Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Old Madrid Neighborhood Walk: History on Foot (Magnificent Madrid Series 5)

Old Madrid Neighborhood Walk
 History on Foot
Magnificent Madrid Series 5

I got the idea of going on doing a neighborhood
walk in Madrid’s old district from Lonely Planet,
my favorite guidebook and an essential reference
for my family’s frequent travels here and abroad. 

 

I have a Lonely Planet guidebook in our library for
each country we visit and every place we explore.

 

 

 

It was easy to follow the Lonely Planet guide book
that recommends to start the walk at Plaza Oriente,

 

...and since we stayed in Petit Palace Opera Hotel,
centrally located at the Calle Arenal, my family
began our old Madrid neighborhood walk from here.

 

Calle Arenal is the centermost street
in the central district of Madrid, Spain.


…and right in front is the historic Teatro Joy Eslava,
a 19th century theater. The theater stages plays,
 ballets, dances and also serves as a night club.


Calle Arenal is one of the earliest streets in Madrid and was
an old quarter Mozarabic Christians of San Ginés suburb,


… and this is the reason why the Church of San Ginés
one of the oldest churches in the city, dedicated to
San Ginés de Arlés of Mozarabic origin was built here,

 

 

…together with  the San Ginés passage
or the Pasardizo de San Gines,

 



…where tourists can access another place
with history, the Chocolateria de San Ginés.



Right at the end of the street is the Madrid Opera.
Also known as the Teatro Real or Royal Theatre it is
one of the great theaters of Europe founded in 1818.

 

…a must visit site on Plaza Isabel II.


We crossed to the beautiful Plaza de Oriente,
a verdant square in the historic center of Madrid. 

 

This park was built  in 1844,with the monument 
of  Philip IV by Pietro Tacca as a centerpiece.


Right across is the Palacio Real, where there were a lot of 
people watching the on going symphonic orchestra concert.



We leisurely strolled at the Calle Bailén,


…until we arrived at the Plaza de la Armería,

 

…where we got a better view of the Palacio Real.

 

The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence  of the 
Spanish Royal Family, but it is only used at present for state 
ceremonies.  The Royal Family do not reside in the palace 
and lives at the Palace of Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.




The Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Almudena
was just located right at the Plaza de la Armería.


Santa María la Real de La Almudena or
the Almudena Cathedral is the seat of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid.

 

Consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993, this beautiful
church is a must see and a must visit place in Madrid.

 
 
 

We walked up to the end of Calle Bailén, and turned 
 right to the  Calle Mayor to see the Muralla Árabe.  

 

Also known the Muslim Walls of Madrid, or the Arab Walls of Madrid, 
this 9th century structure where  some  vestiges remain is probably
 the  oldest building on foot in the city.  ad deserves a quick visit.

 

We then went straight up the Calle Mayor
and admired the centuries old buildings,

 

…in this old city thoroughfare.



We then visited the lovely ancient Plaza de la Villa.
a charming small square in the heart of Madrid, 

 

…surrounded by attractive buildings of contrasting
architecture as they were built on different centuries.

 

We went down the Calle Conde de Miranda,
to access the iconic Mercado de San Miguel.

 

The Mercado de San Miguel is a covered
market on a cast iron structure built in 1916,
that was renovated and reopened it in 2009.


The market is a good place to shop and dine
with numerous vendors selling a wide variety
of  gourmet food, tapas, wine and beverages.

 



From Calle Cava de San Miguel,


…we accessed the Plaza Mayor
thru the Arco de Artesana.

 

Madrid’s Plaza Mayor was built in 1580,



…and  surrounded by three-story residential
buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. 

 

 

After visitng the Plaza Mayor we crossed the 
Calle Mayor and traversed the Calle de las Hileras,

 

…and returned to Calle Arenal.

 

It was almost a four hour leisurely walk in Madrid’s old 
and historic  neighborhood, and concluded our day with 
a delicious Asian cuisine dinner at Bangkok Restaurant.


Madrid is being a very compact city and most of
the major tourist attractions are just a walk away, and
 the Lonely Planet had been an awesome guide
for a more structured do it yourself walking tour.

Read the links below for related posts

Caceres to Madrid 
Scenic Train Ride to the Spanish Capital City
Magnificent Madrid Series 1 

La Pausa 
Madrid’s Welcome Feast 
Magnificent Madrid Series 2 

Petit Palace Opera 
Homey Hotel at the Heart of Madrid
Magnificent Madrid Series 3 

Calle Arenal 
Madrid’s Vibrant Street Mall
Magnificent Madrid Series 4























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