Not many cities of the world contain so many historic wonders at one place as the Spanish capital, Madrid. Of course, it’s a modern city with great infrastructure and had found its way into the Monocle magazine in 2017 as the world's 10th most liveable city; but, you'll also notice that it has done a commendable job in preserving its historic streets and neighbourhoods. No wonder, it's the most visited Spanish city. As you begin your sightseeing tour during your holiday, you'll come across all the notable monuments that never fail to grab the attention of tourists.
1. Royal Palace of Madrid
With a floor space of 135,000 square metres and over 3,000 rooms, this is Europe's largest royal palace in terms of floor area. You'll usually require a small admission fee to explore this building, but you can enjoy a free entry on some days. Its history dates back to the 9th century when the region was ruled by the Ummayad Emir of Cordoba, Muhammad I. The palace underwent several modifications over the years. King Felipe VI and the royal family have chosen to reside in the Palace of Zarzuela instead of this palace. You can get to this palace from the Opera metro station.
2. The Almudena Cathedral
Consecrated in the year 1993 by Pope John Paul II, this cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid. It is believed to have been built on the site of a medieval mosque, which was destroyed in the late-11th century when Madrid was re-conquered by Alfonso VI. The unique interior of this cathedral has been built in the Neo-Gothic style with statues made by contemporary artists. The marriage of King Felipe VI and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano took place at this cathedral on the 22nd of May, 2004.
3. Plaza de Espana
Located in central part of the city, this square is immensely popular among the tourists visiting Spain and is just a short distance away from the Royal Palace. At the centre of this charming square is the monument dedicated to the legendary Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes. While exploring the square, you'll also come across an array of landscaped areas that provide some excellent spaces for visitors to relax and enjoy the serene surroundings.
4. Castle of Manzanares el Real
This palace-fortress was constructed in the 15th century in the town of Manzanares el Real and is among the best-preserved castles in the city. It has been built entirely using the granite stone and has a quadrangular shape with four circular towers. With the death of the 4th Duke of the Infantado, Inigo Lopez de Mendoza y Pimentel in the 16th century, it ceased to function as a palatial residence. In recent times, it is home to a museum of Spanish castles has a good collection of tapestries. It was used as one of the locations in the 1961 historical drama, El Cid. This castle has six floors and its main gate features two towers with an arch in between.
Besides these four monuments, the city has plenty of other historic attractions, which you can explore with the holidays to madrid offered by Lowest2.