A Visit to the Madrid de los Austrias

El Madrid de los Austriasis the area of the city that grew and flourished for nearly two centuries during the Habsburg dynasty in Spain, from 1516, when Charles I ascended to the throne, until the death of Charles II in 1700, due to the presence of the royal court.

Tourist visitsof el Madrid de los Austrias include various points of interest within the historical city centre. ThePlaza Mayor, thePlaza de Oriente and thePlaza de la Villaare the central points of the area. But 16thand 17thcentury Madrid included much more. To the north, the area reached as far as Plaza de Santa Bárbara, and to the east, to the Paseo del Prado (the Retiro Parkwas the border on this side). But these areas were slightly outside the limits of the historical Habsburg centre, and enjoyed their moment of splendour during later years. The current location of the Gran Vía, for example, was originally a narrow street called San Miguel, of nominal importance, and it was not until the 20thcentury that it became the grand avenue it is today.

A two-hour walking tour will take us around the area generally referred to as el Madrid de los Austrias. If you are interested, there is a free guided touroffered by Civitatis, which follows a similar route to the one suggested here. The tour lasts two hours. You can also take a 1h 15m tour of the area by Segway. And if you'd like to stay overnight, here is a link to recommended hotelsand a map of their location.

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