Madrid is an amazing city for tourism. It has beautiful landscapes, historic monuments, and structures which were declared a world heritage site. Options are almost infinite, that is why it is impossible to get bored in Madrid, even if people go more than once. Nonetheless, there are places and sites of great touristic value which go unnoticed, as if they were hidden.
They are alternative tours and visits in the city which have a great cultural and touristic value. Madrid offers a wide range of options for tourists, even for locals who do not know all the secrets of the city.
Temple of Debod
It is an Egyptian temple originated in 2nd century after Christ and it is currently found in Parque del Cuartel de la Montaña, an area which is close to Plaza de España. This monument was donated to Spain by the Egyptian government to avoid its flooding during the building of the Asuán dam.
The building of the temple was carried out by Adikalamani king, which ended up being a chapel dedicated to the Amón and Isis gods. A few years later, kings of the Ptolemaic dynasty built new stays next to the original building. Finally, when Egypt was incorporated to the Roman Empire, the emperors Augustus and Tiberius finished building and decorating the temple.
When Nubia converted to Christianism, in the 6th century, the temple was abandoned. When the dam was built during the 20th century, the Egyptians decided to give the building to Madrid. In order to do so, it was carried stone by stone and reconstructed in the same way. It was finished in 1972, the year which it was opened to the public. Inside it, many audiovisual materials are displayed, together with videos and models, to show the details of its decorations and meaning.
Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida
This historical place was built in honor to San Antonio de Padua, by order of Carlos IV. It was built by Francisco de Fontana and it has a central space with a big dome which is illuminated with a lantern. However, this monument achieved greater importance because of the historical ensemble made by Goya in the 18th century.
In 1905, the building was declared a National Monument while in 1928, it was decided to build an identical temple by its side to preserve the original as Museo de Goya. It has always been a priority to preserve this place. Precisely, the original temple serves to keep the painter’s remains since 1919.
Parque El Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna
This green space belongs to the artistic-natural heritage of the city. It is located in Alameda de Osuna and it is highlighted for its beauty and for being little known. It was created in 1784, by María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel duchess. The most prestigious gardeners of the period worked there and it was visited by well-known figures. However, with the death of the duchess, the park began to decline until it was almost forgotten. In 1974, the Council of Madrid bought this green space and started its restoration which was finished in 1999. The park recovered its beauty and has a high level of botany, sculpture and art. Inside it, pavilions and chapels can be found as well as fonts, plazas and the dukes’ palaces.
The garden has three different styles: firstly, the French garden, which extends from the west of the garden. Secondly, the Italian garden, located in the lowest and oldest part of the place. Finally, the English landscape, which extends along the park.
El Ángel Caído
Madrid City can claim that it is the only one which has a monument to the devil. More precisely, it is about a statue which represents the moment in which the fallen angel was expelled from Eden.
The font is found in Parque de El Retiro, and it was acquired by the Council of Madrid, which ordered a pedestal design from the architect Francisco Jareño. The original work is from Ricardo Bellver. The font was inaugurated in 1885 and it is located 666 meters above the sea level.
Búnkeres de la Guerra Civil
Parque del Oeste has a surface close to 100 hectares. In one of its zones, more precisely in an area located between Seneca Avenue and Paseo de Ruperto Chapí, elements of the dark past of Spain are found. There, three bunkers for machine guns used during the Civil War can be found. During those times, twenty bunkers were built, but only three remain.
Panteón de Hombres Ilustres
In the cloister of Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Panteón de Hombres Ilustres is found, a place where politicians and personalities of the 19th century remain buried.
The historic architecture and the funerary sculpture, two of the most present elements at the end of the 19th century, are found in this building. Renowned sculptors were in charge of building the graves for those important figures of the Spanish political and military history. Some of the most distinguished names which rest inside this place are: Palafox, Canalejas, Ríos Rosas and Cánovas, among others.
The oldest restaurant in Madrid, it is located in Cuchilleros street in the heart of Madrid. This place was founded in 1725 by a French cook called Jean Botín, together with his wife of Asturian origin. It is recognized as the oldest restaurant in the world in the Guiness World records.
Currently, this restaurant is administered by the fourth generation of the González family who are the successors of the founding family. The environment of the original inn is kept up until today since it is reflected in its wood-fire oven which was used at the moment it was founded, almost 200 years ago. The restaurant is an enormous place; it covers the four floors of the building.