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Madrid Monuments & Attractions

The Plaza Mayor, Madrid The Puerta de Toledo, Madrid

On this page you can find all you need to know about monuments in Madrid. 
A comprehensive list of places to see in Madrid, in chronological order.

Please click on any thumbnail photo for a larger view.

IX Century
The Madrid city walls
Cuesta de la Vega, s/n.
Here we can see the remains of the old Arab walls that surrounded the settlement of Magerit. The first enclosure shows Islamic remains from the 9th and 10th centuries, while the second enclosure is Christian and dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. Click for more info...
 


XV Century
Casa and Torre de los Lujanes

Plaza de la Villa, s/n

Torre de Lujanes - Click to enlarge

The Torre de los Lujanes is the oldest construction in this plaza, dating from the early 15th century. The mudejan style tower and two portals are what remains of the former palace which was used to keep captive Francis I of France after the Battle of Pavia in Italy in 1525. The house was renovated in 1910. More info here...

The Church of San Nicolás de los Servitas
Plaza San Nicolás, 1
This 15th century church has a central gothic apse and a 12th century mudejan style tower. More info here...

The Church of San Pedro el Grande
Calle Nuncio, 14
The church dates from the 15th century, but the mudejan tower is a century older. The interior of the church was renovated in the 18th century. More info here...


XVI Century
La Capilla del Obispo
Plaza de la Paja, 9
Called literally, the Bishop's Chapel, this is Madrid's only gothic temple, built with the parochial Church of San Andrés in 1535. The altarpiece and main portal are from the renaissance period. More info here...
 
Casa de Cisneros
Plaza de la Villa, 4
La casa de Cisneros - Click to enlarge

Originally a plateresque palace constructed in 1537 for the Cardinal Cisneros, this marvellous building was recently restored by Luis Bellido and today houses various Town Hall departments, although Madrid's Ayuntamiento now has its headquarters in the Palacio de Comunicaciones in Plaza Cibeles. The previous Town Hall building (Casa de la Villa) is joined to this building by an interior passageway forming a bridge. More info here ...

Casa de la Panadería
Plaza Mayor, 27
La Casa de la Panadería - Click to enlarge

Named after the bakery it replaced, the construction of this building and its colourful facade of frescos was initiated in 1590, although it was changed in 1617 and restored in 1790 after a major fire in the plaza. More info here...

Casa de las Siete Chimeneas
Plaza del Rey, 1
Called literally the House of the Seven Chimneys, this old palace was built in 1577, although it has suffered numerous extensions and other changes. The Marques of Esquilache was living here when the popular rising of the same name started. Click for more info...
 
The Cloisters of San Jerónimo el Real
Calle Moreto, 4
The Catholic Kings (Isabel & Fernando) ordered this church built in the 15th century. It was practically destroyed during the War of Independence and restored by order of Isabel II.
 
Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
Plaza Descalzas Reales, 1
This monastery has a plateresque façade and was built between 1559 and 1564. It possesses a magnificent renaissance stairway and an important art collection.
 
Puente de Segovia
Calle Segovia, s/n.
This bridge was built in 1582 and is formed by 9 half-point arches and great blocks of stone and granite.
 


XVII Century
Casa de la Villa
Plaza de la Villa, 5

La Casa de la Villa - Click to enlarge

This Town Hall building was designed by Juan Gómez de Mora in 1640, although other architects such as José de Villarreal, Teodoro Ardemans, Juan de Villanueva and Luis Bellido have also worked on its construction, adding, for example, shields, a neoclassic column and the baroque portal.   The façade in Calle Mayor was terminated in 1787. More info...

Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzas
Calle Lope de Vega, 18
This convent was built between 1673 and 1688 in a very austere style.
 
Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes
Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 18
Built between 1624 and 1633, in an elliptic form, it possesses important frescos representing scenes from the life of St. Anthony.
 
Church of San Ginés
Calle Arenal, 13
This church's current structure is due to the the construction work and later renovation of 1645. The dome and naves were further reformed in the 18th century after being destroyed in a fire. More info...
 
Church of San Isidro el Real
Calle Toledo, 37 & 39
Work on this church began in 1622 and lasted until 1661. It was restored in the years 1767 - 1769. This church served as Madrid's cathedral for many years up until the inauguration of the Almudena Cathedral.
 
Palacio de Abrantes
Calle Mayor, 86
Built in 1653, this palace was reformed in 1844 to the original style, after being acquired by the Duke of Abrantes. More info...
 
Palacio de Santa Cruz
Plaza de la Provincia, 1
Built between 1629 and 1643, this palace originally served as a prison. The building was extended in 1940 and currently houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores). More info...
 
Palacio de Uceda
Calle Mayor, 79
This mansion is typical of Spanish aristocracy houses of the 17th and 18th century. It was constructed between the years of 1612 and 1618. More info...
 
Plaza Mayor

Madrid's Plaza Mayor - Click to enlarge

This majestic square was originally planned by Felipe II and his architect Juan de Herrera, but was inaugurated in1 620 during Felipe III's reign, whose statue sits proud in the very centre of the square. Juan Gómez de Mora gave it its rectangular form, and after it had suffered three fires Juan de Villanova completed the work in 1853 by joining the four sides. The square has been called Plaza Mayor since the 15th century, but was built on the site of the old Plaza del Arrabal and served as a market square until the late 19th century. (Also see our main Plaza Mayor page).

Real Monasterio de la Encarnación
Plaza de la Encarnación, s/n
This monastery is the work of Juan Gómez de la Mora and was built between 1611 and 1616. The original form of the construction has given name to this architectural style - "Madrileño baroque". The interior was renovated over a 12 year period starting in 1755 and contains several paintings and sculptures as well as exceptional works in precious metals.

 


XVIII Century
Basílica de San Francisco el Grande
Plaza San Francisco el Grande, s/n
Built between 1761 and 1768, it possesses a great dome of 33 metres diameter and contains 6 side chapels apart from the main one. It has a neo-classical façade and maintains an important art collection with works by Goya, Claudio Coello and Zurburán amongst others. More info...
 
Basílica de San Miguel
Calle San Justo, 4
Its façade is divided in two and shows several religious representations. It was built between 1739 and 1746.
 
Cámara de Comercio e Industria
Calle Huertas, 13
The Chamber of Commerce was originally the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Santoña. It was built in 1734 and restored in 1876.
 
Cuartel del Conde Duque
Calle Conde Duque, 9
Built as an army barracks between 1714 and 1720, this building has a splendid baroque portal. In the present day its patio is often used for open air concerts. More...
 
Ermita de la Virgen del Puerto
Paseo Virgen del Puerto, s/n
This small church was one of the first works by Pedro de Ribera and was built in 1718. More...
 
Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida
Glorieta San Antonio de la Florida, 3
Built between 1792 and 1798 in neo-classic style and in the shape of a Greek cross with dome. Inside, you can find some magnificent Goya frescos.
 
Fuente de Cibeles
Plaza Cibeles, s/n

Madrid's Plaza Cibeles - Click to enlarge

This statue was originally placed to one side of the square and is the work of Ventura Rodríguez in 1781. It has been changed several times since the original work and represents the Goddess of fertility, earth and harvests on a lion-pulled chariot. More...

Fuente de Neptuno
Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, s/n
This statue is the work of Juan de Mena based on drawings by Ventura Rodríguez. It represents Neptune on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by sea-horses. More info here...
 
Ministerio de Hacienda
Calla Alcalá, 11
This neo-classical building was constructed in 1769 and has a Romanesque façade and splendid stairway. It currently houses the Ministry of Economy.
 
Palacio de Buenavista
Plaza Cibeles, s/n
Built in 1777 and extended in 1780, this mansion is formed by two galleries around a central patio.
 
Palacio de la Comunidad de Madrid
Plaza Puerta del Sol, 7
Also known as the "Casa de Correos", the original headquarters of the Post Office, it was built between 1766 and 1768. Now the head quarters of the Community of Madrid's Autonomous Government, outside of which is a stone slab on the pavement marking Kilometre Zero - the official starting point for Spain's 6 National Roads. More...
 
Palacio Real
Calle Bailén, s/n
The Plaza Oriente - Click to enlarge
Also see our main Royal Palace page. The Royal Palace was built on the site of the old Alcázar, the moorish castle destroyed by fire in 1734. Juan Bautista Sacchetti initiated the project in 1737 and Francisco Sabatini and Ventura Rodríguez terminated the works. It is surrounded by the beautiful Sabatini and Campo del Moro parks. The palace itself contains furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics as well as other important works of art and frescos by Tiépolo. Take a guided tour of the Royal Palace.
 
Puente de Toledo
Glorieta Marqués de Vadillo, s/n
The construction of this baroque style bridge was ordered by Felipe V and carried out between 1719 and 1724 by Pedro de Ribera. The round turret style pillars give the impression of a fortress.
 
Puerto de Alcalá
Plaza de la Independencia, s/n
The Puerta de Alcalá - Click to enlarge
Built in 1778 to commemorate Carlos III's arrival in Madrid, the construction project was undertaken by Sabatini. This bridge is built of granite and limestone. More...
 
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Calle Alcalá, 13
To be found inside the baroque Goyeneche palace, built by Churrigera in 1724 and renovated in 1773 by Villanueva in neo-classic style. More info...
 
Salesas Reales
Calle Bárbara de Braganza, 1
This temple and convent was originally intended as a pantheon for Fernando VI and Bárbara of Braganza. Of baroque style in its structure and rococo en its decoration.
 
 


XIX Century

Banco de España

The Bank of Spain
Calle Alcalá, 50
The Bank of Spain was built between 1884 and 1891 on the site of the primitive Palacio de Alcañices. It contains an important collection of paintings. More...
 
Banco Hipotecario
This palace was built between 1845 and 1858 as a residence for the Marques of Salamanca.
 
Biblioteca Nacional & Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Calle Serrano, 13
The National Library and Archaeology Museum are housed in this neo-classic building whose construction work was initiated in 1866, but then delayed until restarting in 1874. The original construction project was by Francisco Jareño y Alarcóm. More info...
 
Casón del Buen Retiro
Calle Alfonso XII, 28
This building was originally constructed as a dance hall and reformed in 1981 to house Picasso's Guernica (now in the Reina Sofia museum). More info...
 
Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena
Calle Mayor, 92

Madrid's Almudena Cathedral - Click to enlarge

Madrid's cathedral was designed in 1879 by the Marques of Cubas in neo-gothic style and has a Romanesque crypt. The construction work was delayed until renewed in 1946 by the architects Carlos Sidro and Fernando Chueca Goitia in a neo-baroque style that covered the already built neo-gothic part. The work was finally terminated in 1993 and the Cathedral was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on the 15th June, 1993.

Estación de Atocha
Paseo Reina Cristina, s/n
This emblematic train station was Madrid's first and was inaugurated in 1851 by Queen Isabel II. Destroyed later by fire, the new station was opened in 1892 and is formed by a large steel curved building, closed off by lead-lined glass.
 
Palacio de Cristal
Paseo Duque de Fernán Nuñez, s/n - Retiro Park
The Palacio Cristal in Madrid's retiro Park - Click to enlarge
The Crystal Palace in the Retiro was built, naturally, of glass and steel in 1887 to hold the Philippines Exhibition, a show of exotic plants. More info...
 
Palacio del Congreso de los Diputados
Calle Fernanflor, 1
The Houses of Parliament were built in 1843 following the style of a renaissance palace, to which the large neo-classic portal was added later.
 
Palacio de Linares
Paseo Recoletos, 2
This mansion, with its French influence, was built in 1872 and has been renovated recently by Carlos Puente. It currently houses the Casa de América.
 
Palacio de Senado
Plaza Marina Española, 8
Built in renaissance style in 1835, this building houses the Spanish Senate.
 
Palacio de Velázquez
Paseo Duque de Fernán Nuñez, s/n - Retiro Park
Originally constructed to house a mining exhibition in 1883, the façade has an enormous porch with classical elements and ceramic decorations. Click for more info...
 
Palacio de Villahermosa
Paseo del Prado, 8
Antonio López Aguado built this mansion in 1805. However, the building is far more famous now for housing the Thyssen-Bornemisza art collection. More info...
 
Plaza de Oriente
(in front of the Royal Palace)
The Plaza Oriente - Click to enlarge

The construction work of this large square between the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre finalised in 1850. It has recently been totally renovated, with expansive pedestrian areas. More info here...

Puerta del Sol
This most famous of squares is popularly known as "Spain's belly button". It owes its current form to the major renovation work carried out between 1854 and 1860. See our Puerta del Sol page for more details. Or click here for hotels and apartments near the Puerta del Sol
 
Puerta de Toledo
Glorieta Puerta de Toledo, s/n
The Puerta de Toledo - Click to enlarge
Built in 1827 to commemorate the return of Fernando VII after the War of Independence. Of neo-classic style, it possesses two smaller arches surrounding the great central half-point arch.
 
Real Academia Española de la Lengua
Calle Felipe IV, 4
This building, of neo Greek classic style, was built between 1891 and 1894 and houses the official Spanish Language Academy. It has a splendid façade and porch.
 
Teatro de la Zarzuela
Calle Jovenallos, 4
The Scala of Milan was used as a model for the construction of this theatre of popular Spanish opera in 1856.
 
Teatro Real
Plaza Isabel II, s/n
The Royal Theatre was constructed on the site of the old Caños del Peral Theatre. The work began in 1818 and was completed in 1850. Throughout its existence, it has suffered many renovations, the last of which was completed in 1997.

 


XX Century
Antiguo Hospital de Jornaleros
Calle Maudes, 17
This old hospital was designed by Antonio Palacios and constructed between 1909 and 1918.
 
AZCA
This is a large commercial complex located to one side of the Paseo de la Castellana in the north of the city. Banks, shops and offices surround the impressive Torre Picasso, a 150m tall white tower with 46 floors  designed by the Japanese architect Minoru Yamasaki.
 
Telefónica Building
Calle Fuencarral, 3
This was the first tall building of any sort in Madrid and was completed in 1920 by Ignacio de Cardena based on initial architectonic work by Lewis Weelk. The New York influence is obvious.
 
Church of San Miguel & San Benito
Calle Alcalá, 83
Built in 1902 by Francisco Arbós y Tremantí and inspired in Byzantine architecture, the most notable aspect is its colourful façade.
 
Palacio de Telecommunicaciones
Plaza Cibeles, s/n
The Palacio de Telecomunicaciones - Click to enlarge
This absolutely splendid building currently houses the main Post Office and was built by Antonio Palacios at the beginning of the 20th century.
 
Puerta de Europa
Plaza de Castilla, s/n
The Puerta de Europa - Click to enlarge
Given the popular name of the KIO towers, these twin towers at the north end of the Paseo de la Castellana lean in to each other significantly marking the Madrid skyline. More...
 
Sociedad General de Autores
Calle Fernando VI, 4
The well-known banker Longoria ordered this building constructed - its one of the best examples of modernist style in Madrid, its façade decorated with floral motifs.
 
Templo de Debod
Paseo Pintor Rosales, s/n
The Templo Debod - Click to enlarge The Templo Debod - Click to enlarge
Included in this section, because it was erected in Madrid in the 1960's, otherwise it would have been covered by the waters of the Aswan dam. However, the original structure was built in the 2nd century B.C. close to the island of Philae. More information...
 
Torre España
Calle Alcalde Sainz de Baranda, 92
Commonly known as the "Piruli" or lollipop, this is a communication tower built in 1981. 220m tall, it is topped by a large radio and TV antennae.

Cuatro Torres Business Area España
Paseo de la Castellana
The four towers located in this area were actually built in the 21st Century, and are currently Spain's tallest buildings. More info...

 

 

 

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