The Spanish capital, a tourist landmark in terms of culture, architecture, gastronomy and art, can be visited from many different perspectives. One of them is the Madrid de los Austrias.
There is no precise geographical delimitation for Hapsburg Madrid. It is colloquially known as the Hapsburg Quarter, located in the central district of the capital, and which represents the medieval layout plus the urban expansion that took place under the reigns of the House of Habsburg, from Charles I to Charles II, passing through Philip II and Philip III.
Hapsburg Madrid is made up of well-known squares such as Plaza Mayor and Plaza del Sol, emblematic buildings such as the Royal Palace and the San Miguel Market, and streets as recognisable as Calle Mayor and Carrera de San Francisco.
If you start at a specific point, you can discover the Madrid of the Hapsburgs starting at the Royal Theatre, and after visiting the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, head for the Plaza Mayor with its statue of Philip III standing out in the centre of it. Not far from here is the Mercado de San Miguel, an old market that has been restored and is now a fashionable meeting place for gourmets eager for good wines and delicacies, for an aperitif, lunch or dinner. The Puerta del Sol is also nearby and could be an interesting end to a day trip through Madrid de los Austrias.
However, if you just walk through the spaces and enjoy the Renaissance and Baroque buildings that you will find on your stroll, you will miss many small details of great importance. Such as the ceramic plaques in the streets of Madrid, which reveal many clues to the historical past of the places where you find them; the bronze plaques, which are commemorative plaques awarded by the Madrid City Council in 2007 and which recognise century-old businesses; or the mentideros, the stands of the convent of San Felipe el Real, a place where the people of Madrid used to meet to chat and gossip.
Being such a central and important area, as well as the historical and architectural surroundings, you can enjoy the wide range of gastronomic offerings in the neighbourhood, with places as diverse as the aforementioned Mercado de San Miguel, the Taberna del Capitán Alatriste, AskuaBarra or Chema's Gastro.
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