Botin is a historic restaurant located in Madrid, it is the world’s oldest continuously operating restaurant according to the Guinness World Records. The official name of the restaurant is “Restaurante Sobrino de Botin”. The restaurant has been in business since 1725, having a rich history and cultural significance in Madrid. The same family has owned this restaurant, and it has been passed down by generation. It is located in the heart of Madrid near the Plaza Mayor. The type of food that you would get there is Castilian, with a lot of the dishes having roasted meats as the entrée. This restaurant is not only well known by tourists but, also by the local community, they take pride in having this restaurant open since the early 18th century. Needless to say, when visiting Madrid this is almost a must on the list not only for historical interest but, for the experience as well.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is known as the Palacio Real de Madrid. The history of this palace relates all the way back to the 18th century. It was built after a fire in the former Palace of the Alcazar of Madrid which was destroyed by a fire in 1734. The construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid began in 1738 under King Philip V of Spain. King Philip V was the first monarch of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain and the palace was where they resided. Along with this, the Royal palace was intended to project the influence and longevity of the monarchy. The Royal Palace of Madrid shows examples of Baroque and Neoclassic architecture.
Some of the main designers of this building were Filippo Juvarra, Juan Bautista, and Francesco Sabatini. This resulted in an immensely grand palace that reflected the Spanish monarchy. This palace houses some of the rarest art in the world. It consists of paintings, sculptures, historical artifacts, tapestries, and other treasures making it a cultural and artistic center in Spain.
In the past the Royal Palace had been the official residency of Spanish monarchs but, now it is used primarily for the state ceremonies and events held in Madrid. It plays a large role in the affairs of the Spanish monarchy, as it has witnessed very significant historical events in Spanish history. The Royal Palace of Madrid is a great stop for those who are interested in the origins of Madrid.
Cocido Madrilèno is a stew with chickpeas, potatoes, sausages, and any other meat you’d like in a broth. This dish is popular during the winter because it is a stew but, is served all year around. Cocido Madrilèno has a rich broth from these combined vegetables and meats that create a unique flavor profile. This dish dates back all the way to the Castilian kingdom. The way this dish is served is the broth first as soup, then the chickpeas with vegetables, and then the meats. Sides or toppings that are common with this dish are bread, salsa de chiles, or aioli. These are served with the Cocido Madrilèno to enhance the flavors.
The Royal Botanic Gardens of Madrid are perfect for those who love horticulture! The Garden of Madrid can be found next to the Prado Museum, and can make a perfect afternoon or day visit! Within the gardens one can find over 5,00 different species of plants. The gardens themselves also have an extensive history. While first installed by King Ferdinad VI in 1755 in a different city, the gardens were then moved by King Charles to be installed in Madrid where you can find them now. The gardens themselves include a variety of green house areas, and terraces. The gardens also provide a cafeteria so you can stop and have lunch along the way! The gardens also hold many events during the year. During the Chritistmas season the gardens put on a light show which you can read more about here! The gardens also remain open all year around!
For more information about events held in the gardens click here!
For more information about what to see when visiting the gardens, ticket prices, and hours click here!
Madrid has a wide variety of concert halls and if you are into live performances and theatre, Teatro María Guerrero would be a perfect place to visit! Music, dance, zarzuela, and comedy are the types of live performances you can see at Madrid’s theatres! The María Guerrero is right near the Art Walk. The María Guerrero opened in 1885 as the “Princess Theatre” It changed its name in 1931 as a tribute to the last owner María Guerrera who was also a Spanish actress. The civil war caused the theatre to be closed until 1940.
The Theatre contains a neoclassical main façade and porch it is filled with a lot of rich decorations in the entrance foyer and the entrance staircase. The main theatre hall has 622 seats and is unique for its horseshoe layout. There is also a second theatre hall today that is called the original name “Princess Hall” that holds 120 seats.
Another one of Madrid’s great theatres is the Teatro Real. Teatro Real is Madrid’s Opera house. The building consists of numerous architectural styles and the main feature is the theatres big stage area. The theatre has several halls that can be rented for different events. Each hall is differently designed and include elements from national heritage and the Prado Museum. The theatre also offers guided tours!
For the students and professors who love theatre, learn more below!
For more information about the María Guerrero, click here!
For more information about the Teatro Real, click here!
Teatro María Guerrero
The Catedral de Almudena is one of Spain’s most magnificent churches and is located next to the royal palace. This site is perfect for history and architecture lovers! The history of this Church started in 1879 when Madrid finally got underway in the planning of this cathedral. The building of the cathedral was a very slow process due to lack of funds and also the passing of the original architect. In 1911 construction of the cathedral was stopped and not started again until 1950 due to the Spanish Civil War. The façade was not completed until 1960, but the entire cathedral was not completed until 1993 which is when the cathedral was finally consecrated by Pope John Paul II.
The interior of the cathedral consist of beautiful Neo-Gothic features and covered in different colors on the ceiling and the amazing stained glass windows. Unlike the classical style these features make the cathedral different than other cathedrals built during this time.
There is not just beauty and history to this cathedral, there is also a museum on the inside! La Almudena Cathedral Museum has a variety of items that represent the history of the diocese of Madrid. Almudena Cathedral is a great spot for professors and students to visit when studying abroad due to its short but crazy history and its unique architecture!
The Prado Museum is perfect for those who love art as well as those who love history! This museum, located in Madrid, houses one of the world’s finest collections of European art and paintings. For those who love art, throughout the museum they will be able to find works from Spain, Italy, and Flanders. The Prado Museum also holds the world’s largest collection of Spanish paintings. Many of these paintings include complete works by notable figures such as Goya and his The Second of May, as well as The Third of May paintings. Paintings that are held in the museum date all the way to the 12th century. The famous piece Guernica by Pablo Piscao was once held in the museum!
The Prado Museum also has an extensive history as well. It was initially commissioned to be built in 1785 by the King at the time, Charles II. However, construction on the building was interrupted by the Napoleonic Wars just a few years later. Construction of the museum was finally completed in 1819 under the reign of King Ferdinand II. From there the museum became open to the public under the idea that it would hold royal paintings. This changed after Queen Isabella II’s reign as she filled the museum with more paintings that were not just of the royal family.
The Prado Museum is an excellent choice for professors as well as students when looking at studying abroad due to its extensive art collection that can be studied; as well as the history behind the museum itself.
Huevos Rotos is a traditional Spanish dish mainly found in Madrid. This dish translates from Spanish into broken eggs. Huevos Rotos is a plate of potatoes that is fried in Spanish olive oil that salt is added to for seasoning. After this eggs are added on top of the cooked potatoes. There are also various ways that the egg yolk could be broken for this dish depending on where you go within Madrid. This dish is also perfect for both who like meat and those who are vegetarian. Oftentimes many restaurants in Madrid will add meats such as ham to add more flavor to the dish. However, it can come without meat as well making this dish the perfect for both vegetarians and meat lovers!
This football stadium is located in Madrid, it was built in 1947. The dimensions of the Stadium are 105 meters by 68 meters. The capacity of this stadium is around 81,000 people. This stadium hosts games for Real Madrid CF against other teams in its league. It is named after Santiago Bernabeu who was president of Real Madrid CF. Tickets can be purchased to watch football games at the stadium and tickets can also be purchased just for touring for a lower price. Visiting this stadium can help you connect more with Spanish culture. This is because football is a very important part of Spanish culture and a lot of passion is involved with the sport. This passion is something that Spain is known for and as a result football is the most popular sport in the country. The largest football stadium in Europe is in Spain, it is the Camp Nou and it can hold almost 100,000 people. Spanish football games are often watched at home, in bars, or at the stadium; the games are often enjoyed while fans eat tapas. Spanish fans of football often celebrate in big ways, the fans of Real Madrid CF celebrate the team’s victories by going to La Fuente de Cibeles. Being involved in the football fandom of Spain can immerse you in Spanish culture while in Madrid.
The Spanish Civil War began on July 17th of 1936 and ended on March 28th of 1975. The war was fought between the Nationalists and the Republicans. The Nationalists were aligned with Nazi Germany and Italy, this side rebelled against the rest of Spain. Francisco Franco was a leader of the Nationalists. The Republicans were the opposing side that supported the republic and the Republicans got help from the Soviet Union. The Republicans did lose the Spanish Civil War, they were defeated by Francisco Franco and his nationalist regime. Many impacts of the Spanish Civil War were centralized in Madrid. In Madrid, there were riots and covenants were burned during the war. Violence was centralized in Madrid because Madrid became an important city for the Republicans. It also became a symbol of anti-fascism during the war in July of 1936. However, the city eventually fell to Franco’s regime in March of 1939 leading to the end of the Spanish Civil War.
The Arco de la Victoria is located in Madrid, in its Moncloa area. This arch was built in the 1950’s following the success of Franco’s regime in the Battle of Ciudad Universitaria. Which is where the meaning of its name comes from ‘Arco de la Victoria’, which means the arch of victory. Franco wanted to commemorate his regime getting closer to taking over the city of Madrid. This arch is forty meters high and looks similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It also has a sculpture made of bronze on the top of the arc of Minerva on a chariot. Today, the arc is a symbol of what happened in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. The current state of the arc is not the best, it is slowly falling apart because there is no money provided from the government for its maintenance.
de Vos, Julie. “The Places Where Nothing Happened: An Archaeology of Absence and Silence during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco Dictatorship.” Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, vol. 8, no. 2, July 2021, pp. 228–51. EBSCOhost, https://doi-org.proxy.longwood.edu/10.1558/jca.20229.