Tag Archives: Plaza de Espana

Ya es Navidad: Madrid’s Starting to Look Like Christmas

The happiest and most awaited month of the year has started, and so I deemed it best that my first post for December is light but nonetheless special. Let’s make it filled with lots of pictures of fun and Christmassy colors. Isn’t it obvious that the Yuletide air already pervades around? The season of hope and inspiration is definitely upon us.

Indeed, it is apparent that Madrid is fast turning into a Yuletide paradise; there’s just no stopping establishments from sprucing up their buildings – inside and out – with tons of exciting Xmas displays. Streets, side streets and avenues are one by one being adorned with multi-colored lights. Plazas and gloriettas, big and small, boast of giant, glowing Yuletide trees of yellow, red, and blue.

And so for this post, time again for me to get my phone cam busy and capture photos of Christmas scenes from around the city, where possible.

imageEasily, Puerta del Sol is one of the most crowded spots in Madrid during the holiday season. The famous square’s Xmas tree this year glimmers with its blue lights, instead of yellow from the past few years
imageYuletide decors of life sized and gigantic toys and cartoon characters are displayed in the upper facade of El Corte Ingles

Cibeles, Alcala, Puerta del Sol, Atocha — it’s a given that these neighborhoods are some of the most colorful spots in the city. I expect to have pictures of these places draped in full christmas display, as I alway had in previous years.

Of course, I’ll explore Madrid further — I am only too sure to find more neighborhoods that are suited up, proud that they’re part of this year’s Yuletide revelry.

Here is some initial photos showing how dazzling and enchanting Madrid can be during the Christmas season. I’ll leave this as an open post, which means I will be posting more from time to time, as more places become spruced up for the Yuletide season.

imageInstead of multi-colored lighting, the Palacio de Cibeles is bathe in red this time
imagePlaza Mayor is a venue for many different cultural activities during the Yuletide season. December 1 showcases a night filled with Rumanian festivities at the square
imageBrightly-lit holiday house at Azca, Paseo de Castellana, Madrid
imageMore or less a dozen Christmas tree stand in the plaza in front of Picasso Building
imageimageStores selling traditional Yuletide goodies such as asadas castañas and maize (roasted chestnuts and corn) are found in strategic corners of the city. The store in the first picture above stands in front of the Nuevos Ministerios Metro Entrance, the second is in the corner of Calle de Bravo Murillo and Paseo de la Castellana. Prices of castañas vary from 2 to 3 euros for a dozen.imageKids have a grand time ice skating at Plaza del Colon
imageNeighborhood shops and downtown boutiques have started filling their shelves with holiday merchandize items. The lower part of the collage is a photo of Xmas trees sold at a Chinese variety store, while the upper half shows multicolored decor balls from Tiger, a popular novelty gift shop.
imageYou know Christmas is just around the corner with the sprouting of more flower stands and kiosks around the city, like this one at the corner of Calle del Postigo de San Martin.

imagePlaza Remonta in Bravo Murillo is no Plaza Mayor. It’s like many other typical town squares in Madrid; quiet and dimly lit at night. No matter, this plaza is one with the season by putting up two Christmas trees in its midst — modest but helpful nonetheless in illuminating the place come nighttime, a delight to the kids at play.
imageThe Nativity and other scenes that depict the birth and early years of the Child Jesus, displayed at Parroquia de San Antonio, Bravo Murillo and Cuatro Caminos
imageChristmas trees brightly shine at night as they surround the Artichoke fountain replica at the roundabout or the Glorieta de Atocha

Christmas at Plaza Mayor, MadridBusiness is brisk at the Plaza Mayor, with Christmas lights and decors as best sellers year after year
imageMadrid, Spain, Calle Bailen, carouselCarousels and similar fun rides and attractions are a common sight around the city. The first carousel is found in Plaza de Sta cruz, along Calle Atocha, the second is located at Calle Bailen, near Palacio Real

imageEl Corte Ingles leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the display of Christmas decors. Its branch along Paseo de la Castellana has already begun showing Yulletide theme visual messages in its large electronic display

imageThe red Christmas tree now stands beside the yellow fountain in Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Vitrivio, livening up the area in time for the merry season

imagePlaza de Espana has put up its own Christmas Tree, which stands beside the square’s famous oblong-shaped fountain and near Calle Gran Via

Madrid, Spain, Christmas, Gran ViaGirl pals pose for the camera with their sweet smiles, reindeer antlers headband, red noses, and all.

imageTerrace restaurants install their outdoor heaters to warm  up the cool evening ambiance, like this one near Puerta de Alcala

imageChristmas is in the air, especially in Plaza del Callao where to be found in its midst is an adorable bright-yellow Xmas tree and the Tienda de la Navidad

imagePlaza Callao’s Tienda de Nativid sells Yuletide trees, bells, lights, decors, and everything else that’s Christmas
imageCalle Preciosa spruces up in time for the holidays
imageVarious attractive, Yuletide-themed pastelerias and other sweet goodies are available at La Mallorquina, a popular bakeshoop located in a strategic spot in Plaza del Sol
imageFancy holiday lights dangles along the length of Arenal, providing sufficient illumination as pedestrians traverse through the street, and perhaps towards San Gines Church to hear the evening mass, or even further down to Palacio Real

imageThe city has already installed the holiday lights, which I believe are the same ones for the last couple of years, along Calle de Alcala. In the background is the Palacio del Cibeles
imageIn the same manner as that of the Cibeles Palace, the Ayuntamiento building in Plaza del Sol is also bathe in red, as if to signify the solemnity of the place while still actve in the celebration of the festive occasion
imagePhoto of the Puerta del Sol Xmas tree in close range

Every year, the agency Loterias y Apuestas del Estado come up with a video advertisement promoting the Christmas lottery draw in December, with this year’s draw scheduled to happen on the 21th. 2016 Anuncio Loteria de Navidad’s theme is El Mejor Premio es Compartirlo, roughly translated as “The best prize is Sharing.” And like the previous ones, it proves to be a tearjerker. Be ready with your hankie as you watch this heartwarming Christmas lottery ad.

Plaza de España: Madrid’s Premier Square

imageThe grandest square in Madrid, and perhaps the whole country, is the Plaza de Espana. Located at the western portion of Gran Via, this square is a must-see Madrid attraction if only for its wide expanse filled with sculptures and lush greenery. It boasts of a spacious area that covers roughly 36,900 square meters, no wonder it is listed as one of the biggest in Spain.

One would observe that the plaza is well-tended and maintained. Its central fountain is an inviting sight — complete with statues and a strong, flowing water — features typical of a major Spanish square. I had visited the park a couple of times during the earlyv hours, and often I would see gardeners caring for the greens and keeping the surrounding clean. Evidently, it is a maintained plaza, with every corner serving as a perfect spot to have photos for cherished souvenirs.

Plaza Espana is a major spot in downtown Madrid among tourists from all over and locals as well. It is not surprising since its location is strategic, acting like a crossroad that leads to many other Madrid attractions – such as the Royal Palace, the gardens of Sabatini and Campo del Moro, the Puerta del Sol, Debod, Retiro Park’s Rose Garden, and Plaza Mayor.

1. Monumento de Plaza de Espana

At the center of the square is the Monumento a Cervantes. The tall structure itself, with the globe on top, is made of granite, while the sculptures standing on its sides are made of Sepúlveda stone and bronze as main materials. In the photo below, on the left of the monument is the Torre de Madrid, while on the right is the Edificio Espana.
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2. Water Birth Fountain

The Fountain of Water’s Birth at Plaza de Espana, known locally as the Fuente del Nacimiento del Agua, is like any other found in a typical Spanish square — it serves to further add aesthetics to the place. It features the sculpture of fountain nymph Naiad holding a pitcher from which the water pours.
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3. Miguel de Cervantes

The centerpiece of the square is the Monument of Miguel de Cervantes, erected at Plaza de Espana in 1929. Cervantes is the country’s most celebrated writer and novelist, and author of the Spanish novel – Don Quijote de la Mancha.
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4. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza Bronze Statues

Don Quixote on horseback holds a metal lance. To his left is his assistant Sancho Panza with his donkeyimage

5. Aldonza Lorenzo

A. Lorenzo’s stone sculpture, a fictional character in Don quixote de la Mancha. She is also known by the name of Dulcinea del Toboso.
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6. Edificio España

Directly in front of the plaza is the much-photographed Edificio Espana. Constructed in 1953, it is popular among tourists because of its simple yet attractive facade of white and rust hues. image

7. Torre de Madrid

Popular plaza edifice and located along Gran Via is the Torre de Madrid. Like the Edificio Espana, it is touted as a precious Madrid landmark and city treasure.image

8. Real Compania Asturiana de Minas

Directly facing the plaza and the Calle Bailen is Real Compania Asturiana de Minas. With its construction spanning 8 years, from 1891 to 1899, the French-inspired edifice is one of the most admired examples of architecture of its time.

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Visit Plaza de Espana via:

Metro: Plaza de Espana Station — Lines 10 and 3 service this station, found right within the plaza. It is also connected to Linea 2.
Bus: C1, C2, 3, 48, 44, 133, 1, 46

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Map:

Mesmerizing Madrid Monuments: Temple of Debod

imageWant to explore and experience some real and magnificent Egyptian wonder right in the middle of Madrid, Spain? Indeed there is one that’s a wholly genuine Egyptian structure, straight from the Middle Eastern country. If you’re thinking that it’s one of those gargantuan pyramids now serving as magnificent Madrid monuments, no it’s not. But definitely, the one at Plaza del Oeste, near Plaza de Espana, is nothing less. It is the Templo de Debod, a solid stone structure dedicated to Amon, a major Egyptian deity.

No doubt the centerpiece of the park is the temple — it is one of the reason why a huge number of visitor go to the park day and night. Especially at night, the whole structure becomes as spectacle as soon as it is enveloped in strong, yellowish illumination at night. There are three main portions of the building, and all glisten brighten like gold that even if you have a simple camera, it will still come up with superb pictures of the Debod.

imageSuch an amazing tourist spot come nighttime, the temple never fails to earn the immense appreciation of anyone who witnesses its enthralling beauty

For a few who doubt if what one can find in the park is a real temple, it really is a structure that comes from Egypt, and so it stands proud atop an elevated land in the middle of Centro Madrid. The structure was actually a token of appreciation by the Egyptian government to Spain way back in the late 70’s as a gift of appreciation after the latter provided security to valuable Egyptian and Middle Eastern archeological and historic antiquities during a major dam erection.

A 2-BC edifice, its original location was at Nile. It has to be dismantled, which resulted in hundreds of parts and pieces being brought to Spain. In other words, the temple was totally deconstructed in the Middle East, and was only reassembled to its original state after it arrived in the country.

Masterful Creation at Parque de Oeste

imageYou don’t need to go to Cairo to see an authentic Egyptian monument. Here, the beauty of the Debod is impressive even during daytime

While this park is known to be home to a number of Madrid attractions such as the huge and inviting rose garden called La Roseleda, nothing beat the Temple Debod when it comes to enhancing the park’s already awesome landscape, the park is the location of several attractions. The temple is actually found in the southern park of the parque, just near the the popular Plaza de España.

Templo de Debod is one major specimen of ancient history that offers a concrete glimpse of what the 2nd century civilization of Egypt is all about. Needless to say, any tour of Madrid is not complete without you passing by the monument and experience the breathtaking spectacle that it offers, especially at night. This attraction must be included in your list of Madrid sightseeing tour.
imageEvening shots of the monument of De bod is mesmerizing that it’s worth going to its hilly location just to see it

How to go to Temple of Debod

Direccion: 1 Calle Ferraz, 28008 Madrid

Entrance fee: Admission is free

Opening hours: 10AM-2PM; 6PM-8PM

Metro: Take Line 3 and get off at Plaza de Espana

Best time to visit

The Templo de Debod became available for public viewing in the country in 1972. Since then, it has attracted everyone, tourists and locals. Basically people from all walks of life visit to appreciate this magnificent gift of the Egyptian government to its Spanish counterpart.

During daytime, the temple is such as beautiful view. Albeit, it is best to go to the site during evening hours. This is the time when the edifices are brightly lighted, and so its beauty is magnified many times over. The only downside about going at nighttime — the place get crowded, groups consisting of teens are all over this part of the park.

Map:

Visit Fuencarral’s History of Madrid Museum

imageThere’s one museum in Madrid, Spain that’s worth visiting, if only for its beautiful Baroque facade — it’s the History of Madrid Museum, located in the beautiful barrio of Malasana, along the street of Fuencarral.

Originally the Museo de Ayuntamiento (Municipality), the Museo de Historia de Madrid welcomes every individual who wants a dose of Madrid’s rich and romantic history.

imageThe edifice was designed and built by Spanish architect Pedro de Ribera while having the detailed style of Baroque in Mind. It boasts of several floors on which are scattered 14 large rooms or salas. Every space is filled with valuable art pieces — painting, ceramics, sculptures, silverware, all of which tell about the birth and development of the capital, and stories of how it came to be today.

You can only imagine the richness and significance of the collections on display in this historical museum in Madrid. Apart from the conventional art pieces, you can find ancient plans, maps, drawings, and other city implements and tools that helped in the planning, creation, and advancement of Madrid as a city.

imageTo further ensure the display of a complete collection, Madrid museum collaborates with the Prado Museum — the latter loans a number of its own artwork for display at the historical museum. Some of the art pieces on loan are the Felipe II sculpture, the Canvas Antonio Arias; Felipe V painting by Rigaud, Palacio del Buen Retiro by Bautista Martínez del Mazo, 18th century tapestries, and cartoon illustrations by Jose del Castillo and Ramon Bayeu.

Why I love the History of Madrid Museum?

image1. First of all, it’s easy and convenient to reach. From its parada at Plaza de Castilla, you can take the 149 autobus and within 20 minutes, your ride will have reached its destination. If you’re taking the subway, the Tribunal Metro Station is just a short walk along Fuencarral Street. The museo, by the way, is right in front of the old Tribunal building.

2. The location is perfect if you who want to go and further explore Madrid as soon as you’re done checking out the museo. As it is, the site is situated in the heart of the city, very near major Madrid attractions and tourist areas such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana, Gran Via, or even the Debod Temple.

Perhaps, all that soaking up and discovering of the history of the country’s capital has got you hungry or wanting to go shopping, right?

image3. I’m not sure about their picture-taking policy, but I think it’s permitted to have some shots of the place / art on display. A staff happened to be nearby and was seemingly indifferent as I took some photos. So, I guess it’s okay, just do it a bit discreetly.

4. Best of all, Madrid museum tickets are free. You don’t have to pay even a single centavo just to get in — it’s free all all opening hours, everyday of the week.

Address:

Calle Fuencarral 78 28004 Madrid

Days Open:

Tuesday to Sundays – 9:30AM to 8PM (The museum is open all days of the year except December 25, January 1, and May 1)

How to Go:

imageAuto Bus: Apart from 149, you can also take the 40 and 147 buses
Madrid Metro: Ride line 10 (Line 1 is unavailable until November due to construction work done)

Admission Ticket price:

Free

Map of Museo de Historia de Madrid: