Madrid of the Hapsburgs

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The part of Madrid built when the Hapsburg dynasty ruled Spain is now called “Madrid de los Austrias” or Hapsburg Madrid. Carlos I was the first Hapsburg ruler, and he enriched the city by building many palaces and monuments. Later, when Felipe II moved the capital of Spain to Madrid, the city grew remarkably. The Renaissance and Baroque buildings of this dynasty some of the most picturesque Spain has to offer.

We start at the Puerta del Sol, Kilometer Zero of all of Spain’s roads. This lively plaza is considered the heart of Madrid. We continue down the beautiful streets to the plaza where the convent, Las Descalzas Reales, is located. We then walk to the Monasterio de la Encarnación and the Capitanía General, both close to the Royal Palace. Finally we arrive at the Plaza de la Villa where we will find the Casa e la Villa, the Casa Cisneros, and the Torre de Lujanes.

Behind the Plaza de la Villa, we find the incredible Plaza Mayor, where we can appreciate the Casa de la Panadería and the Casa de la Carnecería. In the center of the plaza is the Statue of Felipe III.

We make a very worthwhile detour to visit the Catedral de San Isidro, and then return to our route, appreciating the beautiful buildings of the Misterio de Asuntos Exteriores and the Casa de Lope de Vega, on the Calle Cervantes.

After our long walk, we eat a much-deserved typical Spanish meal, enjoying the company of other Club de Español students and professors.

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