Embajadores District, Madrid
San Isidro was built in Jesuit Baroque style. The Instituto de San Isidro adjoins the church and has long enjoyed an excellent reputation.
The construction of a bridge over the depression of Calle de Segovia to link the Palacio Real with the Church of San Francisco el Grande was a project long cherished by Sacchetti, the architect of the palace; but this revolutionary piece of urban planning was not actually carried out until 1874. Work began on the construction of the Viaduct during the reign of King Amadeo I and was completed during the short-lived First Republic. This first viaduct, an iron structure on stone foundations, was 130m (142yd) long, 13m (43ft) high and crossed Calle de Segovia at a height of 23m (65ft). The original viaduct soon showed signs of wear, and had to be completely rebuilt after little more than a half-century of existence. Work began under the Second Republic, which did not survive its completion in 1942. In recent years this iron and concrete structure has undergone further restoration.From the viaduct, which features in Madrid's accident statistics as the scene of not a few suicides and attempted suicides, there are fine views of the Casa de Campo and the sea of roofs in the old town.
Transit: Metro: Opera, La Latina; Bus: 3, 148.
Immediately north of the viaduct, at the corner of the Calle Mayor, is the Palacio Uceda, a 16th C. palace built by a pupil of Herrera which now houses the Capitanía General and the Council of State.A flight of steps beside the palace leads down to Calle de Segovia and the narrow and irregular streets of the old Moorish quarter, the Morería. On the west side of the Viaduct the Cuesta de los Ciegos descends to the quiet little Plaza Gabriel Miró and the Jardines de las Vistillas.
Plaza de Santa Ana
The Plaza de Santa Ana in front of the Teatro Español takes its name from a Carmelite convent which stood opposite the Corral del Príncipe in the 17th C. The square was given its present aspect in 1810 by King Joseph I Bonaparte, who made it one of the finest squares in Madrid, pulling down the convent and seven other buildings, planting trees and setting a fountain in the center.In 1868 there were further demolitions and a monument to the great 17th C. dramatist Calderón was erected on one side of the square.
The Teatro Español, which dominates the Plaza de Santa Ana, is one of Madrid's oldest theaters. Originally known as the Corral del Príncipe, it opened its doors on September 21, 1583 with two comic pieces by Lope de Rueda, and thereafter innumerable comedies by the great dramatists of the Golden Age were performed there. In 1745 the theater was roofed over. The Romantic movement achieved triumphs here with the first performances of "Don Alvaro" (1835), by the Duque de Rivas, "El Trovador" (1836) by García Gutiérrez, "Los Amantes de Teruel" (1837) by Hartzenbusch and other new plays, and the cafe in the theater became the regular meeting-place of the Romantic group known as the Parnasillo, to which the city's intellectuals and artists belonged.In 1849 the theater was given its present name, and for many years it was the Spanish National Theater. In 1975, after a serious fire, it was taken over by the municipal authorities, and it is now Madrid's only municipal theater and one of the best in the capital.
The Madrid flea market of El Rastro takes place every Sunday morning in the barrios bajos (lower wards) to the south of the city, an area sloping down to the Manzanares. The triangle of the little streets and lanes between Calle de Toledo, the Ronda de Toledo and Calle Mesón de Paredes has its apex in the Plaza de Cascorro. Here, under a monument to Eloy Gonzalo, a hero of the Cuban War of 1898, the Rastro begins.
Opening hours: 10am-2pm; Closed: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Transit: Metro: La Latina; Bus: 23, 35, 60, M4, M9.
Ribera de Curtidores
The main axis of this typical Madrid quarter is the wide Ribera de Curtidores, the name of which - Tanners' Bank - recalls the tanneries and slaughterhouses once to be found here. The Ribera is the haunt of rag merchants and antique dealers, customers looking for a bargain and the merely curious, idlers, rogues and charlatans. On Sunday mornings in particular a dense and colorful throng of people moves from stall to stall, between old mattresses, trunks and suitcases, boots and uniforms, baskets, ironware and an infinite variety of other articles - old, new and nearly new.The painter José Gutiérrez Solana and the writer Gómez de la Serna immortalized this curious world in their genre pieces.
Iglesia de San Cayetano
Royal Tobacco Factory
Near the Iglesia de San Cayetano is the Real Fábrica de Tabacos, built in 1790. This was one of the earliest industrial establishments in Madrid, employing 800 women and forming the main source of employment in the Rastro quarter.
The Puerta de Toledo is one of Madrid's two surviving city gates, the other being the Puerta de Alcalá. It stands in a wide square at the end of the Calle de Toledo. The gate was built during the short period of Joseph I Bonaparte's government. Begun as a triumphal arch in honor of Napoleon, it was, by the time of its completion in 1817, the symbol of the Bourbon King Ferdinand VII's return to ther Spanish throne and the end of French rule.
Transit: Metro: Puerta de Toledo; Bus: 17, 23, 35, 60, N7.
Mercado Puerta de Toledo
The museum offers a collection of items collected by missionaries from Zaire, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Cameroon. Objects include clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, wooden and ivory carvings, masks, weapons, charms and tools.
Parque Enrique Tierno Galván
Parque Enrique Tierno Galván, south of the Atocha Station, contains the Planetarium of Madrid.
The Planetartium presents 45 minute programmes on astronomy and features two additional exhibition rooms.
Address: Parque Tierno Galván, Spain
Opening hours: 9:30am-1:45pm, 5pm-7:45pm; Sun: 11am-1:45pm, 5pm-7:45pm; Sat: 11am-1:45pm, 5pm-7:45pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Madrid Day - Spain (May 2)
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Group discounts Discount, Concession or reduced rate Discount
Map of Madrid Attractions