Tour through the Habsburg Madrid
On this guided night-time walking tour, get to know the charm and magic of the most important historic plazas, buildings, streets and shops in the Spanish capital’s historic district known as Madrid of the Hapsburgs.
Our excursion starts at the Plaza of Isabel II, also known as the Plaza de la Opera, where the first grand building on our tour is located: the Royal Theatre.
We will also visit the Plaza Mayor, probably the square most beloved by citizens of Madrid and visitors alike. This large rectangular space is completely enclosed by 3-story buildings, and has 10 access gates from adjacent streets. In the centre of this place, we will see the equestrian statue of King Felipe III, in whose reign the construction of the plaza finished at the beginning of the 17th century.
At the Plaza de la Villa, we will get to know three buildings that show three different artistic periods: the Lujanes House and Tower, built in the Gothic-Moorish style during the 14th century; the neighbouring Cisneros House from the 16th century in the silversmith style; and the more “modern” Casa de la Villa, built in the Baroque style in the 17th century.
We will visit the Plaza de Oriente, close to the Royal Palace, where we will observe the equestrian statue of Felipe IV in the centre and numerous statues of the Visigoth royals and the first monarchs of the Christian kingdoms from the Reconquest (13th-15th centuries).
Upon approaching the Royal Palace and contemplating its façade, we will come to realize why it is considered the most spectacular palace in Western Europe and the most important historic monument in Madrid.
In front of the Royal Palace is the Almudena Cathedral, the only temple that we will visit and the most modern one that we will see during our guided tour, since it was consecrated by Juan Pablo II in 1993.
A few metres away from the Cathedral, we will contemplate the remains of the Moorish Wall from the 9th century, which reminds us of the city’s Arabic origin.
We will make a stop in order to get something to drink at the Mercado de San Miguel, whose original iron structure has been preserved since the beginning of the 20th century. In this market, you can sample endless tapas and dishes of Spanish cuisine, as well as taste some of the country’s most popular wines and beers.
During our historic route through the centre of Madrid, we will pass by some of the centenary shops in the Spanish capital. These shops have not ceased their activity since they first opened, and among them are the Queen Mother’s pharmacy, opened since 1578, or the Botín restaurant, which has been offering its dishes since 1725.
These and other places we will pass during our tour will give us an image of what Madrid was like and how it has changed in recent centuries. History, art, culture and curiosities will accompany us on this guided night-time walk, which will undoubtedly be one of your best memories of your holiday in the Spanish capital.
Note: Depending on when the sun sets, there will be more or less light and our appreciation of the places we see will be different.