Palacio de Cristal

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

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In the middle of the gigantic city park: El Retiro park is Palacio de Cristal, or the glass palace. The Palacio de Cristal, in the shape of a Greek cross, is made almost entirely of glass set in an iron framework on a brick base, which is decorated with ceramics.

Built in 1887, this glass palace was used as a greenhouse to display tropical plants from the Philippines, but today it belongs to the Reina Sofia Museum and is used to host art exhibitions throughout the year.

In front of the Palacio de Cristal is a beautiful pond where the trees literally grow out of the water. The pond is home to many turtles that swim around here and sunbathe in the grass.

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Royal Palace of Madrid

Royal Palace of Madrid or Palacio Real

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The Royal Palace of Madrid, is the royal palace of the King of Spain, Felipe VI. and one of the main attractions of the city. With an area of over 135,000 m² and more than 3,418 rooms, this is the largest royal palace in the world.

The royal family only uses the palace for official state affairs, but no longer lives there themselves. The palace is still widely used for official ceremonies and state occasions.

Part of the palace is now open to the public. During a tour of the baroque palace, you can enjoy beautiful paintings, the richly decorated dining room, the palace gardens and see some of the 3,418 magnificent and beautifully decorated rooms of the Royal Working Palace of Madrid. The palace is a must-see on every visitor’s list when coming to the capital of Spain.

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Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

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The Plaza Mayor is Madrid’s most famous square, located in the center of one of the oldest parts of the city. The square, formerly called: Plaza del Arrabal, was built in 1577. In the middle of the square is the beautiful equestrian statue of Felipe III, made by Giovanni de Bologna and his pupil Pietro Tacca. This statue was placed on the square in the mid-nineteenth century.

It was the place where local markets were held, bullfights were organized and public executions took place. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen anymore these days. Walk through one of the nine arches to the main courtyard surrounded by terracotta-red palatial buildings. And nowadays enjoy the small shops, restaurants, terraces and the central place for many events and street artists.

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El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park, Madrid

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El Retiro park is an oasis of calm in busy Madrid. It is the most famous park in all of Madrid, in the heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Until the 17th century, this park was the private park of the royal family. Fortunately, it is now an open city park, where everyone can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

With an area of 1.4 km² you will always find a place where you can enjoy peace and quiet. Walk around the large rowing pond, take a tour in one of the rowing boats, see the glass ‘Palacio de Cristal’, enjoy the greenery, the atmosphere and the street musicians.

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