Here we are in beautiful Madrid again. When we were last here we had the pleasure of staying in the flat of a friend who was away. She made some wonderful suggestions for places to go and things to see. We are more familiar with the magnificent city this time, but staying in one of its largest hotels, so feel a bit more like the American tourist. We made another visit to the Plaza Mayor, the monumental heart of the city, which was built during Philip III reign and whose statue resides in the center of the square.
The architecture of Madrid maintains various styles, from multiple historical periods while supporting a modern infrastructure. The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree represents the coat of arms of Madrid and is found on the Puerta del Sol, in the historical center of the capital city.
Once again we went to the Meson del Champion. A favorite for mushroom tapas and Sangria.
The Gothic church of St. Jerome, is part of a monastery built by the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century. In those days convents and churches were built by kings not only because of religious feelings but to show of their wealth. The nuns also called Las Carboneras (the Charcoalers) a story I will not go into, sell cookies and pastries they make. On the left side of the church is an old wooden door. You ring the bell, tell them what you want and they will open the door for you. They have certain hours and if they sell out, you are just out of luck.
The Gate of Toledo's construction began in 1812 and was not completed until 1827. It was one of the nineteen city gates that held the Walls of Philip IV. These were not defensive walls, but essentially served fiscal and surveillance purposes. The gate was built to commemorate the arrival in Madrid of Fernando VII, ' the Desired One'.
Alumudena Cathedral, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. It sits across from the Palacio Real. Separated by a spacious square. The architectural styles are Gothic, Romanesque, Neoclassical Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival.
The Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral of Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family in the city, but is only used for state ceremonies. The palace has 1,450,000 sq ft of floor space and contains 3,418 rooms. It is the largest royal palace in Europe by floor area. The Royal Family does not reside in the palace, but use it only for state ceremonies and choose instead a more modest palace on the outskirts of Madrid.
The Casa Cisneros is a palace located on the Plaza de la Villa in Madrid. Built in Plateresque style in 1537.
There are so many wonderful ornate buildings on the Gran Via, I cannot name them all. It is the most important shopping area located in central Madrid and known as the street that never sleeps. The Metropolis Building is one famous building located on that street.
I love Madrid there is so much to see and do that I cannot begin to share the experience with you in a few words. I have added some additional photos of things that caught my eye and places we wandered. Hopefully they will inspire you to explore this beautiful city on your own.