Austrian Madrid

This is the name given to Madrid from the time when the Habsburg dynasty ruled over Spain.

This rule began with Carlos I, who brought sumptuous palaces and monuments to the city. Later, when Felipe II made it the capital of Spain, the city grew significantly. The Renaissance and Baroque buildings of the time are probably among the most picturesque and typical of Madrid.

This tour of Madrid starts at Puerta del Sol, which marks the starting point for measuring distances along Spanish roads. This lively, cheerful square is considered the very heart of Madrid. Continuing along the picturesque, narrow streets, filled with people, you come to the square where the Convento de las Descalzas Reales stands, then, very near the Palacio Real, the Monasterio de la Encarnación and the Capitanía General, then returning down Calle Mayor to Plaza de la Villa, with the Casa de la Villa, Casa Cisneros and the Torre de Lujanes.Just behind is the impressive Plaza Mayor, within which the Casa de la Panadería and Casa de la Carnicería may be admired. Its centrepiece is the statue of Felipe III.A visit to the Catedral de San Isidro is a well-worth detour, before returning to your route to marvel at the beautiful building which houses the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores [Foreign Office] and the Casa de Lope de Vega, on Calle Cervantes.


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