The Monument to Philip IV in Madrid

Madrid is a popular tourist destination regardless of the time of the year. Nice weather during the entire year is perfect for sightseeing during an enjoyable visit. What make Madrid so popular are numerous cultural sites and historic monuments that represent city’s history.

Since this is a large metropolitan city, visited by millions of tourists every year, there are plenty accommodation facilities to host the tourists, in different parts of the city. You will not have trouble finding Madrid apartments for rent using the Internet.

With plenty of monuments and museums, you will spend a lot of time sightseeing. One of the places you should visit is the Monument to Philip IV. Located in the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, this monument was built during the first half of the 19th century.

The monument was built in the memory of King Philip IV of Spain, who was on the throne during 17th century. He is mainly remembered as patronage of the arts. Queen Isabella II was the one to instruct the construction of the monument during her ruling in 19th century.

The grand opening of the monument was organized on the 17th of November 1843. Even though the monument was placed in the center of the square during the construction that took place in 19th century, the statue itself was made in 17th century by an Italian sculptor. Pietro Tacca is the sculpture who built the statue of bronze, which represented Philip IV on his horse. The influence of Baroque style is visible on this statue, as well as on other works of this Italian sculptor.

The Plaza de Oriente is in a rectangular shape, and there are several parts including the gardens, the monument to Philip IV and the statues of Spanish kings.

The appearance of the square changed over the years. Naturally, the statue took up a central place, but originally, there were 44 additional statues located on the square, presenting Spanish monarch. In 1927, the number of statues was reduces to 20. Today, the gardens are especially designed to accompany the statue, following the Baroque style, and the design you can see at the moment was created back in 1941. Besides the central garden, there are two more gardens: Jardines del cabo Noval, mainly comprised of banana trees and located in the northern part of the square, and Jardines de Lepanto located in the south.

Being placed in the Plaza de Oriente, the monument is an important part of Madrid’s historic center, which is visited by most tourists. In addition, the monument to Philip IV is located between two important buildings in Madrid. The Palacio Real is on the west side of the monument, while el Teatro Real is on the east. Due to this position, this monument is something you should not miss while visiting Madrid. It is recommended that you include this monument during your visit to other nearby landmarks.

Plaza Mayor Square in Madrid

Holiday season is the time when we all look for a perfect destination in order to spend a couple of days away from the everyday chores and responsibilities. If the destination of your choice happens to be the capital city of Spain, the first thing you should do is to make a reservation for holiday apartments Madrid. You want to make sure that you find the perfect accommodation for your holiday, and reservation is necessary due to a huge number of visitors in the city, especially during the holiday season.

When you decide to go and explore Madrid on foot, we recommend you start from Plaza Mayor square. Not only is this an impressive square, a valuable symbol of history, but it is also one of the favorite meeting points. Located near other landmarks of Spanish capital, this square is a good starting point for sightseeing of Madrid.

The constructions of the square started during the reign of Philip III in the late 16th century by a Classical architect Juan de Herrera. The project by the original design was finished in 1617 by the architect Juan Gómez de Mora. However, Juan de Villanueva is the architect responsible for the look of the square we can see today, as he was in charge of a major reconstruction in 1790, after the old square was destroyed by fires.

The original name of the square was Plaza del Arrabal, but the name changed frequently over the history. Some of the names were Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza Real, Plaza de la República, until the name Plaza Mayor was adopted after the Spanish Civil War was over. In the similar way, the use of the square changed over the years. It hosted numerous events including bullfights, public executions during the Spanish inquisition and local markets. Today, one of the most important events held on the Plaza Mayor square is celebrations for San Isidro, the Madrid’s patron.

Surrounded by the three-story buildings, the Plaza Mayor is rectangular in shape with balconies facing the Plaza. Remarkable red facades create an impressive outline, which is why the square is so popular among tourists. Nine entrances lead inside the square which is full of small restaurants and cafes located inside the buildings surrounding the square. This is a perfect atmosphere for you to spend an afternoon, drinking coffee and enjoying your holiday. In the central point of the square there is the bronze statue of King Philip III, created by Jean Boulogne and Pietro Tacca in the honor of the king who initiated the construction of this square. There are guided tours starting from Plaza Mayor, which include nearby landmarks such as Puerta del Sol, Teatro Real, Plaza de Oriente, Almudena Cathedral, St. Michael’s Basilica, etc. Besides the cafes and restaurants inside the square, there are lots of them in the nearby area, as this part of the city is favorite place for tourists who chose Madrid as their holiday destination.

Almudena Cathedral

Having an apartment rental Madrid for a weekend gives you many opportunities for having fun, learning and discovery. For those people passionate about the architectural heritage and religious or sacred art in Madrid, it will be inevitable to visit the Almudena Cathedral, or in Spanish Catedral de la Almudena.

Looking back in history, we can detect the importance of this cathedral in the city of Madrid. Not long after Philip II ascended the throne and declared Madrid the capital of Spain in 1561, he expressed his desire to have a cathedral for his new capital. However, partly because of the political difficulties and the great power exercised by the archdiocese of the mighty city of Toledo, the construction of such work did not begin for many years.

It was not until 1868 when a devout congregation of la Virgen de la Almudena, the patron saint of the city, received authorization from the archdiocese to build a church in her honor.

Construction began in 1883, just a year before Madrid acquired the rank of archdiocese of Pope Leo XIII’s hands. All these events resulted in the building becoming a great cathedral rather than a simple church. The design of the Marqués de Cubas was a neo-gothic, grand and fabulous style with a basic design in the shape of a Latin cross.

Despite the support received for the construction of the Cathedral, the construction was slow and conducted in phases. Paradoxically, the construction was over during the war which ended in the early period of the thirties. Later in the forties, the neoclassical style of Royal Palace demanded modifications on the Cathedral in order to acquire a more aesthetic and uniform cityscape. The architects Fernando Chueca Goitia and Carlos Sidro were responsible for the design changes to adapt the Cathedral to more classic style.

If we say that the Cathedral was completed in 1993, we can see that it took more than a century to construct it, but it was definitely worth it. The building is an amazing construction and it undoubtedly dominates the urban landscape despite being next to the beautiful Royal Palace. Inside, you can see a statue of la Virgen de la Almudena, superbly decorated and located on the richly ornamented altar. Likewise, it is essential to visit the crypt, which is breathtaking with its neo Roman dome.

Teleférico – Cable Car in Madrid

There are many different tours around Madrid where you visit Madrid’s landmarks, but what makes sightseeing from El Teleférico unique is the amazing view of the city. El Teleférico is the cable car system in Madrid, offering rides which starts at Paseo del Pintor Rosales and ends at la Casa de Campo. Both of these places have terminals with restaurants, cafes and parking lot for the visitors.

The company Teleférico de Rosales acquired the land in the mid 1960s to start construction. The cable car was built by Swiss company and the inauguration was organized in 1969.

Nowadays, the system has two cables with 80 cabins, each admitting up to five people. The distance between the two centers of cable car system is 2.5 kilometers. Depending on the position of the landscape beneath, the height of the constructions reaches up to forty meters. El Teleférico can accept up to 1,200 passangers per hours. It is estimated that there has been five millions trips since the opening, and more than 150,000 people visit El Teleférico de Madrid each year.

Traveling at speed of 3.5 meters per second, the cable car needs approximately eleven minutes to take the journey from one station to the other. This journey enables you to see the city from a completely new perspective. As the ride starts at Paseo del Pintor Rosales, you will be crossing over the River Manzanares, until you reach la Casa de Campo Park. Along the way you will see the Parque del Oeste Park with La Rosaleda, the Almudena Cathedral, the Torrespaña communication tower, the Royal Palace, and many other landmarks.

You will also see the surrounding neighborhoods, with lots of residential buildings. Since lots of tourists like to stay near the city center and near the important sites of the city, there are lots of apartments rent Madrid, in these neighborhoods. In addition, both starting and end points of the cable car ride are equipped with facilities which include restaurants and cafes, along with the amazing view from the tower. The terrace of the Teleférico Restaurant, located on the top floor of the Casa de Campo Station, is particularly interesting, as it offers panoramic view of Madrid.

The opening hours depend on the season of the year, with summer being the time of the year when El Teleférico de Madrid is opened the longest. During July, August and up to mid September, El Teleférico is opened every day between 11 am and 9 pm. In general, the opening hour is usually from 11 or 12 in the morning, during the entire year, but the working hours are shorter during winter for example. Occasionally, El Teleférico might be closed for the visitors, so you should check the online schedule. It is also possible to buy tickets online. Besides the rides, El Teleférico organizes events for children as a part of their school trips. In addition, the Teleférico restaurant offers the possibility for organizing different kinds of celebrations and events, including corporate events.

The Museum National Art Center Reina Sofia

There are many things to do in Madrid. You can play, learn, explore, discover. After you make reservation for apartments in Madrid, you are opening the door to an incredible season in one of the best cosmopolitan cities in Europe.

One of the things that distinguish this city is the large number of museums, art galleries and places to visit. Without doubt, the Reina Sofia Art Center deserves an honorable mention on this list.

The building that houses the National Museum has a long history. In 1566, King Philip II ordered all city hospitals to be unified into a single building, and this building was renamed “General Hospital”. By the late eighteenth century, however, the need for a larger hospital was undeniable.

Between 1776 and 1781, the new building was constructed by the architect Francisco Sabatini, under the orders of King Carlos III.

Since then, there have been numerous additions and renovations, and the original hospital barely escaped being demolished several times, as many considered it to be old and unattractive. However, in 1977, it was declared as a national historic building.

Thereafter, it began the transformation of the building into a museum. The architect Antonio Fernández Alba renewal designed circa 1980, almost ten years after José Luis Iñiguez de Onzoño and Antonio Vázquez de Castro took charge of giving the final touches. Thanks to the steel and glass elevators, the building feels both classic and modern.

In those years, the building housed a temporary exhibition, but later, as instructed by royal decree, it was designated as a national museum and went on to replace the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art.

Today, this museum is a prestigious modern art museum nationally and internationally, since houses an impressive collection of works of the twentieth century, including works by prestigious Spanish artists such as Miró, Dalí and Picasso. In fact, one of the most famous works of the latter painter is located here: Guernica.

So when you’re in Madrid, remember to write down your list of places you must not miss and to add this amazing museum to the list. You must not miss the opportunity to walk the halls, visit his amazing bibliographic heritage and enjoy in its architecture. Remember that no matter what the reason is behind your visit to the Spanish capital, it would be unforgivable to end your trip without visiting the museum and other architectural and artistic gems the city has to offer.