Category Archives: Madrid Monumentos

Museo de America, Madrid (Museum of the Americas)

Across the upper portion of its distinct-looking facade is a large sign that bears its name. The building is every inch majestic that it is sure to catch the people´s attention, or just about everyone who passes by. It certainly got mine the few times the auto bus I was in passed through the area as I was en route to a few day trip destinations, like Segovia and El Escorial). Its grand and imposing edifice sprawled in a wide area of land along Ave. de los Reyes Catolicos is definitely worth a second look.

imageMadrid, indeed, bursts in so much art and culture, ready for everyone to experience and enjoy by way of the numerous museums scattered all around the city. The Avenue of the Catholic Kings is proud to be the site of one of the city’s major museums, the Museo de America, or the Museum of the Americas. Possessing a stately and solemn stance, I would have mistaken it for a basilica or a cathedral were ir not for the large name on its facade that identifies it.

The earliest collections procured and displayed within was initiated by Carlos III way back in 1771; this was the time when early excavations and archaelogical work were done in the American continent.

imageThe museum is one of the finest in Madrid to explore since it has within its collection countless pieces of artistic, cultural, archaeological, and even religious artifacts and valuable historical items, all of which come from every corner of the American continents.

All in all, 25,000 items belong to the museums collection, with some of the most valuable ones included in the collection of the Royal Cabinet of Natural History. Through the years, the museo became more established, and earned the reputation of being one of the most respectable Madrid Museums. As such, more and more donors from the far corners of the world contribute to making its collections richer and more diverse.

imageCeramics, vases, urns and similar vessels, helmets and headgears, paintings and other forms of artworks — visitors are assured of a wide variety of artifacts and antiquities to be seen and apprecated at the museum. Museo de America is certainly a must-see, whether you are an individual with a great curiosity on American antiquities or an avid history lover. Many of the items in the collections were donations from other prestigious museums and similar institutions.
imageIn the museum grounds stands a huge stone equestrian statue. You can see the museo in the background
imageYou can also find a rectangular pond with a statue of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (with inscribed description, Discubridor del Pacifico, or Discoverer of the Pacific in English) standing on one end

Direccion: You may visit the museum at Avenida de los Reyes Catolicos 6, Madrid

Horarios: : Museo de America is open from Tuesday to Saturdays, 9:30 Am to 3:00 PM and closed on Mondays

How to go: The museum is a few hundred meters away from Plaza de Moncloa. You can take the Madrid Metro and get off at Moncloa Station, via Linea 3 and Linea 6 – Circular. Take Avenida Plaza de la Moncloa, along which you will also find the Faro de Moncloa. The site is at the corner of Avenidas Victoria and de los Reyes Catholico. If you want to go via auto bus, available EMT lineas are 2, 44, 46, 61, 113, 132, 133

Nearby Madrid Attractions and landmarks:

1. Arco de la Victoria – You´ll never miss this tall monument if you´re passing by Moncloa. It is also considered a city gateway like those found at Toledo and Alcala; hence, it is called La Puerta de Moncloa.

2. Quartel General del Ejercito del Aire – the headquarters of the Spanish Air Force, a major landmark within the Moncloa-Aravaca district

3. Faro de Moncloa – observe and marvel at the city via a bird´s eye view — this you can achieve by climbing up the almost 100-meter high observation tower called Faro. Be awed by various Madrid attractions from up high – such as the Palacio Real, the Columbus Towers, and even as distant as the mountain ranges of the Guadarramas. It´s definitely worth your time — try to drop by before or after you made your visit to the Museo de America.

Admission Prices: 3 euros (regular) and 1.50 euros (reduced price)

When is admission free?
Entry to the museum is free during Sundays, the 18th of April and May, October 12 (National Day of Spain, and December 6 (Spain´s Constitution Day). Minors, students, and individuals over the age of 65 can also enter for free

Official Website of the museum

Map:

Parque el Buen Retiro’s Monumento a Alfonso XII

In front of El Retiro Park, Madrid‘s huge and rectangular-shaped Estanque Grande del Retiro, which is also referred to as the Great Pond by the distinguished Spanish architect Cristobal de Aguilera, is the magnificent monument of Alfonso XII. 

The statue is located halfway of the pond’s side adjacent to Plaza de Maestra Villa, within its eastern portion. The statue towers over everything else and is seemingly looking over the wide expanse of the estanque. The latter itself is an important part of the park in that it boasts of a rich Spanish history that started from Phillip IV’s reign, where it served as a recreational venue for the royals and their court to ride the boats and fish.

It was in 1902 when the plan to build a monument to Alfonso XII was formed. Consequently, a contest endorsed by then Queen Maria Cristina that would determine the architect for the monument project was held, with architect Grases Riera as the eventual winner.

The equestrian statue of Alfonso XI is made in bronze and known to be one of the tallest and largest structures inside the park.  The middle of the last century saw the structure being neglected, allowing it to deteriorate. It was in the 80’s when restoration were done. A number of statues and figures nearby also had to be replaced as part of the restoration.

Visit Alfonso XII Monument at El Retiro Park:

Today, no visit to El Retiro Park should be made without visiting the monument. You will not miss it, in the first place, since the estangue is near the main entrance to the park, the Puerta de Alcala. Walk towards Calle Nicaragua, along which is the front portion of the pond. You will have to take either Paseo del Estangue or Paseo de Valenzuela to reach the statue on the other side.

Near Puerta de Alcala is the Retiro Madrid Metro of Linea 2, which is right inside the park itself. From the station is a short walk to Fuente de los Galapagos and Paseo del Enstanque.

Nearby park sites and attractions:

Palacio de Velazquez, Palacio de Cristal, Cecilio Rodriguez Gardens

imageSunny day, blue skies with wispy clouds here are there — it was indeed a perfect morning to visit the Monument of Alfonso XII at Buen Retiro Park in Madrid

imageI was lucky to have chanced upon the spacious area in front of the equestrian statue as still empty. I could only presume that as the day progresses, it will be filled with tourists excited to take shots of the monument and the pond.

imageI took this shot of the estanque and the monument of Alfonso XII one early morning, and so the quiet and tranquility in the place is still apparent. The estanque was said to have been a witness to a number of Spanish kings and their entourage proudly displaying their gondolas as they wade through them, while at the same time, music was being played.

imageIn this picture is one of the four lions carved out of stone materials, fine masterpieces by exceptional artists, Pedro Estany and Agapit Vallmitjana Abarca. They are placed near the steps that lead to the central monument. Also nearby are four mermaids in various positions; such statues are creations of Parera Saurina, Coll y Pi, Rafael Atche, and Antoni Alsina.

imageAt the back of the monument are ionic columns forming a  beautiful collonade that further enhanced the Alfonso XII monument. These structures were also constructed by Pedro Estany. The steps beneath the statue are often used by visitors and tourists to sit around and stay while waiting for the setting of the sun.

Map:

Hospital de Maudes of Chamberi, Madrid [Sta Maria del Silencio]

imageTravel blogs have lauded this former Madrid hospital for the labourers as one of the most eccentric yet beautiful edifices in the city. I definitely agree with them. Its name is long, Hospital de Jornaleros de San Francisco de Paula; this alone makes you feel it is special. Hospital de Maudes for short,  its impressive white-and-brownish hued facade and stately towers give off a royal vibe.

At least once a week, I never fail to take a short eight-minute (as how I timed it) walk that starts from El Corte Ingles at the corner of Paseo de Castellana and Raimundo Fernandez Villaverde and ends at Cuatro Caminos, or vice versa. And when I do, this building located midway always earns from me a long, bewildered gaze.

Is Hospital de Maudes really a hospital or a church?

I am at a loss about the true “identity” of the Maudes Hospital. Is it really one, when if viewed from afar, it appears to be abandoned? It doesn´t look busy like any typical hospital rendering medical services.

And so I thought I needed to do some sleuthing by visiting the building myself. Going there is easy — Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos, a busy roundabout, is four Metro stops away from Valdeacederas station, which is a few blocks from my place.

Upon reaching the Glorieta, I turned to Fernandez Villaverde and walked its sidewalk down to the spot where I could take some long shots of the building. I also had to take pictures from close range, which meant walking back to the glorieta in order to cross Villaverde street and access the opposite sidewalk.

As I approached the building, I realized it wasn’t a hospital but a church. However, since it was mid-afternoon, the gates were closed and the main front doors shut. I was almost sorry about the glum surroundings.

After taking pictures, I walked to the back of the building, and discovered that this portion faces a street called Calle de Maudes. It became clear that it was named after its location.

A large sign, “Comunidad de Madrid” is posted on the facade, and this got me more confused. Is it a hospital? A church? Or did they turn it to a government agency of sorts?

I noticed a security officer was around, walking and checking the premises, occasionally stopping in front of the gate to observe people passing by. I notice he looked at me as I took pictures from the outside, but he didn’t seem to mind my presence and continued his unhurried gait around. All the while I took shots, I waited for him to venture near the grilled fence.

Finally, he did. This signaled me to field my questions about the building, to which he graciously responded.

Parroquia Santa Maria del Silencio

He explained that the original building was constructed to serve as a hospital, providing medical and health services to the laborers of the city.

Eventually, the property was divided, the part facing Raimundo Fernandez Villaverde now serves as a church, known as the Parroquia Sta Maria del Silencio, the Parish church for the deaf. (This church primarily serves the spiritual needs of people with hearing disabilities.) The other half located along Calle de Maudes Site operates as a government office.

I thanked the security guy profusely for his efforts to enlighten me as far as Hospital de Maudes’s current function is concerned. [I couldn’t remember the number of times I uttered “Como” and “Mas despacho, por favor” as he spoke entirely in Spanish].

Now, I see the building differently, having learned about its history and function as well (a noble one at that). I don’t think of it now as a beautiful building gone to waste but a Palacios masterpiece that has more than served its purpose.

imageThe edifice is currently under the administration of the Comunidad de Madrid.

imageOriginally a hospital that served laborers and workers of the city, the part of the building complex facing Villaverde is now a Church, Santa Maria del Silencio

imageThe Maudes edifice along Calle de Raimundo Fernandez Villaverde

imageNotice how the towers of the buildings have a strong resemblance to those belonging to the Palacio de Cibeles, mainly because both buildings were creations of the same Spanish architect, Antonio Palacio

imageThe beautiful facade of the hospital / church, as seen from the steps of Calle de Ciceron

Facts and trivia

1. Antonio Palacios, the Spanish architect of Hospital de Maudes and Cibele Palace, had a significant part in the construction of a number lineas of Metro de Madrid, designing the entrances to the stations.

2. Year 2016 marks its centenary, since construction was finished in 1916. A beautiful website, Palacio de Maudes, is dedication to its 100-year celebration.

3. The government agency currently housed at the Maudes part of the building is the Consejería de Transportes, Vivienda y Infraestructura, or the Ministry of Transportation, Housing and Infrastructure.

4. The owner of the land on which the building was built is Dona Dolores Romero. She ordered the creation of a hospital specifically meant to welcome city laborers needing medical attention but didn’t have the financials means to pay for it. The hospital was tasked to admit and retain patients up to their full recovery and restored ability to return to work.

How to reach Hospital de Maudes

Hospital de Maudes is found in one of bustling neighborhoods of Madrid, a few hundred meters away from the Glorieta de Cuatro Caminos. Immediate streets are Bravo Murillo and Paseo de Castellana, both of which intersect Calle Fernandez Villaverde, the street where it is found. Important landmarks nearby are El Corte Ingles and the the Governnment office, Nuevos Ministerios.

Nearest Metro Stations: N. Ministerios, Bravo Murillo

Autobus paradas: C1, C2, 149, 40, 5, 27

Map:

(If you have to upload or embed the map of Hospital de Maudes on your own blog or website, don’t search the key phrase Hospital de Maudes, but go for “Santa Maria del Silencio” instead, which is how they refer to the building on Google Maps.)

Madrid Attraction: The Crystal Palace of Buen Retiro Park

imageI’m having a break from my day trip adventures, even if I admit I always have the best times whenever I go to these beautiful nearby towns, the last being Avila, Manzanares el Real and Chincon. These three Spanish pueblos are such fascinating Spanish pueblos I advise everyone to also visit and explore.

But for now, time to focus again on the city proper and feature yet another entrancing Madrid attraction. This morning, I found myself in front of the Puerta de Alcala, in front of the city´s premier park. Entering through the park’s entrance in front of the Plaza de la Independencia, I’m set to visit a popular edifice within — beautiful park attraction.

Palacio de Cristal de Retiro

Crystal Palace is located at Madrid, Spain‘s premier park and garden, the Buen Retiro Park. The edifice is located along Paseo de Cuba, and a popular venue for various exhibits featuring various forms of arts and culture. Its very first exhibit happened in the 1887’s international exhibition, when it housed a wide variety of plants and animals from the Philippines.

What is the building of the Crystal Palace made of?

Main construction components are metal and glass, with the latter abundantly used as walls and ceilings to allow sufficient sunshine to to pass through. Consequently, this provides ample natural lighting inside the palace.

If only for the glass-and-metal make of the building, this renders the Crystal as one of the most attractive spots of the Retiro Park. Needless to say, the edifice-monument is one of the reasons why throngs of people are enticed to visit the park every day.

imageThe lush flora, the fountain in the midst of the pond, the pond itself, and the tiny water falls in the background — they all add to the beauty to the surroundings of the palace

Because of the lush greenery that surrounds the area, as well as the pond found in its front, the outdoor surrounding of the palace is as enjoyable to walk around as its interior. The tall and thick flora provides cool shade for people to enjoy as they pass through the palace and its vicinity. The pond is home to some wild ducks swimming in its water, which is a warm, interesting scene to enjoy.

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How to go to Crystal Palace

The edifice is royal and stately in appearance, which is why it was named a palace, in the first place. I was utterly mesmerized the first time I went there. And since then, I’ve been to the site for as much as I can, whenever I am in the area of Alcala or Puerta del Sol. The tranquility of the surroundings, the  pond, the ducks floating in the water, the fountain, and the palace itself have a calming effect, and so, I always come out of the park as devoid of tiredness and totally refreshed. Take some time to visit the Crystal Palace yourself, I assure you it will be worth your while.

Direccion de Palacio de Cristal: Inside the Buen Retiro Park, you can reach the site via Paseo Republica de Cuba or Paseo Fernan Nunez

Nearby Retiro sites: Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez, Palacio de Velazquez

Horario: Open from 10AM to 10PM

Map:

Arch Monuments: Magnificent Madrid Attractions

Madrid, Spain, like most other European cities, is rich in history, culture and arts. This is evident in the numerous significant monuments and and structures in various parts of the city, many are intended to commemorate a significant event or an individual in the distrito or barrio where they are found.  Others serve to represent or honor the place or the whole city itself. A popular type of monument is the arch, and the two most common reasons for being is to serve as a gateway to the city or celebrate a major victory in a battle.

The following are some of the popular arch monuments within the Spanish capital:

Puerta de Toledo

imageOne of the most visited Madrid attractions is the Puerta de Toledo, an impressive monument located in the heart of the city. It is near Gloriette de Embajadores and Lavapies. It took 15 long years for builders to finish this grand structure. Done in the early 19th century, it is actually considered as a new monument, since many others like it date as far back as the 1500’s. Still the Toledo Gate is special since it bears the official emblem of Madrid.

And like other important statues, a number sits on top of the monument – all of which represents the powerful reign of the kings of Spain during the medieval period. A fitting honor has been bestowed upon the well-loved structure – it was labelled in 1996 as a Bien de Interes Cultural.

How to go: The easiest way is via Madrid Metro. Like linea 5 and get off at Puerta de Toledo station. C2, C1 are two of the many auto-buses that passes through the monument.

Puerta de Alcala

imagePuerta de Alcala will surely pop up into one’s mind when asked which monument is most associated with the city of Madrid. Indeed, it strongly represents the city as far as Spanish history and culture are concerned. Finished in 1778 by Senor Francisco Sabatini, the architect who was also responsible for the Sabatini Gardens.

Where can the monument be found? It is right in the middle of the Independence square (Plaza de la Independencia), standing at the starting point of Calle de Alcala. It is also near the Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro), and so this Madrid attraction is good enough reason to drop by Alcala.

How to go:

Metro: Take linea 2 and alight at Retiro atation. From here, proceed to the park gate fronting the Puerta de Alcala.

Bus: Autobus No. 51 stops at the parade in Plaza de la Independencia, in front of the monument.

Arco de la Victoria

imageStanding proudly within the vicinity of Moncloa is the Arco de la Victoria – one of the majestic arch monuments of Madrid. Francisco Franco ordered the building of the structure in 1950, as a way of remembering the strongman´s victory in one of his battles during the Civil War of Spain, the Battle of Ciudad Universitaria, in 1936.

Also called the Puerta de la Moncloa, the Victory Arch of Madrid was not built to serve as a gateway to the city; but instead, it is triumphal in nature. It has a resemblance to the Puerta de Alcala, and was constructed by prolific Spanish architects Bravo Sanfeliu and Lopez Otero. Conspicuous among the sculptures on top is that of Minerva.

How to go:

Metro: Opt for line 3 or 6, and get off at Moncloa Station. You will find it standing in the middle of Avenida de Arco de la Victoria.

Puerta de San Vicente

IMG_0003Another brilliant work by Francesco Sabatini, acting as a significant gateway to Madrid is the Puerte de San Vicente. It is in the middle of the Glorietta de San Vicente, while the most popular landmark nearby is the Principe Pio Metro train station and shopping center. This 3-arched monument, which is also called Puerta de Florida and Puerta del Angel, displays the statue of San Vicente, hence the name. Pedro Ribera was commissioned by then mayor of 1726 Marquis de Badillo to build the structure as a replacement to a old gateway.

How to go:

The glorietta is just a stone´s throw away from the Principe Pio station and mall. It is also near the Jardines de Campo del Moro at Paseo Virgen del Puerto.

Royal Palace of Madrid – Jewel of Spain

imageSimply put, Spain is one of the best vacation options here in Europe, whether you’re traveling as an individual or flying in with your family or friends. What’s interesting about the country is that impressive attractions are not only found in Madrid, its capital, and other large cities, but also in small towns, barrios, and pueblos. One of the major attractions to see is the Palacio Real Madrid — once the residence of the Familia Real de Espana, and now a sought-after museum and considered by many as the  royal jewel of Spain.

Royal Palace of Madrid

imageIf you’re looking for some royal Spanish history to soak into, a must-see within the vibrant city of Madrid is the Royal Palace. Under the administration of the Ministry of the President’s Patrimonio National, it was once the  residence of the Spanish royal family. These days, however,  it functions as a venue for official ceremonies and  events.

Interesting Facts about Palacio Real de Madrid

imageDid you know that the palace covers a wide area of roughly 135,000 square meters? This easily renders it as one of the largest in Europe. It has about 2,800 lavishly decorated rooms, a good number of which the public has access to for general viewing. Entry of visitors is via the Plaza de la Armeria side of the palace.

imageHere are some other important trivia about the royal edifice:

1. Palaces built by the Moors are scattered all over Spain, including Madrid. In fact, it was an Alcazar or Moorish castle/fortress that once stood in the palace’s current location.

2. After the fortress was destroyed by a fire in the 18th Century, Spain’s ruler then, King Philips V, had reconstruction work done with the new design of the palace patterned loosely after France’s own extravagant palace – the Versailles.

3. It was the  royal residence up to 1931, when the King and his family decided to take residence at the Palacio de la Zarzuela, located in the outskirts of the capital. The the Real Palacio, it is under the administration of Spain’s Patrimonio Nacional.

image4. Reconstruction was started by Italian architect Filippo Juvarra and finished by another architect, Francesco Sabatini. The latter, also from Italy, was likewise the designer of the famous Jardines de Sabatini, the official royal garden.

5. A strong rival to top Spanish museums, on display everywhere the palace are a rich collection of gold and silver items, expensive jewels, luxurious furniture, and a wide array of valuable painting from revered artists like Velazquez, Giordano and Goya.

6. The Royal Palace of Madrid has a coveted location within Madrid, if I must say. It is near charming and quaint plazas, the Plaza del Oriente and Plaza de Isabel II and beautiful and luscious gardens, the Sabatini Gardens and Campo del Moro. It has one of the most spectacular Spanish churches in its front, the Almudena Cathedral, the underground museum Museo de los Canos del Peral that’s situated at Madrid Metro Opera, and a good choice of cafes and restaurantes within the vicinity.

Nearby Madrid Attractions

imageAlmudena Catedral, or Sta Maria la Real de La Almudena, Madrid’s Catholic Cathedral

imagePlaza del oriente, the square fronting the Royal Palace
imageStatue of Philips IV and his horse, located in the midst of Plaza del Oriente
imageTeatro Real Madrid (also known as the Royal Thetre) borders the Plaza del Oriente and fronts the palace

imageJardines de Sabatini, an integral part of the palace, sprawls on its northern portion

imageChalet de la Reina at Campo del Moro, a garden beside the palace and located at Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto

Easily, Madrid is filled with museums, plazas, alcazars, and churches. Not only does this afford vacationers the chance to a once-in-a-lifetime vacation; but the city also allows everyone to have a deeper knowledge of the rich Castilian history and culture. And if indeed, you’re staying in the city even for just a few days, do pass by the Royal Palace of Madrid.

Now touted as one of the city’s major museums, thousands upon thousands of visitors go to the site every year. Needless to say, the Palacio Real Madrid is one of the most precious monuments the city has ever possessed.

Opening Hours:

October to March – 10AM to 6PM
April to September – 10AM to 8PM

Royal Palace Madrid Tickets – Admission Prices and Admission Fees

General Admission: 11 euros

Reduced price of 6 euros: Available to children aged 5 to 16, seniors of EU and Latin American countries aged over 65, students under the age of 25

Free admission: Available to children below five years old, teachers, people with disability, and unemployed persons.

You may also gain free access if you go to the site from Monday to Thursday, starting at 4PM up to 6PM (months of October through March); and the same days, from 6PM to 8PM (from April to September). This is applicable only to EU and Latin American citizens.

How to go:

Direccion: Calle de Bailen, Madrid
Nearest Metro Station: Opera (next nearest is Vodafone Sol)

Mapa:

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:

Jose Rizal Monument, Avenida Filipinas: A Madrid Attraction in its own Right

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There’s one place in the city that is more Filipino than any other Madrid attraction, and indeed, it’s a destination of sorts for expatriates and tourists from the Philippines and other countries — this is the Monumento a Jose Rizal. This must be the reason why many Pinoys are found around Glorietta de Cuatro Camino and Bravo Murillos — those hot spots for Filipinos and other Asian nationals are just a few blocks away from the avenue where the monument is found — Avenida de Filipinas. That’s right, the Philippines is one of the many countries honored by the City of Madrid in this manner.

By the way, not only does the country lends its name to a busy city thoroughfare; but also to a Madrid Metro station – the Metro Islas de Filipinas.

Jose Rizal was put to death by firing squad in December 30th of 1896 in the former Bagumbayan, the park now known as Luneta. His life, albeit short, was nonetheless colorful and impressive. He was a scholar, writer, linguist, a lover of sports, and a doctor.   He studied in the top universities of Manila, and other cities abroad like Madrid, Berlin, and Paris. We can say that he was well-traveled and loved to do so, having visited and stayed in quite good number of European countries.

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But above all else, he possessed this great respect and adoration for his country. In his monument was a marker or plaque, upon which is etched the Mi Ultimo Adios, the last poem (written in Spanish) that the Filipino hero wrote before his execution. The poem clearly conveyed his professed unconditional love for his country.

Filipinos in Madrid, led by the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, visit the monument during important occasions, like Rizal’s birth and death anniversaries, and commemorate them by performing wreath-laying ceremonies.

Indeed, Pinoys are proud that Spain chooses to express its great respect and admiration for our own national hero with the erection of such a beautiful monument in the midst of the city.

Rizal Walking Tour, Madrid Attraction

imageBust of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on display at the Philippine Embassy, Calle Eresma 2, Madrid.

And while you’re at it, why don’t you try to learn more about the national hero, particularly that part of his life when he was here in Madrid? Perhaps you are a historian, a student of Philippine history, or simply a great admirer of Jose Rizal — if so, then click and visit the walking tour link here. This webpage is very useful as it offers valuable information on how the Philippine hero was like then when he lived in Spain.

The web page, which is a part of the official website of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, provides a list of buildings, restaurants, streets, and universities that were associated with the hero.  Two of the most popular places are Parque del Buen Retiro, the city’s popular park and Rizal’s favorite place of rest, and the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he is said to have taken a short course in painting.

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Direccion:

Avenida de Filipinas and Calle Santander, Madrid (Near Parque de Santander and Estadio Vallehermoso

Via Madrid transport:

Take Metro Linea 7 and get off at Islas Filipinas Station; Ride the Autobus 2 that runs from Plaza Manuel Becerra and Ave. de Reina Victoria and alight at Parada Vallehermoso – Avenida Filipinas