March 29, 2014
Madrid, originally called Majrit (The water channel)
, was founded by the emir Muhammad I at the end of the IX century. It was under the Arab occupation
of the Iberian Peninsula, that the city gained importance, since initially the main city in the Spanish plain had been Toledo.
During the Reconquest of Spain by the Christians, Madrid passed from Muslim to Christian hands several times, it was the origin of the mixture of cultures which characterizes the city still today.
The present location of Madrid, in the centre of Spain, was established by the king Alfonso I in 1083. Under Christian control, all symbols of the Muslim world were removed from the city and part of the cultural heritage of Madrid was lost.
During the following centuries the city developed reaching its current aspect. The Main Square (Plaza Mayor) was built under the auspice of John II on the 13th century. Later on, Enrique III ordered the building of El Pardo Palace as a place of residence for royal visits, the city kept on growing in size, and finally in 1561 the Spanish Court was transferred from its location in Toledo to Madrid.
Saturday, March 29th
After an early start and train ride to Schiphol we arrive in Madrid Barajas Airport. From here there is a good Metro connection with the inner city of Madrid. After one change of Metro line, we arrive at the Cuzco Metro station...
Sunday, March 30th
Today we first visit a local flea-market. El Rastro de Madrid or simply el Rastro is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid. It is held every Sunday and public holiday during the year....
Monday, March 31th
The Cibeles Palace (Palacio de Cibeles), formerly The Palace of Communication (Palacio de Comunicaciones) until 2011, is a palace located on the Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid, Spain. Over the years...