Monuments in Madrid, Spain

Category: Madrid

The beautiful city of Madrid features an abundance of monuments and principal landmarks, a testament, perhaps, to better days during the Spanish Empire. Below we will take a look at just of few of these monuments of Madrid and provide a brief description of each:

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Spain, now used only sparingly by the Spanish Royal family, has now opened its doors to tourists, and guided tours are widely available. The Royal Palace was built in 1738 on the exact spot where the previous castle was destroyed in an unfortunate fire, and today this 18th century beauty, with breathtaking views of Southern Madrid and the Manzanares River, is one of the most visited sites in all of Spain.

Almudena Cathedral

One of Madrid’s newest landmarks, the Almudena Cathedral was officially opened to tourists by Pope John Paul II in 1993. Conveniently located near the Royal Palace, this majestic structure provides an excellent contrast between modern-day and ancient Madrid monuments. As a bonus, when standing in front of the cathedral you can see parts of the palace courtyard and the Madrid City Wall, which dates back to the 9th century AD.

Puerta Alcala

The Puerta Alcala features a series of beautiful arches in the center of a roundabout structure, signifying the five ancient entrances to the city. A tourist attraction in and of itself, the building is also used to host a number of annual events in Madrid, ranging from rallies to concerts to sporting events, and even the Eurovision song contest. Standing at the base of the monument will provide you with an excellent view of Cibeles as well as the main road into Sol, and from behind you can catch a glimpse of the sanctuary in Retiro park.

Palacio de Cristal

If you happen to be taking a stroll through the gorgeous Parque de Retiro, you simply must check out the Palacio de Cristal at the park’s southern end. Built in 1887 by Ricardo Velasquez Bosco, this glass structure was built after the Crystal Palace in London, originally for the purpose of housing exotic plants brought from Asia. Today the building is used almost exclusively for temporary exhibits, but is still a must-see treat for the eyes.

Puerta de Toledo

The Puerta de Toledo features roughly the same style of architecture as the Puerto Alcala, with much of the same significance. This prominent Madrid landmark signifies the old entrance to the city from the city of Toledo.

Plaza Cibeles

The largest roundabout structure on the Castellana, the Plaza Cibeles is situated just in front of the main Madrid post office. This ornately decorated landmark will amaze you with its sheer size and the fascinating fountain located in its center depicting Neptune and his chariot. This monument is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and the starting and/or finishing point for many Madrid sporting events.