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Sunday, August 29, 2010

5 Historic Places to See in Madrid

Courtyard of the Royal Palace of Madrid, SpainImage via WikipediaBy Sam Cassidy
Madrid, the beautiful capital city of Spain is and features numerous charming historical places to visit. Madrid is Spain's largest city and a large number of tourists visit the city each year. When visiting Madrid these 5 places are definitely worth a look:

1. The Royal Palace is the largest and one of the most impressive palaces in Europe. It has over 2000 luxuriously decorated rooms. After the fire that destroyed the old Alcázar of the Habsburgs during Christmas 1724, Philip V commissioned the Italian architect Filippo Juvara (1678-1736) to design a new palace. Visitors to the palace get to view 50 of its 2800 rooms. It is situated on the east of Madrid's historic centre. The palace is still used for head of state visits and other ceremonies.The palace is built entirely of stone consisting of granite from the Sierra de Guadarrama and white Colmenar stone. Colossal foundation walls support the building on the steep slope down to the Manzanares which is laid out in palace's gardens. It looks truly magnificent.2.The Plaza de España is one of Madrid's largest and most popular squares. On a sunny day it is filled with street vendors, tourists and sunbathing locals. The square is situated at the end of Gran Via, which is one of Madrid's popular main avenues. The square features a huge fountain and famous statue honoring the well known Spanish writer Cervantes.The square dates all the way back to the 18th century, when military barracks mainly occupied it. Today it is a popular spot for sunbathing and a vast number of street vendors on warm days.3.Gran Via is an absolutely beautiful street that showcases early 20th century architecture. The street is extremely lively and is one of the city's most popular shopping areas.Gran Via is composed of a vast number of hotels and movie theatres. The architectural design is rather elaborate particularly with the larger buildings. While in the square you can admire the beautifully decorated grand 'edificios' which is a street comprised of tall buildings including the landmark building Edificio Metrópolis.4.Theater Royal, Madrid is a beautifully built building. It is situated in the Plaza de Oriente facing the Palacio Real, was built in 1818 after the demolition of the Caños del Peral Theater. The young Queen Isabella II inaugurated the theatre in 1850 with a performance representing Donizetti's opera "La Favorita".

Located on the Plaza de Oriente, numerous European opera singers of the 19th and early 20th century appeared on stage at this grand theater and, for decades it was at the centre of Madrid's cultural scene. The theatre became extremely famous for performances of Verdi and Wagner operas, works by Stravinsky and Russian ballet.
5. Las Ventas is situated in the east of Madrid. It was constructed in 1929 and houses the most important bullring in the world. The first bullfight was in 1931. Each year thousands of people come to watch bullfighting, an event considered controversial to say he least around the world.Las Ventas has a very interesting style of architecture referred to as the Mozarabic style. This particular design is comprised of horseshoe-shaped arches and ribbed domes. This building also features pottery "incrustations" representing the shields of all the provinces of Spain.Madrid has a wonderful transport network and makes it easy to get around seeing all the is a regularly updated global hand picked selection of design, boutique and eclectic hotels all around the world for a budget of around US$150 a night and under.Featuring hotels all around the world, including the Hotel El Coloso in Madrid, Spain.Article Source:

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