This Walking Tour is a 3.4 Km, (2 mi 198 yd) , that will take you from a starting point, at Callao Plaza. On this Walking Tour, you will be able to see:
- (A) Plaza de Callao
- (B) Plaza España
- (C) Debod Temple in Madrid
- (D) Madrid Centre Skyline
- (E) Royal Palace and Sabatini Gardens
- (F) Plaza Santo Domingo
- Back to Callao Plaza
La Gran Via
As a starting point for this walking tour, we can begin from Callao, where you can see this view of the Gran Via, towards the North, on the route to Plaza España, 200 meters from this point.
In this part of Gran Via, we have what is now called “Madrid Broadway”, where most of the Musical shows are held.
Mostenses Market Beans And Pulses
Walking down from Callao, to Plaza España, a few meters to the right of Gran Via, you may find a traditional market called Los Mostenses.
In your walking tour, you could give it a quick look, or continue on to Plaza España.
Plaza España And Its Buildings
Plaza España is a large square in the historic centre of the city. The sculpture highlighted on this photo, is dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes, and his main work Don Quixote.
In Plaza España, is where two main avenues start, The Gran Via and Calle de la Princesa.
Shortly before the construction of Gran Vía, this square was called Plaza de San Marcial.
Prominently because of their height, are the two buildings in this square: Torre de Madrid (Tower of Madrid) from 1957 and Edificio España from 1953.
From this square, the two streets, Gran Vía and Avenida de la Princess have their beginning and ending according to their street numbering. Also Cuesta de San Vicente begins in Plaza de España.
With its 36,900 square meters, is one of the largest squares in Spain. It is not uncommon to see in this place tour groups from all nationalities, in any season.
Debod Temple – Reflections
Debod Temple at sunset with Torre de Madrid, and other buildings of Plaza España, in the background, are also reflected on the pond.
The Debod Temple is an ancient Egyptian construction that was originally in a small locality next to the Nile River with the name of Debod. Currently was moved, stone by stone, and located in Madrid.
Debod Temple was a gift from Egypt to Spain in 1968, in return for Spanish assistance, following the international call made by UNESCO to save the temples of Nubia, Abu Simbel primarily, endangered because the construction of the Aswan Dam.
Egypt donated four of the temples saved, to different partner nations that helped them: to the United States, Dendur (currently in the Metropolitan Museum of New York), Ellesiya to Italy, Taffa to Holland, and Debod to Spain.
Debod Temple is located west of Plaza España, and next to the Paseo del Pintor Rosales, on a small hill.
It has a history of about 2,200 years. Its oldest part was built under Pharaoh Ptolemy IV Philopator, and subsequently decorated by Nubian King Adijalamani de Meroe between 200-180 B C.
Madrid Autumn Sunset
Madrid is sunny most of the year, but in autumn the sky gets just the right amount of clouds and tones, that make it very beautiful to watch and photograph.
Because of being on a small hill, and overlooking the West from the Debod Temple, is probably one of the best spots to see a Madrilian autumn sunset.
La Almudena and Royal Palace
The Debod Temple area is on a small hill, which makes it a great place to take pictures of Madrid.
In this case, towards the south of the Temple, you have this spot where you can take a picture of the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral, and to the right, Basílica San Francisco el Grande.
I recommend to go at late afternoon so that you can see the sunset, and the nice illumination on the buildings.
Debod Temple Gardens
On our way to Palacio Real and Sabatini Gardens, before leaving the Debod Temple area, we give it the last glimpse with the stunning illumination.
Madrid Centre Skyline
On our walking tour towards our next stop, the Royal Palace, we can see what up to 1988 was the tallest building and skyline in Madrid. Torre de Madrid, to the left of this picture, had that record, until Torre Picasso took its place.
This building was finished on its first stage, in 1957, and completed in 1960. Until 1967, Torre de Madrid was the tallest reinforced concrete building on the World.
Royal Palace and Sabatini Gardens
In these gardens that were created in the 1930’s. Madrid Municipality organize acts and concerts on the summer evenings. They are worth seeing, not only because of the talent of the artists, but also because of the beautiful location.
The Sabatini Gardens are located off the north facade of the Palacio Real in Madrid. They occupy an area of 2.54 hectares.
Plaza Santo Domingo
Since the thirteenth century, there was a big Dominican convent founded by St. Domingo de Guzmán in the year 1218.
For most of the nineteenth century there was a famous flower market in this plaza. In the 1920s the first underground car park in Spain, took the space of the flower market, and after nearly a century of changes, in February 2006 began demolition to build the plaza and to arrange the nearby streets into a quiet pedestrian square.
Plaza de Callao is in the middle of the Gran Via, and very close distance to Puerta del Sol, so it makes it a good starting point to walk to most of the historical centre of Madrid. It is also very close to the best theatres, restaurants, and shopping streets.