Tourism: The Four Fountains of Madrid

As we have mentioned here on the blog Apartamentos Mayor Centro, Madrid is a city that has everything. It is a city where you can enjoy taking different types of routes, and enjoy different places.

The holiday in apartments in Madrid gives you a unique opportunity to visit amazing, beautiful, simple and lovely places.

One of these sites is definitely the place popularly called “The Four Fountains” among the locals. This small group of fountains is a gold brooch next to the Paseo del Prado, accompanied by the great fountains nearby, Cibeles, Apollo and Neptune.

We can find the fountains in front of the entrance to the Botanical Garden. Returning to the allegory of the “gold brooch”, it is interesting that in Madrid these fountains are also called “4 of gold”, since if seen from above, this location has the same layout as coins of the letter in the Spanish cards.

These are simple fountains that are supposed to beautify the garden’s entrance, which means they do not have specific symbolism and are there just for aesthetic reasons.

However, they are not a recent addition to this important tourist corridor Madrid, since their original design is from the year 1781, in which they were created by Ventura Rodríguez. His designs were realized by Roberto Michel, Alfonso Giraldo and Francisco Gutiérrez Bergaz, although unfortunately it is unknown who of them created each of the fountains.

In the bottom of the four fountains there are lions, allegorical representation of the Spanish monarchy, and are topped with a mermaid or a merman holding or accompanied by a dolphin. Styles vary, but the main idea remains.

It is very interesting that these motifs from Greek mythology have become so used in the traditional architecture of Madrid, and now many people continue to create an idea about this wonderful city through these the imaginary parts.

These four fountains or “fuentecillas”, as we affectionately call them, referring to their small size compared to other great fountains in Madrid have become part of Madrid’s traditional celebrations such as Carnival, the feast of St. Peter or the night of St. Juan, when we can observe the fusion of traditional architecture and culture with urban folklore and customs.

As you can see, this little detail of Madrid’s cityscape is just one of the treasures that you will discover when you walk the streets of this great city thanks to the convenient location of apartments in Madrid you have chosen as accommodation for your stay in the Spanish capital.

Chueca District in Madrid

Madrid is the largest city in Spain, and the third largest city in Europe. The city area is divided into 21 districts which are then divided into smaller wards, called barrios in Spanish. If you have to find where to stay in Madrid, you should have some basic knowledge about the districts, as each one has something distinctive.

This is especially important if you are going to spend quite some time in the city, which is usually the case if you are in the city for business. Hence, finding business accommodation Madrid should involve a little bit of research of the part of the city in which you are going to stay.

Chueca is a neighborhood particularly popular among gay community in Madrid. The neighborhood is part of the Justicia ward, in the district Centro in Madrid. The district was named after Federico Chueca, a Spanish composer who died at the beginning of the 20th century. He is especially known as a composer of Zarzuelas, a genre of Spanish lyric-dramatic songs that combine speaking, singing and dancing.

Chueca is in the northern part of the old part of the city, with lots of shops and street cafes. Chueca, as well as other neighborhoods in the central district, such as Ópera and Antón Martín are known as the places of bohemian culture. Alternative art exhibitions and festivals are common forms of entertainments among the visitors of the local bohemian cafes and galleries. This is also the place where you can find contemporary artists and writers, who enjoy spending time in a bohemian like atmosphere.

This part of the city is also popular when it comes to nightlife which is one of the city’s attractions. There are a lot of cafes, bars and nightclubs with a variety of music shows and events. One of the things that makes Madrid’s nightlife such an attraction is the fact that parties start rather late, usually around midnight and they last until the morning hours. So do not be surprised if you end up returning around five or six in the morning from a party.

Chueca is an important center of gay culture, featuring a lot of LGBT places, such as shops, cafes, etc. It was on this location that the Gay Pride in 2007 took place and turned into one of the biggest festivals of this kind n the world. There are other festivals, conferences and events organized to promote the LGBT community. In addition, there are a lot of designer shops and jewelry stores in this area.

Besides gay community, this area is also popular among tourists, as well as among business professionals, being near the center and Madrid’s landmarks, such as Gran Via. The closeness of the Gran Via, a popular shopping area makes this part of the city quite busy. There are two popular squares in Chueca district in Madrid that you can visit, while in this part of the city. Those are la Plaza del Rey and la Plaza Vázquez de Mella.

Visiting el Parque del Retiro in Madrid

If you enjoy nature, but you still want to visit a large, urban city, you should consider visiting the capital city of Spain. Madrid is internationally famous tourist destination, mainly because it offers a lot of opportunities for sightseeing, eating out and other leisure activities.

But before you set out to enjoy on your vacation, you should make sure that you leave your things to safety. When it comes to accommodation, finding Madrid apartments to rent will not be difficult, as you can find a lot of details using the internet. In this way, you get to check out the offer and compare both the prices and the comfort you can find.

There are a lot of parks in Madrid that you can visit. In fact, they say that you cannot walk more than fifteen minutes without running into a park or green surface. One of the most famous parks in Madrid is Retiro Park, in Spanish el Parque del Retiro. Besides being the most famous park and one of the most popular attractions in Madrid, this is also one of the largest parks in the city.

Even though some parts of the park were built in late 15th century, the expansion of the park was conducted in the second half of the 16th century under the instruction of King Philip II. The architect Juan Bautista de Toledo was in charge of park’s design at the time.

The 17th century brought more expansions, as well as new architects who worked on this project. Several buildings were added as a part of the park, and two of them still exist in the park today. Those are Casón del Buen Retiro and Salón de Reinos. Although the buildings were erected later on, the pond Estanque del Retiro was in the park much earlier.

The park has become an important center of social gathering of court life at the time. During 18th century the influence of French style was evident. In the end of 18th century, an Astronomical Observatory was built. During the 19th century, new trees were added in order to accompany the existing landscape of the park. It belonged to Spanish royal family until the second half of the 19th century when it was turned into a public park.

Besides the pond, park has many other features, including the Rosaleda Rose garden, the Fountain of the Fallen Angel, remains of Buen Retiro Palace, etc. One of the most important buildings in the park is Crystal Palace. This splendid construction, built under the influence of the Crystal Palace in London, is built next to the artificial pond. In the past it was used to display different species of flora and fauna from across the globe, but today, the building is completely renovated and used as the place to organize art exhibitions. Since it has become a public area, the park has been used as a center of various different venues, including exhibitions, street performances, guided tours, concerts, etc.

Madrid Apartments: An Opportunity to Enjoy Amazing Architectural Gems

Here at Apartments Madrid we are giving you the chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and to show you that one tour can help you explore unusual and amazing architectural gems.

Let’s start by mentioning a building which is one of the most important pieces of architecture: the Church of San Manuel and San Benito. This is a nice church that is located across the Retiro Park in Alcala Street. This church combines and contrasts the beauty of nature from the Retiro Park, wonderful design and human touch. It was built between 1902 and 1910. It has a beautiful Italian style facade, and it is built with classic cross design, with an inner dome depicting the four evangelists. The altar is white and it is really dazzling. We can also find two crypts inside. This kind of visit is priceless.

We go on with religious architecture by suggesting a visit to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. This is a church decorated with great wealth and it can be found on the Alcalde Sainz de Baranda calla near Menéndez Pelayo Street, diagonally opposite the Retiro Park. It can even be visited at night. During the night visit, the church gets the modern architectural design with triangular shape due to the lighting, which really looks great. We should not confuse this with the military Cathedral of the Armed Forces, which is also dedicated to the Holy Sacrament, and it represents another architectural site we could visit in Madrid.

On the other hand, we can visit the Arab House, located at 62 Calle Alcalá. This construction represents a haven of peace in a hectic world. This beautiful building was a school in the past and now houses a branch of the Spanish Agency for International Development, whose goals are to strengthen the bilateral relations between Spain and the Arab-Muslim world. It has a library with books in Arabic and Spanish.

Furthermore, we have the building housing the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the Avenue of the city of Barcelona. What is impressive about this building is its facade and statues on the roof. In the back, you can see many decorative tiles, columns, which represent a sample of the great cultural heritage of this magnificent city.

If you have enjoyed this facade tiles, there is another architectural site in the city, luxuriously decorated in this type of material: the Palacio de Velázquez. This building, built in 1883, has a beautiful facade with a geometrical work in blue and white. A building near this palace, located in the vicinity of the Retiro Park, is the Crystal Palace, a greenhouse of exotic flowers built in 1887. It also has a detailed tile work with images of flowers, foliage and small animals.

The most impressive thing is that all these buildings are merely a sample of the fantastic examples of architectural designs which can be enjoyed as you walk along the streets of Madrid.