street corner…
On this trip we began and ended our visit to eight countries in Madrid. From the photos you will see the difference in the weather during those visits. The initial visit was cold and overcast and the end visit was sunny and fair, as you can see from these photos of the Plaza Mayor…
We always stay in the Hotel Ibis Prado, which allows us to exit the lobby and find ourselves in the middle of the old city.
The hotel has a Wine Theme, which works perfectly for our tastes! We always stay on the top floor and have a private balcony, wonderful for enjoying a glass of wine in the evening…
The colors and art of the hotel are so vibrant and reflect this wonderful city….
One evening we were sitting on the balcony and suddenly the city erupted in firework, music and shouts from every direction! We were astounded by the noise.
We had to go out into the streets to see what had transpired………they were PACKED with thousands of happy people…
Oh……..Madrid had just won the world cup in Soccer ……….how we get it!! Of course we joined in the fun!
I suppose our favorite part of visiting Madrid is the food……..TAPAS……..TAPAS………TAPAS……..
One of a fast, fun, favorites is el Museo de Jamon, located near the Plaza Mayor…..there are many other locations; however, this one is always the best…
Here is the inside…………a world of culinary delights…….
We had to order EVERYTHING…..
Then of course there is Meson el Jamon de Gran Via…….with the best croquettes EVER….
………….oh and then there was this place…….I have forgotten the name!
…..but the Serrano Jamon and Seafood Delights were amazing…..
Perhaps some crepes at Cerveceria Santa Ana…..
At the heart of the old city lies the Plaza Mayor…..a center of continuous activity and to be entered through these marvelous arches….
Once inside the world changes………
the street performers delight and entertain…
Here are some more shots of this most beautiful city…..
…..one of our most FANTASTIC dining experience of our lives took place just outside the Plaza Mayor…
El Rincon de Madrid…an unassuming small place with a typical Tapas Bar….the difference…at the end of the bar is a stair case leading down into a vaulted chamber that dates to Knights Templar…
We have the place to ourselves………..
The food is wonderful……….but the experience is over-the-top!!
The Paella from his Grandmother’s recipe……..he said he is still trying to perfect it to what she prepared….a true passion and love for food…
We so love visiting this most wonderful city and look forward to returning again soon….
- Madrid (citizenoftheworldcra.wordpress.com)
- What We Wear in Madrid (wattwewear.com)
- 10 things to do Madrid on the cheap (louisiananomad.wordpress.com)
- The Artsy Side of Spain: The Prado (stampsonmypassport.wordpress.com)
- 10 Top Attractions in Madrid Spain (vino-con-vista.blogspot.com)
- What to do in Madrid? Visit Prado Museum and Other Areas in Madrid. (whattodoinmadridtravel.wordpress.com)
- Madrid Trends, News and Information Nov 11-16 Edition by What to do in Madrid (whattodoinmadridtravel.wordpress.com)
- The Alcazar of Segovia – Spain (the-tin-man.com)