A Rich Cultural Heritage

Influenced by history and religion, Madrid fascinates tourists with its rich culture, history, and art. Each attraction caters to its own story of beauty and masterpiece.

Monasteries

Part of the Madrid of the Hapsburgs and close to Plaza Mayor, are various 16th century convents, palaces, churches and monuments. This includes the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales, Plaze de la Villa and Monastery of the Encarnacion. Located near Plaza del Sol, Descalzas’ established in 1564, is a sanctuary of painting works by artists Titian, Rubens and Murillo, an intricate floor-to-ceiling murals and other art collection. Plaza de la Villa is a small square, unique with its contrasting building styles. Monastery of La Encarnacion, on the other hand, was established as a Blessed house in 1478 and houses the St. Teresa museum.

Museums

In addition to these monasteries, Madrid caters to museums, grand monuments, and colorful festivals portraying Spain’s wealthy cultural inheritance.

Four museums in one avenue – that’s Reina Sofia, Prado, CaixaForum and Thyssen in Paseo Del Arte. It offers vouchers for cheaper visits like “Abono Paseo del Arte” for a one time visit for there museums within the year while “Tarjeta annual multiple” allows one-year unlimited visit. Or if you want free priority access to more than 50 museums and other discounts from shops, avail of the Madrid Tourist Card, your best way to saving when visiting these cultural sights.

Culture in MadridOne of the finest museums in the world is The Prado. It houses a dazzling collection of Spanish painting, sculptures and other art objects exhibiting romantic styles to 19th century approach. This includes European artists like Rubens, V Velazquez, Raphael and Goya.

Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s museum, used to be a private collection before being a state property. Really outstanding with more than 800 paintings, it exhibits art works of the 13th century to present together with its most important trends and developments.

Converted from a hospital to museum, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is stunning with double panoramic glass lifts on façade. It treasures two-floor collection of modern and contemporary art with Pop, Abstract and Minimal Art. The museum highlights the Woman in Blue and the Guernica of Picasso, which has been moved to the Reina Sofia Museum in 1992 from The Prado.

Feasts

A week of festivities in May is offered for Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro. Biggest celebration, the city plans a 1.9 million Euro budget for the 2009 celebration. Ninety percent of these events are actually held in Communidad de Madrid or in downtown. There are also programs held as small villages in the city.

Toros de San Isidro or feast for bullfighting one of the internationally known celebrations in Madrid Las Ventas. Events are held for 30 days participated in by bullfighters around the world to demonstrate both the Southern France and South American styles.

Experience the best of urban culture as Madrid shows out Urban Art, grafitti, photography, skateboard and bmx competitions and of course a number of concert with some of the top urban Djs and beats.

Rock on as the University of Madrid hosts Madrid’s annual rock music awards with 20 bands from all over the world performing for the event this year. Enjoy “Universimad”, free party and concert merged with some of the best rock music.

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