A Stroll Through Madrid Medieval Madrid

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1 A Stroll Through Madrid Medieval Madrid Barrio de la Morería (Moorish Quarter), the plaza del Alamillo was the site of the Arab Court. Nearby, on the Calle Segovia, we find the Casa del Pastor (Shepherd's Cottage), the first City Hall for migrant shepherds from Madrid and Toledo provinces. Three squares compromise the most noteworthy urban features of this quarter of Madrid: Plaza de la Paja (Hay Square), a commercial and civic focal point of the city. Plaza de San Andrés overlooked by one of Madrid's oldest churches. Plaza de la Cruz Verde (the Square of the Green Cross), gathering place of the cavalries that used to enter Madrid through the Puerta de Moros (the Moors Gateway). Today presided over by a 19th century fountain. Not far away we find other Mudejar-style churches: San Nicolás de los Servitas, which dates from the 12th century, on calle San Nicolás. Torre de San Pedro el Viejo, (Tower of St. Peter the Old), situated on calle del Nuncio. Torre and Casa de los Lujanes, owned by a family of distinguished lineage, date from the end of the 15th century. They are located in the Plaza de la Villa. San Jerónimo el Real, of a monastic origin, was moved to its present site by Ferdinand and Isabelle. Royal Courts were held here. Restored in the 19th century.

2 Madrid of the Hapsburgs During this dynasty, which began with Emperor Charles I, Madrid would be enriched with palaces and monuments and later made capital of Spain under Philip II. Picturesque renaissance and baroque buildings mark this period: Puerta del Sol, starting point for Spanish highways. A defence-oriented structure in the 15th century, it would later become the centre of the city's social life. Descalzas Reales, a convent on the Plaza de las Descalzas, contains work of great artistic interest. Monastery of the Incarnation, post-herrera styles architecture. Interesting art collection. Capitanía General, (General Captaincy), built by Gómez de Mora, is located at the corner of calle Mayor and calle Bailén. Plaza de la Villa (Town Square), was the "Town House" designed by Juan Gómez de Mora in 1644 to hold the City Hall and prison. An arch connects it with the Casa de Cisneros, a Plateresque-style 16th century palace. Plaza Mayor, a work that lent prestige to the reign of King Philip III. Built by Gómez de Mora where the Plaza del Arrabal had been. Site of public events since the 17th century: festivals, receptions, games, bullfights and executions. The most important guilds of craftsmen worked under its arches. Its two most representative buildings are Casa de la Panadería, (Bakery House) and Casa de la Carnicería, (Butcher's House). The equestrian statue of King Philip III by Juan de Bologna and Pietro Tacca sits in the middle of the square. The San Isidro Cathedral, of baroque conception and located on calle Toledo. The former Court Prison, now Ministry of Foreign Affairs was built by Juan Bautista Crescendi between 1629 and Lope de Vega's House, on Calle de Cervantes. The famous playwriter lived here between 1610 and 1635.

3 Madrid of the Bourbon Kings The urban and monumental layout of the city was completed during the 18th century, especially during the reign of the King Charles III, known as the Mayor-King. The Royal Palace, (XVIII century), prior to setting out on the route described below, we suggest you to spend a morning or a whole day visiting this grand complex. Philip V ordered its building, and the architects Juvara, Sachetti and Sabattini worked on it. King Charles III set up residence there in Behind the Palace are the Sabatini Gardens and the Campo del Moro (a Forest Park). Casa de Correos, (old Post Office), located on the Puerta del Sol, it was built by the French architect Jaime Maquet between 1766 and Its main features are its façade and twin interior patios. Currently houses the Presidency of the Community of Madrid. Casa de Postas, part of the "Casa de Correos", it was built during the reign of Charles IV, between 1795 and Located on the Plaza de Pontejos, it was designed by Pedro Arnal and is a fine example of neo-classical architecture. Currently houses offices of the Community of Madrid. Royal Customs Building, located at the beginning of calle Alcalá, its design was entrusted by Charles III to Francisco Sabattini. Built between 1761 and Royal Academy of Fine Arts, located at calle Alcalá,13. The Palace of Goyeneche was built by José Benito de Churriguera during the reign of Charles III. Façade changed by Juan de Villanueva in Oratory of the Caballero de Gracia, completed in 1795, it is one of the Madrid's neo-classical masterpieces. Designed and built by Juan de Villanueva.

4 Saint Joseph Church, located on calle Alcalá at the corner of Gran Vía. Raised between 1733 and 1742, during the reign of Philip V, by Pedro de Ribera, one of the most important 18th century Baroque architects. Buenavista Palace, on Alcala Street at Cibeles Square. Built by Juan Pedro Arnal in 1777 at the request of the Duke of Alba, this is an excellent example of a late 18th century style palace. Currently Army Headquarters. Puerta de Alcalá, (Plaza de la Independencia), built at the request of Charles III, it stands as a symbol of the city. It was constructed in 1778 by Francisco de Sabattini and decorated by Michael y Gutierrez. Salón del Prado, the first section of the Paseo del Prado, it was conceived by Charles III and the Count of Aranda, as a beautiful walkway with buildings devoted to the study of science. The Cibeles, Apolo and Neptune Fountains, designed by Juan de Ventura Rodríguez, can all be seen here. Prado Museum, built by Juan de Villanueva between 1785 and 1811, it was inaugurated as the National Gallery in Botanical Garden, also designed by Juan de Villanueva, responsible for the urban reform of Madrid begun in Inaugurated in Astronomical Observatory, located in the Retiro Park, work was begun by Juan de Villanueva in Hospital San Carlos, (Calle Santa Isabel, 52), currently the Queen Sofía Art Centre, one of Spain's most important cultural projects. Built according to plans drafted by Francisco Sabattini. The Artichoke Fountain, a bronze replica of the original fountain situated in the Retiro Park, it was designed by Ventura Rodríguez and sculpted by Vergaz and Antonio Primo.

5 Nineteenth Century Madrid During this century, Madrid underwent a basic transformation that began with José Bonaparte, who widened many streets by tearing down buildings and convents. The Puerta del Sol was remodelled under Isabelle II, boulevards were laid out and the Barrio de Salamanca was built. The following structures are worth visiting: The Cathedral of the Almudena, the Marquis of Cubas began the work on it at the end of the 19th century on the site where the Arabs built the first walls of Madrid. Plaza de Oriente, across from the Royal Palace, designed by González Velázquez in 1816 and completed in 1850 by Narciso Pascual Colomer. The Royal Theatre, enormous theatre designed by Antonio López Aguado in 1818 as an opera house and built by Custodio Moreno. One of the world's largest stages. The Athenaeum, located at Calle del Prado, 21, it was founded in 1820, as The Athenaeum of Science, Literature and Art. The Parliament, was designed by Narciso Pascual and Colomer and built between 1842 and Located on the Carrera de San Jerónimo. The Zarzuela Theatre, was built by Jerónimo de la Gándara in 1856 using the Scala of Milan as a model. The Prado Museum, built by Juan de Villanueva between 1785 and 1811, it was inaugurated as the Nacional Art Gallery in Madrid Stock Exchange Building, designed by Ripollés, across the Obelisk of the Martyrs of May 2. Opened in The Crystal Palace of the Retiro Park, pavilion of Iron and Glass built by Velázquez Bosco for the Mining Exhibition of National Library, on Paseo de Recoletos, contains the most valuable collections of books and manuscripts in the country. Designed by Jarreño. Sorolla Museum, home and Studio in Madrid of one of Spain's most important impressionist painters. The Free Schooling Institution opened in Canal de Isabel II, off this route, on calle Santa Engracia built between 1851 and 1858, it was one of the most notable engineering projects of the time.

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