Category Archives: Madrid Monumentos

Valle de los Caidos

Have you been to the much talked-about and even maligned Valle de los Caidos? This gargantuan monument near Madrid, built at the time of Francisco Franco, is controversial as it has created a division in the Spanish political world. It was intended to represent of reconciliation among all quarters in the country, but still, many despise the monument because for them, it is the prime symbol of the Francoist regime. Hated or not, it is clearly one of the most important monuments here in Spain, and must be visited if only for its rich and hotly debated history.

The Basilica

One of most noticeable in the site is the basilica, composing of 6 chapels, all of which are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mother. Here you will find the place where Fransisco Franco and Falange founder José Antonio Primo de Rivera are buried – by the main altar.  A mass is celebrated every day in the basilica from 11:00 to 11:45.

The Cross

We are still far from the Valle de los Caidos, but already, the gigantic cross, can already visible. It is the most conspicuous monument in the site, which is understable as the cross is the largest in the world.  In fact, it can be seen from as far as 30 miles away. It is certainly a magnificent sight, and an assurance that more amazing things can be expected as soon as we arrived at the site.

A structure made of the finest concrete and metal to ensure utmost stability and strength, it stands tall at 150 meters, with 25 meters comprising the basement bearing the four evangelists  John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew. Each of the representation is 18 meters high and a creation of Juan de Ávalos.

Franco declared the basilica, which is a surviving symbol under his rule, to be a symbol that signifies the national act of reconciliation and atonement.

A bit of history

Valle de los Caidos, or the Valley of the Fallen, is a monument constructed in honor of all those who perished during the Spanish Civil War. It was a major project of Franco, the Spanish ruler at the time that the war happened

It was said that many of those who helped build the basilica were convicted criminals. They agreed to be part of the workforce because of an attractive compensation, which is, a reduction of the years they needed to be in prison.

Hence, while the monument was meant to serve as a resting place for the fallen soldiers, but it was said that those who perished during its construction were also buried there.

Travel by bus from Madrid

Take a trip to the Valle de los Caidos via Autocares Herranz Numero 664, stationed at the  Moncloa Interchange. The ride will bring you right by the huge gates of the monument’s Parada Cruce Cuelgamuros. From there, you will have to endure almost an hour of uphill walk. It is why it is convenient to go to the site using a private vehicle.

If you don’t have a ride, and wouldn’t want to walk up to the monument, a good option is to schedule your trip around lunch time and start at the San Lorenzo, where available is a C660A line that leaves for the basilica at around 3:15 in the afternoon. It is a single trip to the Valley of the Fallen, and available all days of the week except Monday. Hence, so make sure that you are on time. The same bus returns to its station two hours later.

Where located:

San Lorenzo de El Escorial Municipalidad , Sierra de Guadarrama

Schedule of Visit

October to March: 10AM to 5PM
April to September:  10AM to 6PM

Entrance tickets

9 euros

Official Website: Valley of the Fallen

5 Amazing Edifices of Epoch Habsburg’s Madrid de los Austrias

Old Madrid of the 1600’s experienced a major political upheaval when the city was occupied by Europe´s Imperial court of Habsburg. The Spanish Kings who reigned during this glorious epoch, likewise known as the House of Austria, were Kings Felipe II and Felipe III, with the latter tirelessly working to develop the urban aspect of the new center of Habsburg.

Fortunately, the legacy of this empire is very much visible today to one and all and everyone; the remnants of such glorious era are found in the midst of the capital. Which part of the city did the Casa de Austria occupy? This so-called ancient center of Madrid is situated along a significant portion of Calle Mayor, running towards the southern part.

And indeed, as I visited this particular stretch of the street, everything that represents the Madrid de los Austrias, is very much intact, what with the beautiful edifices built during those times well-preserved and in use. You hop from one splendid building to another, and you realized how grand the contribution of the Habsburg Empire is to the development of Madrid.

One only has to tread Calle Mayor, the end of which reaches Catedral de Almudena, and he will have a good glimpse of these Hadsburg edifices. Especially if you find yourself within Puerta del Sol and Plaza Opera, you are sure to have yourself immersed within the glorious Habsburg Era.

Here are 5 of Madrid de los Austrias must-see beautiful edifices:

1. Casa de la Villa

2018_012121_5902_531A must-see edifice of the Madrid Austria District is the Casa de la Villa. Day in and day out, locals and tourists alike troop to one of Madrid’s oldest squares, Plaza de la Villa, to wander around this historical area and appreciate the former town hall of the city. Constructed under the helm of Spanish builder Juan Gomez de Mora, Casa de la Villa did serve as the headquarters of Madrid’s city administration – but did you know that it once served as a prison to the incarcerated?

Direccion: Plaza de la Villa 5, Madrid 28005

Nearest Metro Stations: Vodafone Sol (Lines 1 to 3); Opera (Line 2, Line 5)

Nearest attractions: Mercado San Miguel

2. Casa de la Panaderia

2018_012121_5844_425What houses Madrid City Administration’s tourism office is the Casa de la Panaderia, standing in the middle of Plaza Mayor´s northern part. With porticoes in front and its two sides capped by towers, it advises tourists on which Madrid sights and attractions to visit. Damaged by the 1672 fire, this historical edifice underwent major repair and renovation. Take notice of how a marked portion of its facade is painted by semi-nude, somewhat mythical figures — they are said that to have been painted in order to compliment the rich history of of the city.

Nearest attractions: Casa de la Carniceria (also inside Plaza Mayor), bocadillo restaurants, Chocolateria San Gines

3. Real Casa de Correos

2018_012121_5938_277One of the most popular representatives of the Madrid de los Austrias is the Real Casa de Correos, an imposing building with an open tower, within which hangs a bell. Come midnight of December 31, revelers gather to witness the pealing of the bell 12 times, signaling the start of the New Year.

Direccion: Puerta del Sol

Metro Station: Sol (nearest station), Opera, Sevilla (all three belong to Metro Line 2), Callao (at Plaza de Callao, Metro line 3)

Nearby attractions: Plaza Callao

4. Casa y Torre de los Lujanes

2018_012121_5831_370These edifices have the distinction of being two of the oldest buildings in Madrid. Both are integral parts of the ancient Spanish square found along Casa Mayor called the Plaza de la Villa. The Torre de Lujanes is known to be the former prison of King Francis I, who was captured upon his defeat during the Battle of Pavia of 1525. And indeed, while the place is currently dominated by modern buildings and establishments, the square itself somewhat brings you back to centuries ago when it exudes power and authority.

Location: Within Plaza de la Villa of Austria District, Madrid

Nearest Metro Station: Sol, Opera

Nearby sights and attractions: Plaza de Santa Isabel II, Palacio Real

5. Palacio de Santa Cruz

imageThe old but beautiful edifice of the Austrian dynasty is the Palace of Santa Cruz. Formerly known as the ¨La Carcel de Madrid,¨ it did act as a former prison of the city, with convicted prisoners sent to the Plaza Mayor to be executed. Later on, it was turned into a palace to become a residence of Rey Felipe IV. Palacio de Santa Cruz is currently the home to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.

Plaza Provincia Madrid 28012

Nearby attractions: Parroquia de Santa Cruz, Museo de Jamon

How to go

Metro Stations: Sol (Lines 1,2,3); Tirso de Molina (Line 1); Lavapies (Line 3); Opera (Lines 2,5); Sevilla (Line 2). All stations are a 5 to 15 minute walk to Calle Atocha.

Arco de la Victoria de Moncloa — Madrid’s Victory Arch

2018_032513_0630_156Spain, a country that has enjoyed immense world power and resplendence since centuries ago, is known for its magnificent landmarks and monuments, serving as testaments to such power. One of Spain´s more common monuments is the arch, an imposing structure that is known to stand as either a gateway to a city or a representation of a victory from a war or battle.

The Arco de la Victoria, located in Moncloa, Madrid, is a popular victory arch, and is considered to be one of the breathtaking Spanish arches.

While it is also referred to as the Puerta de la Moncloa, or the Gate of Moncloa, it wasn’t constructed to serve as the entry way to the barrio, much less Madrid. Albeit indeed, the huge arch looms over the area of one of the capital’s main entrance points, right in the midst of of Moncloa-Aravaca’s major thoroughfare, Avenida de la Memoria.

In fact, it was an ambitious project of Franco, the military general who ruled over the so-called Francoist Spain, as a way of reminding the Spaniards of one of his victorious 1936 battles that happened in the country’s then civil war — the battle of Ciudad Universitaria.

People compare it to two magnificent Puerta de Alcala Monument, albeit the latter has more arches, and the Arc de Triomphe of Paris, at Champs-Elysees. Franco commissioned Otero and Bravo Sanfeliu, two of the most celebrated architects of Spain during those times.

One will find on the apex of the structure the likeness of Minerva, riding a green chariot.

Visit the site:

2018_032513_0640_862You will find on the apex of the structure the likeness of Minerva, riding a green chariot

The best way to go there is via the Metro Station. Take either linea 6 or 3, both these lines stop at Moncloa Station. The station is found near the monument itself, along the Arco de la Victoria Avenue. .

What Moncloa landmarks and attractions to see after checking out Arco de la Victoria:

1. Museo de AmericaBe fascinated by this museum, where one can find the best and most extensive array of artifacts and art pieces from the USA and the rest of the Americas.

2. Ejercito del Aire Sprawled in a vast area of land strategically located within the Moncloa District is the former Air Ministry of Spain. Nearby is the Metro station and the observatory station, Faro del Moncloa.

Map:

Madrid’s Fascinating Buildings: Real Casa de Correos

imageReal Casa de Correos is considered as one of the most imposing and grandiose edifices in all of Madrid. It dwarfs all others within Puerta del Sol, one of the city’s most popular squares. Also the oldest building around, the Correos is a major landmark that easily attracts visitors in throngs and busloads from all over, it being located right in the midst of Spain’s most touristy area.

While countless impressive spots are nearby — such as Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Palacio de CibelesPalacio Real, and Plaza de Oriente, Casa de Correos is a major attraction in its own right, one that you must definitely see if you’re touring Madrid.

Built when

The building was the masterful work of Jacques Marquet, who used the Neo-classical style, one of the common architectural designs during those times. Construction dates was from 1760 up to 1768.

Real Casa has always been a government building. It was said to have been a post office in the beginning, hence its Spanish name. Afterwards, it became home to the Ministry of the Interior. At present, it serves as the seat of the Presidency of Community of Madrid (sede de la presidencia dela Comunidad de Madrid).

Kilometer zero

The Kilometro Cero at sidewalk of Real Casa de Correos, Puerta del Sol, MadridAnother reason to visit the Real Casa is the Kilometro Cero. In front of the building’s entrance, embedded on the sidewalk is this historic metal-crafted plaque. This symbol indicates the point leading to the major places in Spain. Kilometer zero is also the starting point of the major streets of Spain. You always measure the distance from this point to any other place in the country. And indeed, you would notice people milling around it, taking photos of their feet as they step on the Kilometer Zero marker.

Christmas tradition

Its best feature is the central tower that bears a 19th Century turret clock, made by the popular Spanish watch creator Losada. The Casa’s tower has always been the central attention of revelers every New Year’s Eve. Everyone gathers at the square, milling in front of the Casa Real, each bearing 12 grapes. It is a tradition to eat a piece of grape for every peal of the bell, continuing until all 12 had been consumed. As the clock strikes 12, the New Year is met by an impressive fireworks display as well as a major revelry throughout the plaza and the whole of Spain. The striking of the clock during New Year’s Eve is televised all around Spain.

imageIt is a popular landmark, especially on December 31 of every year when all roads lead to Plaza del Sol, and the building and clock tower becomes the center of attraction as the countdown to the new year is celebrated.

Location of Real Casa de Correos:

Puerta del Sol 7
28013-Madrid

How to go:

imageMetro Station: Sol (nearest station), Opera, Sevilla (all three belong to Metro Line 2), Callao (at Plaza de Callao, Metro line 3)

 Autobus: Number 51 (from Plaza del Pero and Principe de Vergara), Linea 3 (passes thru Puerta del Sol via Bravo Murillo up to Puerta de Toledo, Bus no 150 (from Principe de Vergara and Santiago de Bernabeu), Line 5 (paradas located along Paseo de Castellana)

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Casa y Torre de Lujanes: Two of Madrid’s Oldest Edifices

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It is a delight to be in the one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Madrid – this is the Madrid de los Austrias. If you still don’t know, the Austrian district is where you’ll find some of the most famous and visited attractions this side of Madrid. On top of the list are Plaza Mayor, the Casa de las Sieta Chimeneas, Royal Convent of the Incarnation, and the Palacio de Santa Cruz.

Another must-see is the Casa and Torre of the Lujanes, also in the Austria District, Madrid. It faces an equally popular and historical building, the Casa de la Villa. The Lujanes edifices are known as two of the oldest buildings in of Madrid. It is said that quite a number of generations of the Lujan family had occupied these buildings as residence.

Staring at the edifices as I stand in the middle of the Plaza de la Villa had me greatly astonished, as I am aware that it is like staring at monuments that had been  witnesses to an invaluable history of Spain of centuries ago.

imageThe Tower of Lujanes, situated along Calle del Codo. It houses the organization called the Real Sociedad Economica Matritense de Amigos del Pais

While the lanky tower’s height is average, did you know that it was once one of Madrid’s tallest buildings. Gaze at its peak and you’ll notice its turret. The design of its door, on the other hand, is obviously Mudejar, which was common style during those days. In fact, both edifices exhibit strong Mudéjar design, an evidence that this Muslim architectural design had been in used during the 15 century and even earlier in Spain.

imageThe sign at the facade of the Casa says “Plaza de la Villa 2 Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Politicas” refering to the group that is currently its tenant

The Casa de los Lujanes, the house, which possesses a patio in its interior, was rendered a major renovation by Juan de Luján during the last part of the 1400´s.

During its time, the Lujanes Tower was considered the tallest in the city. Its height proved to be helpful as the tower was utilized as a telegraphic station between the capital and nearby town Aranjuez.

imageDirectly in front of the two edifices is the Casa dela Villa, the Old Ayuntamiento of Madrid

The Torre de Los Lujanes acted as headquarters to a number of groups such as the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences; the Royal Academy of Natural and Physical Sciences and the Matritense Economic Society of Friends of Spain.

There were interesting stories behind the Tower and Casa, the most popular is that the tower acted as a prison to French King Francis I after he was defeated and captured during the 1525 Battle of Pavia.

Location: Within Plaza de la Villa of Austria District, Madrid

Nearest Metro Station: Sol, Opera

How to find: Finding the Lujanes Tower and House is easy. With the Real Casa de Correos in front of the Puerta del Sol as your starting point, walk along Calle Mayor to its left, passing by Plaza Sn Miguel and Mercado San Miguel, until you reach the buildings along the square’s Calle del Codo.

Entrance: Not open to the general public

Map:

Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto, Arganzuela, Madrid

image Standing on one side of the sprawling Madrid Rio Park, along the Virgen del Puerto road, you will not miss seeing the beautiful hermitage of the same name. In my case, I never fail to appreciate its beauty whenever I ride the C2 autobus, which passes by the vicinity. Indeed, it is such an impressive edifice that the first time that I saw it from afar, I mistook it for a small castle.

Declared as a national monument in the year 1957, Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto is found inside the Madrid Rio Park, along the street of the same name. While many hermitages in Spain are simple and austere, Virgen del Puerto can be described as impressive and solemn at the same time. I often cast glances at the hermitage every time I pass through the paseo, along the length of Madrid, and I must say that it is one of the most stunning building within that area.

Virgen del Puerto hermitage was one of Spanish artist Pedro de Ribera’s edifice-masterpieces, the architect who is also responsible for the creation of other major Spanish Churches such as the San Jose Church, San Cayetano Church, and Nuestra Señora de Montserrat Church.

imageUnfortunately, the holy edifice was not spared during the Spanish Civil war, and it was damaged considerably. To bring it back to its former condition, restoration work was done during the 1950s.

Every year in the month of September, devotees perform a pilgrimage to the hermitage, where many of the participants are city residents of Galician origin. People from all over come to the site of Virgen del Puerto primarily to sell melons. It is for this reason why the pilgrimage feast is also called La Melonera.

Buried within the premises is an important Spanish royalty, the Marquise of Vadillo, who was the mayor of the place during the early 17th century. It was during his term that the hermitage was constructed. The beloved virgin is also recognized as the patroness of the District of Arganzuela.

Nearby Madrid Attractions you can also visit

1. Principe Pio commercial center and Madrid Metro
2. Palacio Real de Madrid: The official residence of the Royal family of Spain.
3. Jardines de Sabatini: A large, beautifual garden nearest the Palacio Rea.
4. Plaza Espana: One of the main squares of the city, near Edificio Madrid and monuments of Cervantes and Don Quijote.
5. Real Teatro: The Opera House of the Spanish capital.

How to go:

imageThe hermitage is easy to reach since it is set strategically within the central area of the city. Its exact address is at Paseo de Virgen del Puerto 4 Madrid. Take the C2 autobus and you can get off at the stop located right in its front. Other EMT Buses that pass through the paseo are 25, 33, 39, 41, and 50.

If you’re not in a hurry and would like to enjoy some leisurely promenade, you can take the Metro Train, and via Linea 6 (Circular Line), alight as you reach the Legaspi station. From here, you will have to enter the Matadero. Here is where you start your trek of the Madrid Rio until you reach the hermitage, which is located more or less halfway thru the park. You may also opt to take the Linea 10, and get off at Principe Pio, which is on the opposite side.
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Ejercito del Aire, Moncloa-Aravaca Madrid

imageOne of the most important buildings or monuments within the district of Moncloa is the Ejercito del Aire. It was formerly called the Ministerio del Aire or the Air Ministry of Spain. I never miss it whenever I ride the C1 autobus since calle Romero Robledo is part of its route. I also pass through it whenever I travel to nearby towns that could be reached via buses stationed at Moncloa.

imageCurrently the main headquarters of the country’s Air Force, the military agency’s office was previously responsible for the country’s civil and military air force, particularly during 1939 up to 1977. In the same year, under the reign of Adolfo Suarez, the then Ministry of Defense consisted of the Navy, Army and Air Force.
image The Cuartel General of the Air Force prides itself of having its headquarters within one of Moncloa District’s most impressive palaces, which stands near the Moncloa Gateway or the Victory Arch. It sprawls along the end northern portion of Calle de la Princesa.
imageImpreesive facade of Oficina de Atencion al Ciudadano of Moncloa-Aravaca’s Línea Madrid, right in front of the Victory Arch, or Arco de la Victoria and near the Air Force Headquarters

imageIt is also known as the Monasterio del Aire, because of its resemblance to the edifice found in a popular say trip destination, San Lorenzo El Escorial. Notice in the photo how people are everywhere; there is obviously a dense traffic of pedestrians within the vicinity. It is because not only is Moncloa filled with public and business offices, but it is also known as a university district.

How to go:

Address–Calle Romero Robledo 8 28008 Madrid

It is easy to reach the Ejercito del Aire ministry building. Such is massive and imposing that it is hardly to be miss whenever you are within the vicinity. The best way is via the Moncloa Metro train, the main station of which is right in front of the building. An access gate to the Metro is located right in the sidewalk of the Ministry.

Nearby Moncloa Madrid attractions

1. Museum of tthe Americas – Where museum lovers will be thrilled to find a great variety of arts and archeaologicw finds and ollections coming from the Americaw.

2. Arco de la Victoria – gateway to the city built by Francisco Franco, a monument that symbolizes Franco’s victory in a battle during the country’s civil war, 1936 Ciudad Universitaria battle

3. Faro de Moncloa – located in Avenida Reyes Catolicos with Plaza de Moncloa, it is also called The Faro de Moncloa is also known Torre de Iluminacion y Comunicaciones de Madrid.

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Palacio de las Cortes de Espana – Home to the Spanish Congress of Deputies

imageGreat things abound that make Madrid a place to marvel at, they include the beautiful and majestic public offices found all around the city. Tall, sprawling, and possess impressive architectural designs — these are the qualities that the country’s government buildings have in common.

A fine example is the headquarters of the Congreso de los Diputados or the lower chamber of Spain’s legislative beanch, located at the Carretera de San Jeronimo. The Congress of Deputies in English, this branch of the Spanish Parliament is housed at the Palacio de las Cortes de Espana, the single most important edifice at the Plaza de las Cortes,

imageIt boasts of a grand design highlighted by the six columns in its entrance that lends strength to its dacade. The building is touted as one of the best examples of the city’s neoclassical architecture.

It is relatively new compared to other buildings in Madrid, having only been constructed in 1843 under the helm the Spanish architect Narciso Pascual Colomer and during the reign of Reina Isabel II. Still, the palace boasts of interesting stories about it, like its location being the former site of a convent. Needless to say, the Congress headquarters is one of the reasons the Carretera de San Jerónimo enjoys an influx of tourists throughout the day.

imageRenowned architect Pascual y Colomer is responsible for the neoclassical style of the building, while the attractive relief found in the upper front is a creation of sculptor Ponciano Ponzano. The most popular portion of the relief is the depiction of a lady with a girl on her side. Ponzano is also responsible for sculpting the two bronze lions found by the building’s staircase. His other creations are figures that represent various aspects of the state, such as Justice and Peace, Agriculture, and Fine Arts.

It is easy to reach Palacio de las Cortes since it is connected to Puerta del Sol via San Jeronimo street. It is also near other important tourist spots of Madrid such as Prado Museum,Puerta del Sol, Atocha station, Reina Sofia Museum,Plaza de Espana, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Cibeles Palace.

Opening hours:

Lion in front of Palace of the CourtsIndividual visits: Congreso de los Diputados is open to the public during Saturdays. Visiting time is from 10:30AM to 12:30PM. Schedule may change during the month of August, depending on the official activities.

Group visits: Guided tours are scheduled from Monday to Friday, 9:00AM to 2:30PM and 4:00PM to 6:30PM. Time of visit may change during August, depending on scheduled official activities. Reservation is a must for guided tours.

Address:

Calle de Floridablanca, 28071 Madrid

How to Reach:

Long shot of Palacio de los CortesThe best way to get to the site is via Madrid Metro, with Sevilla, Banco de Espana, and Vodafone Sol as the nearest stations

Autobus: 3, 5, 9, 10, 15, 20, 34, 37, 45, 46, 52, 53, 203, 150

Admission

Enttance is Free, however visitors are required to present and ID or passport.

Map:

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Madrid Attraction: Biblioteca Nacional de España

imposing national museum of SpainThe library’s facade turns yellow when kissed by the rays of the afternoon sun. If you’re someone with a great fondness for beautiful edifice, the biblioteca is one you will marvel at.

Have you ever been to the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid? If you’re going to the direction of Plaza de Cibeles and Barrio Atocha via Paseo de la Castellana and Recoletos, you certainly will not miss it due to its sheer size and magnificence. The National Library of Spain in English, it is the largest library of the country, and one of the largest in the world.

The building is right in the corner of the paseo immediately after crossing the Plaza de Colon. In front is the Museo de Cera and Colon Metro Station.

Wealth of resources at Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid

The library boasts of large collections of books, documents, and reading resources. More than 26 million items are found in its keep;these are mainly 15 million books, thousands of “revistas” and journals, and various forms of manuspcripts and printed materials. It also possesses numerous items in different medium types such as audiovisuals, sounds and music scores, and electronic-based documents.

The library’s collections are overflowing that the items which could not be accommodated here are sent to an extention library located in Alcalá de Henares campus. The latter must be an appropriate choice for the library’s extenstion site since Alcala de Henares is considered to be the university town of the Communidad de Madrid.

Enjoy the Services of the National Library of Spain

While most public libraries in Madrid, and Spain as a whole, offer loan privileges, this is not the case with the National Library. In order to enjoy access to designated books and various library resources, you need to obtain a reader’s or researcher’s card.

Q1. What is a Readers Card?
Once you acquire your own Card, this affords you the basic privilege to borrow books.

Q2. What is the validity duration of the card?
It is valid for 3 years.

Q3. What are the requirements when applying for one?
You must present any of these legal documents: national identity card, residence permit, valid passport, driver’s license.

You can also apply for a card thru its website. Upon the approval of your application, you may claim your card at the library upon presenting any of the required ID’s.

Needless to say, Biblioteca Nacional is no ordinary library; but clearly, it reaches out to as many would-be users as possible, ensuring its easy accessibility via its Reader card.

Library Museum

Did you know that the Library has its own museum? 

Known before as the Book Museum, its task is to aid the library in providing the maximum educational, cultural, and recreational benefits to users and visitors. It also offers the public valuable information on the library’s history, operations, and various resources.

The museo’s collections include a number of valuable artistic and cultural pieces such as paintings and sculptures, and items that pertain to books, reading, and education, like typewriters and equipment used in the making of books.

imageThe library was built in 1712 during the administration of then King of Spain Philip V

imageThe Statue of Alfonso X, or Alfonso the Wise, stands on the entrance staircase of the building. He was the 13th-century ruler of Castile and Leon

imageBeside Alfonso X’s statue is that of San Isidoro. It is advisable to secure your own reader card to take full advantage of the benefits of being a borrower

imageIf you are a bibliophile, Spain’s national library is the best place for you to hang out and enjoy any of the immense reading resources that offers

Nacional Library of SpainOne of the two main gates of the building in front of Paseo Recoleto

How to go to the extention site:

Direccion: Meco, Alcalá de Henares, 28805 Madrid

By autobus: In Madrid, take bus number 227; upon reaching the town, take autobus 12, 250, 2

By Train: Ride the Renfe Cercanías Lines C2 and C7

Horarios:

Library hours: Mondays to Fridays: 9AM to 9PM; Saturdays: 9AM to 2PM

Museum hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays: From 10AM to 9PM; Sundays: 10AM to 2PM

Please refer to the website (by clicking at the link below) for any possible changes in the opening hours.
Admission: Entrance is Free

Library’s Website

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Casa de la Villa, Ayuntamiento de Madrid [Old Town Hall]

imageWe all know that the Palacio de Cibeles is the City of Madrid´s current Ayuntamiento or town hall, where its administrative functions and duties are performed. However, not many might be aware that the original town hall of the city is found near the Puerta del Sol, along Calle Mayor. It’s name is Casa de la Villa — and it is often referred to as the Old Town Hall of Madrid.

It is easily the most visited building among those found within the Plaza de la Villa, and early in the morning, throngs of people would already flock to the square and appreciate this beautiful Juan Gomez de Mora-designed edifice. There’s no doubt that Casa dela Villa is very popular if only for its historical importance as the city’s former main headquarters and town hall.

The monument is easy to reach since it is in a stragetic location, being situated between two popular Madrid squares — the Plaza de Oriente and Puerta del Sol and just along a street tourists and locals must know. The square is full with rich history itself, acting as the site of various important events that occured during the ancient, Renaissance period of Madrid. Its former name is Plaza de San Salvador, after the Church that bears the same name.

imageStately facade of the Town hall impresses many visitors and tourists. Not only did it function as a town hall, but Casa de la Villa was once designated as a jailhouse for the city´s prisoners

Plaza de la Villa Madrid, SpainIn honor of the death of famous Captain General Alvaro de Bazan, a bronze monument was sculpted by Mariano Benlliure and erected in the middle of the square, right in front of the town hall. On its pedestal are words by Lope de Vega honoring him. Bazan was the Captain who commandeered the Spanish Armada. imageHouse of Cisneros used to  be a palace from the 16th century and was built under Jimenez de Cisneros, the nephew of Cardinal Cisneros. The latter was the founder and builder of the Universidad de Alcala, found in the Comunidad de Madrid town of Alcala de Henares. Various renovations were done in the property, which included connecting the building with the Old City Hall via a short enclosed walkway.
imageThe enclosed walkway between Casas de Cisneros and de la Villa, serving as a connection or bridge between the two edifices
imageThe bridge that connects the House of Cisneros to the Old Town Hall was built during the early part of the 1900’s. The narrow street that traverses between the two buildings and below the enclosed walkway is called the Calle Madrid. It is connected to other small streets; these are Calle del Rollo and Calle Duque de Najera

imageThe House and Tower of the Lujanes take pride in having two of the oldest Madrileno architectural designs — these are the Gothic and Mudejar styles. The tower is said to be the older of the two structures; it has been in existence since the start of the 15th century. Originally the home to Gonzalo Garcia, it was acquired by Pedro de Luján in 1450

imagePlaza de la Villa is considered to be of high historical value since it is the focal point of ancient Madrid, being the site of the seat of old city´s administrative power – Casa de la Villa. It was here where streets found in the city´s old and original layout are connected — Calles Madrid, Cordon, and El Codo

imageThe facade of the building that faces the Calle Mayor. On its immediate side is the Palacio Marques Canete, or the Centro Sefarad. Just nearby is the building of the Italian Cultural Institute.

Want to see Casa de la Villa?

If you want to know more about the monument and perhaps see its interior, the best time to visit is Mondays at 5 PM, when a tour is held for visitors, and conducted in Spanish and English.

How to find Casa de la villa

Direccion: Plaza de la Villa 5, Madrid 28005

The historic edifice-monument is easy to reach: From Puerta del Sol or the Opera, walk the length of Calle Mayor until you reach Plaza de la Villa, at Number 5. The site is near two Madrid attractions, which incidentally are both Palaces, or at least named as such. These are the Palacio Marques de Canete, or the Centro Sefarad Israel (located immediately after the Casa) and Palacio de Abrantes or the Italian Cultural Institute (right in front of it).

Nearest Metro Stations: Vodafone Sol (Lines 1 to 3); Opera (Line 2, Line 5)
Auto buses near the site: Numbers 3, 20, 33, 39, 50 to 53, and 150

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