Walking Tour 5 – Madrid Center, Plaza Santa Ana And Museums
Starting at Puerta del Sol, this 1,7 Miles (2.8 Kms.) Walking Tour, will take us to see:
- (A) Plaza del Ángel
- (B) Santa Ana Plaza
- (C) Huertas Area, and Literary Madrid
- (D) Prado Museum
- Paseo del Prado
- (E) Neptuno Plaza
- (F) Thyssen Museum
- (G) Congress of Deputies
- (H) Carrera de San Jerónimo and Canaletas Plaza
- (I) Alcalá Street
- Back at Puerta del Sol
Terrace Bars, Tapas, and Pubs In Huertas Area in Madrid
In the area known as “Huertas” which includes the Barrio de las Letras (Literary Neighbourhood close to Calle Huertas), Plaza Santa Ana, and the surrounding streets including the streets toward Puerta del Sol, Plaza Canalejas, up to Carrera de San Jerónimo, is one of liveliest places in Madrid. It has a lot of terraces, restaurants, pubs, and other recreational places and spaces.
Today some of these places are historical, but have also been updated to adapt to the changes that Madrid has experienced with immigration, converting it in a very cosmopolitan city.
The Madrilian tradition of “ir de vinos” (going for a few wines), in this area of the city, was one of the most frequented leisure activities. Typical locations, tapas bars, that maintained the old traditions and atmosphere of taverns, and old tapas bars.
In the background in this photo, you can see the “Teatro Español” (Spanish Theater), and terrace bars of Plaza Santa Ana, on a sunny morning.
Currently, there are more terrace bars, pubs, discos, and other places to listen to live Jazz, Spanish and Latin music, like Salsa, Merengue etc., near Plaza Santa Ana.
Cerveceria Alemana en Plaza Santa Ana de Madrid
The “Cervecería Alemana”, (German brewery), established in 1904, is where bohemian and bullfighters frequented in the old times . It was also one of the favourite places of Ernest Hemingway, when he visited Madrid.
Federico García Lorca’s Sculpture – Plaza Santa Ana
The statue of Federico García Lorca is right in front of the Teatro Español, in Plaza Santa Ana.
Unfortunately on a night of April 2011, some vandals tore apart the lark from the hands of the statue, and no one saw it.
This photo was taken the 24 of July, 2011, and galdfully, it looks like the lark has been returned, and back in its place again.
The Municipality, spends 100.000 €uros annually, to repair the damage caused to the 2.300 listed monuments that suffer some kind of vandalism. The vast majority of cases, this money is used to clean paint and graffitti, but few times the figures are broken or torn.
There is a free phone number(900 503 340) to report such vandalism.
Santa Ana Plaza in Madrid, And Its Terrace Bars
The Santa Ana Plaza, is the center of the Huertas area in Madrid. As seen in the picture, it is very active having many terraces, bars and restaurants, all day.
Also at night time, there are many places in the surroundings, to dine indoors, or a terrace, and after dinner, there are places to listen to music, and have a drink.
The building in the background, is a hotel known as Gran Hotel Reina Victoria. Its white façade overlooks the square, and the Teatro Español (Spanish Theatre), which is in this photo, would be just behind the photographer.
This eclectic modernist styled building, was designed and built in the period from 1919 to 1923, by the architect Jesus Carrasco-Muñoz.
Before becoming a hotel in 1986, it was a department store, called Simeon Stores.
It is worth taking the lift to the roof, where there is a Chill Out bar where you can have a drink, and wonderful views of this part of the city.
Huertas Area, and Literary Madrid
Huertas Street, is in the “Barrio de las Letras” (Writen Arts, and also known as Neighbourhood of the Comedians.
In this area of the “Literary Neighborhood”, is where the most famous authors like Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, and Tirso de Molina, belonging to the Spanish Golden Century, lived on the 17th Century.
Sign in “Barrio de Las Letras”, close to Huertas Street, which sais in English “Here lived and died Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, whose brilliant talent the world admires. Died in MDCXVI ( year 1616)
Huertas street runs from Plaza del Angel to Plaza Platería de Martinez (location of the Royal Factory of Silver), very close to Paseo del Prado, and to the Prado Museum area.
Plaza Santa Ana, is the heart of Huertas, and the meeting point where there is many restaurants and terrace bars to be able to enjoy the great Madrilian weather most of the year.
El Prado Museum
Neptuno Plaza Fountain
Thyssen Bornemisza Museum
The sculpture “Woman of Coslada” by Antonio Lopez, received us in the hall of the Thyssen Museum, the days when the exhibition was held, on the summer of 2011.
Apart from temporary exhibitions, the museum has the largest private collection with old masters, and artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, which results in a compilation that extends eight centuries of European painting.
The Thyssen Museum, focuses in European painting from the 14th and 15th centuries, Italian paintings by Duccio, and his contemporaries. Also, the works of the Flemish and Dutch painters like Jan Van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein. Other highlights include the most famous Baroque and Renaissance painters, including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Murillo, Rembrandt and Frans Hals.
The museum’s collection includes works by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Vincent Van Gogh. Also, masterpieces of the twentieth century of Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper.
Palace of Congress, and Carrera San Jerónimo
View taken from the Plaza de las Cortes, where you can see, Plaza Neptuno, and San Jerónimo el Real, which is the church further away.
Palace of the Parliament, located in the Plaza de las Cortes in Madrid Here the Deputies of the Lower House of Parliament, meet.
Reina Victoria Theater alongside of Tomas Allende Building in the Carrera de San Jerónimo.
View from the Carrera de San Jerónimo in Canalejas Square, to the north on Seville Street.
Sevilla Metro In Alcala Street
This shot shows to the west on Calle Alcalá, towards Puerta del Sol which is about 150 meters away. You can see the building in front of Spanish Bank Banesto, and to the right, the Casino de Madrid.
Calle de Alcala is one of the oldest in Madrid. Its birth, and subsequent elongation, corresponds with the growth of Madrid, following the times.
Its origin as a street begun after building Puerta del Sol, just a few meters from where this photo was taken, thus this are the buildings having the low numbering of the street.
This photo shows the East from Puerta del Sol. To the right, you have the even numbers, and the odd numbers at left. We are more or less in front of number 4 of Alcalá, on this picture.
The Bear And The Strawberry Tree
The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree (Oso y el Madroño), is a sculpture of the second half of the twentieth century. It is located in the heart of Madrid, and it represents the Official Symbol of the city.
It is installed on the eastern side of the Puerta del Sol, between Calle de Alcalá and Carrera de San Jerónimo, in the historic center of the capital.