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Locations in Madrid are some of the most adored destinations for tourists all over the world. Getting a chance, anyone would love to travel to this place where a dynamic lifestyle represents the muse of everyone’s heart. Blending heavenly pleasure with worldly wonders, each and every location of Madrid reflects life for tourists from different countries, and different milieus of life.
The capital city of Spain is a reservoir of many historic memories. The cultural heritage of the country is truly reflected in the museums and the art galleries. The locations in Madrid inside the city are full of life, activity, and energy. Visitors craving modern trends will feel great. A tourist can get accommodation to reside either on a long term or short term basis in the city. Walking down the streets of Madrid brings out the wild side of every visitor. Vacationers can also find apartments for their stay in the busy locations of Madrid.
For people who enjoy life in the countryside or who want to discover their inner instinct in the lonely province, they will feel lucky to be on their own tour to Spain. The locations in Madrid and its suburbs are full of scenic beauty, and the quixotic surroundings are the perfect backdrop for cupid struck visitors.
Madrid is relatively young when compared to the other great Spanish cities such as Seville and Valencia, so it lacks the traditions of the ancient Andalusian and Castilian towns. It lies on a vast open plateau and is subject to extremes of temperature – the daily variation is sometimes 22C. The locals sum up their climate as nine months of winter and another 3 months of hell.
Madrid is the nation’s chief transportation and administrative centre. Its commercial and industrial life developed very rapidly after the 1890s and today it is rivalled only by Barcelona. Besides its many manufacturing industries, Madrid is foremost as a banking, education, printing, publishing, tourism, and film production center.
The general aspect of Madrid is modern, with boulevards and fashionable shopping areas, but the old quarters have picturesque streets. In the heart of the city is the Plaza Mayor, a 17th century square, built in the style of Juan de Herrera. Madrid’s loveliest gardens can be found in the Buen Retiro Park, which opened in 1631. At the weekends, street performers including musicians, tarot readers, and puppet shows for children play in the park, bringing in the crowds. Other landmarks include, El Pacicio Real, the huge and very opulent royal palace. This is a restored 1850 opera house and imposing 19th-century building containing the national library, the national archives, and an archaeological museum. Also noteworthy is the modern University City, which transferred from the town of Alcal de Henares in 1836.
The best area in Madrid for bars and clubs is Malasana. If you arrive before 1 am you’ll find the night yet to get underway. Cool Ballroom is probably numero uno in the city. And don’t forget to end the night with the traditional Chocolate con Churrus. Madrid, as you would expect, has numerous eating places, but try Casa Mingo in the Rio Manzanares. The house speciality is a whole roast chicken served with a salad and a bottle of cider. On Sunday you should head for, along with most of the population of the city, the Embajadores for the flea market on El Rastro. Most of what is on sale is junk but there are a few stalls with genuine antiques. If you’re a football fan try to obtain tickets for one of Real Madrid’s home games at the spectacular Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Here you will see the famous “galacticos” perform, or as is more usual, under perform.
Madrid plays host to three superb art museums. The Prado, which houses one of the finest art collections in the world including works by Veleazquez, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Goya, Murillo, Ribera, Hieronymus Bosch, Rubens, Botticelli, Mantegna, Titian, Rembrandt, Mengs, Poussin and Gainsborough. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is housed in the renovated Villahermosa Palace and is home to one of the most wide-ranging private collections of European art. The Queen Sofia Museum of modern art includes turn of the 20th century Catalan Modernism, Juan Gris’ cubism, the bronze sculptures of Pablo Gargallo, some 20 canvases by Salvador Dali, and Picasso’s work condemning the German bombing of the town of Guernica in the Basque country during the Spanish Civil War. Also worth a visit is the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, which holds an interesting collection of treasures.
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Madrid was first mentioned in the 10th century as a fortress of the Moors. Alfonso VI of Castile drove them out in 1083. The Cortes of Castile met in Madrid several times, and Ferdinand and Isabella as well as Emperor Charles V often resided there, but Madrid became the capital of Spain only in 1561, in the reign of Philip II. The city developed slowly at first, but it expanded rapidly in the 18th century under the Bourbon kings. The royal palace and the Prado date from that period. A popular uprising against the French took place at Madrid on May 2, 1808 at the beginning of the Peninsular War. A fierce battle was fought in the city’s central square, the Puerta del Sol. In reprisal, hundreds of citizens were shot at night along the Prado promenade. Goya immortalized the events of that day with two of his most celebrated paintings, both can be seen in the Prado gallery. Madrid again played a heroic role in the Spanish civil war, when, under the command of General Jos Miaja, it resisted 29 months of siege by the Franco’s Nationalist forces, suffering several bombardments and air attacks. It finally surrendered in late March 1939 effectively bringing the conflict to an end.
Alcal de Henares lies some 30 km to the east of Madrid, on the Henares River. Once surrounded by wheat fields, the building of a major road has drawn it into the suburban orbit of Madrid. Chemicals, plastics, electrical appliances, leather, and china are produced in the town. Among the landmarks are a Gothic collegiate church and the former archiepiscopal palace. The new University of Alcal de Henares was founded in 1977.
The town was called Complutum in Roman times. It is famous as the former seat of a great university founded in 1508 which subsequently transferred to Madrid in 1836. Also as the birthplace of Cervantes, Ferdinand I and Katherine of Aragon. And lastly as the scene of the Cortes in which Alfonso XI promulgated the Ordenamiento de Alcal. The Spanish Civil War saw the town severely damaged.
Other towns within the autonomous region of Madrid include Toledo, which preceded Madrid as the Spanish capital. Avila, whose old walls remain largely intact, provides a walk along them with superb views of the town within and the harsh Castilian landscape outside. Segovia and its ancient aqueduct showcases an example of Roman engineering at its very best.
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