In the vicinity of Plaza de España, the vast Oeste Park is located. (West Park). This hilly park with many hiking trails is great for walking. Birches, cypresses, cedars and pines grow here. The park is interesting garden of roses “Rosaleda”, where annually in May is held a festival of roses. Also on the territory of the park is the ancient Egyptian temple of Debod (2nd century BC), which in 1968 was given by the Egyptian authorities to the Spaniards in order to protect the unique monument located in the immediate vicinity of the construction site of the Aswan dams from destruction. Not far from the temple is the Teleferico cable car, connecting Oeste Park with the largest park in Madrid – Casa de Campo (1722 hectares). While traveling by cable car you can see beautiful panoramic views of Madrid. The cable car passes over the chapel of St. Anthony of Florida (18th century), where the paintings by Goya are preserved and where this great artist is buried. The Casa de Campo park was laid out in the 16th century by order of Philip II and for a long time served as a place for hunting and recreation for members of the royal family. Today, the park has an amusement park, a zoo with an aquarium, tennis courts and a swimming pool.
From other interesting areas of Madrid, the ancient quarter of La Latina stands out, located in the southwestern part of the city. Look out for the Puerta de Toledo here.. The current arch was built in the 19th century on the site of the destroyed city gates of the 15th century, which pointed the way to the ancient residence of the kings – the city of Toledo. Nearby is the largest open-air market in Madrid – El Rastro. Also located in La Latina is the Church of St. Francis the Great. The church was built in the 18th century in the classical style. The dome of the church, whose diameter is 33 m, is truly striking. Some of the interior murals of the church were made by Goya. Previously, the Church of St. Francis the Great was the national pantheon, that is, many prominent Spaniards were buried here.
In the northern part of Madrid, along Castellana Boulevard, stretches the so-called “business” district with many office buildings and skyscrapers, the height of which exceeds 100 m. Here are such symbols of Madrid as the towers of Puerta de Europa (“Gateway to Europe”), which stand at an angle on both sides of the boulevard Castellana, forming the symbolic gates, Torre Picasso and Torre Espacio, as well as the Santiago Barnabeu stadium – the home arena of the Real Madrid football club.
In the eastern part of Madrid there is another symbol of the city – the Las Ventas bullring. This is the third largest bullfighting arena in the world, it can accommodate up to 25,000 spectators. The building of the arena itself is very beautiful, it is made in the neo-Moorish style. Inside there is a Bullfighting Museum.
Fans of shopping and nightlife should go to the Glorieta de Bilbao crossroads, where the main shopping streets of Madrid converge – Fuencarral, Carranza, Luciana and Sagasta.
On the southeastern outskirts of Madrid is the Faunia Natural Park, where about 3,500 animals are represented. The park consists of many themed areas where you can see animals from African forests, polar ecosystems, jungles, humid temperate forests, all kinds of reptiles and insects, cave dwellers, nocturnal animals, and livestock. Performances of sea lions, seals and fur seals are given in the pools of the park. Visitors are offered several restaurants and cafes and souvenir shops.
Around Madrid, within 50 km, there are many interesting historical and cultural attractions. Near the northern outskirts of the capital is the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The construction of the royal residence began in the 15th century under King Enrique III. Members of the royal family rested and hunted here. In the 20th century, the royal residence became the favorite residence of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, and today it is used to receive foreign guests. The palace has preserved works by such famous artists as Goya, Bayeu, Flandes, Ribrera and a collection of furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. The royal residence is surrounded by picturesque gardens and a vast protected forest. Nearby is the ZarzuelaPalace – one of the residences of the current reigning king of Spain. Juan Carlos I.
According to rctoysadvice, 35 km northeast of Madrid is the birthplace of the Spanish writer Cervantes and the founding place of one of the oldest universities in Europe – the city of Alcala de Henares (Alcala de Henares). The central part of the city is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The remains of the city walls, which began to be erected in the 13th century, have been preserved here, and ancient buildings are located on narrow cobbled streets. The main square of the city bears the name of its famous native – Cervantes Square. In the center of the square there is a monument to Cervantes, and along its perimeter there is a chapel, the City Hall, the Comedy Theater, as well as restaurants and shops. A visit to the city is not complete without visiting the Cervantes House Museum. This is the house where the writer was born and lived for several years. In front of the entrance to the museum there is a sculptural composition representing Don Quixote and Sancho Panza sitting on a bench. The premises of the museum are decorated in the style of the 16th and 17th centuries and reflect the life of that time. In addition, every year in Alcala de Henares, a carnival is held in honor of Cervantes on October 9, and on April 23, the day of his death, the National Literature Prize is awarded. Another symbol of the city is the University, which was founded in 1499 by Cardinal Cisneros. Such prominent Spaniards as Lope de Vega, Antonio de Nebrija, Francisco Quevedo, Pedro Calderon de la Barca and Tirso de Molina studied here. The university campus in the Middle Ages consisted of 40 buildings (colleges), several chapels and even monasteries, where the monks who taught here lived. Only about two dozen buildings have survived to this day. In connection with the decline of the city in 1836, the University was moved to Francisco Quevedo, Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina. The university campus in the Middle Ages consisted of 40 buildings (colleges), several chapels and even monasteries, where the monks who taught here lived. Only about two dozen buildings have survived to this day. In connection with the decline of the city in 1836, the University was moved to Francisco Quevedo, Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina. The university campus in the Middle Ages consisted of 40 buildings (colleges), several chapels and even monasteries, where the monks who taught here lived. Only about two dozen buildings have survived to this day. In connection with the decline of the city in 1836, the University was moved to Madrid, and only in 1977, in several old University buildings, education was resumed again. Most of the buildings are located on College Street. Other sights of the city include the Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century in the Gothic style and was rebuilt more than once, and the Archbishop’s Palace, which was built in the period from the 13th to the 16th centuries (it was here that the first meeting of Queen Isabella the Catholic and Christopher Columbus took place, on which discussed the financing of his expeditions).