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The Templo de Debod is actually an Egyptian temple which is located in Madrid . An amazing Madrid attraction, the temple marks one of the few pieces of Egyptian architecture that can be seen outside of Egypt . The temple once stood in the Valley of the Nile and was presented to Spain by the Egyptian government when it was threatened by the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan.
The Templo de Debod was originally built early in the 2nd century BC and was dedicated to the goddess Isis. The actual construction of the temple was started by Adikhalamani and was finished by Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, and Hadrian.
The Egyptian government actually dismantled the temple stone by stone in 1969 and then reconstructed it in Madrid , opening it to the public in 1971. The temple is currently located in one of Madrid 's most magnificent parks on the former site of Spanish army barracks.
The Templo de Debod is open Tuesday through Sunday year round at a price of around two Euros for adults and one Euro for children under sixteen. Admission to the temple is free on Wednesdays and Sunday.
"The Convent of Las Descalzas Reales" means the Covent of the Royal Discalced Nuns. It is located on the site of the mansion where King Charles I lived with his wife Isabel. Their daughter Juana was born in the mansion in 1535.
After the death of her husband, Juana turned the building into a convent in 1557, naming it "Poor Clares." Juana is actually buried in the building. Her tomb is located in one of the mansions chapels. Pomeyo Leoni created a sculpture of Juana at prayer which resides outside her tomb.
Shortly after its creation, a large number of aristocratic girls came to the convent along with their dowry's which made the convent one of the richest in the world wigth regard to not only funds, but also paintings, metals, and religious relics.
The convent opened as a museum in 1960 and it showcases some of the dowry items left behind by the nuns. Some of the notable items in the museum include pieces of wood that are said to be from the true cross, Titan's Caesar's money, and some of St. Sebastian's bones. Most of the convent remains preserved as it was during the life of Juana, including the beautiful main staircase, the Chapel of the Miracle, and the buildings 17th century frescos.
The convent is mainly a museum now but a small number of nuns still reside there. Admission to the museum is usually around five Euros for adults and three Euros for children. A guided tour is available for visitors in Spanish only.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is the third museum in the so called “Golden Triangle of Art” in Madrid. The three Madrid museums encompass a great variety of Madrid 's art history.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza was first started in 1920 by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza as a private collection. The Baron collected works from the collections of his relatives and established one off the largest private collections of art in the world. His wife, Carmen Cervera, also added art to the collection and ultimately helped the Baron make the decision to cede his massive collection over to Spain in order for the museum to be opened.
Sadly, the Baron passed away in 2002, but his wife remains involved in the museums operations. The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza contains eight centuries of European painting with a good deal of the collection coming from the 14th and 15th century. Famous artists represented in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza include Picasso, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrant.
Museum ticket prices are determined by what particular exhibits you would like to see. Tickets generally range from five Euros to nine Euros, with reduced prices available for students and senior citizens. Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
If you're looking to escape the traditional Madrid tourist attractions, Lavapies is an excellent place to visit in order to experience a bit of the real culture of Madrid . The medieval street plan isn't generally considered a popular tourist spot simply because there aren't that many landmarks or attractions nearby. The barrio has become a melting pot for a variety of different cultures in Madrid and is a wonderful place to explore.
"Lavapies" loosely translated means “Place of the Jews.” The area was once the Jewish quarter of the city and the home of the majority of the Madrid Jewish population. Today a variety of different races and cultures live in the area.
The neighborhood can be a wonderful place for an afternoon stroll. You can often see a variety of locals chatting with one another, children playing in the street, and ladies hanging their laundry out to dry. Lavapies is an excellent place to get a real sense of Madrid culture away from the hustle and bustle of all the typical tourist attractions.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (MNCARS) is Spain's national museum of 20th century art. The Madrid museum, which is often referred to as simply "The Sofia," was named after the Spanish Queen Sofia, and originally opened its doors to the public in 1990.
Two important artists on display in the museum are Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The museum also includes works by Joan Miro, Lucio Munoz, Pablo Gargallo, Eduardo Chillida and many others.
The Sofia is easily assessable by train and metro due to its location near the Atocha train and metro station. The museum is also located near several other art museums making it an excellent museum to visit in conjunction with trips to other museums in the area. The area where the Sofia is located is often referred to as the Golden Triangle of Art for its proximity to the Museo de Prado and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Admission to the Sofia is six Euros, with free admission for those under the age of 18, over the age of 65, and retired and unemployed people. Visitors can also purchase a combined ticket that allows them to visit the three museums in the area at a reduced rate.
The Palacio Real is the official Royal P alace of Madrid, although the king of Spain no longer actually lives there. The palace is currently only used by the king for official ceremonies.
The current palace was built between 1738 and 1755 by King Philip V after the original building on the site was destroyed by fire. In order to prevent future destruction of the palace the entire building was constructed without using any wood, and instead builders used only stones and brick.
King Charles III moved into the castle in 1764. Decorations in the palace have evolved with time and often reflect the time period of the current king. Charles III's mark on the palace has been left behind in the throne room, porcelain room, and king's chamber décor. Charles IV left behind the Hall of Mirrors and Queen Maria Luisa's Plasterwork Room. King Alfonso XII made his mark with the Gala Dining Room. The palace also contains a substantial painting room.
If you decide to make a trip to the palace you will want to spend a little bit of time in the palace gardens. The gardens, which are known as Campo del Moro, or The Moor's Field, were created in 1890. The garden has several statues of previous kings, as well as a variety of lush vegetation.
The Prado museum is the biggest art museum in the world, and was built during the reign of Charles III in the late 1700s. When it was constructed, Charles was trying to create a magnificent monument in the city. The Madrid museum was named Prado, after its location. Meadows still surround the museum and can be a beautiful site in the spring and summer months when the vegetation surrounding the museum is thriving.
The Prado was originally intended to be a natural history museum. After the Spanish war however it was decided to turn the museum into an art gallery. After several changes in ownership and museum add-ons the museum now houses over 10,000 different paintings. 2,000 paintings are on display in the museum, while the majority remain in storage. The museum also houses a variety of different sculptures and drawings, as well as over 1,000 coins and medals.
A good deal of the paintings on display in the museum are royal portraits, however, the museum has several pieces of contemporary art on display as well. Some of the famous painters on display in the museum include Velazquez, Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, and Bartolome Esteban Murillo.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday as well as public holidays. Admission is six Euros with a reduced admission price of three Euros for children, students under 25, and large groups. The museum also offers free admission on Sundays and some holidays.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|