Being the capital city of Spain guarantees that Madrid is full of history. Therefore, there are many different sightseeing opportunities that allow you to learn more about this magical city. At AIL, we host a variety of activities for our students, to teach them more about where they are studying! Here, we opted for a walk through the Madrid of Los Austrias. This taught us more about the history of this beautiful area.
Where we walked: Madrid of Los Austrias
During the 16th century, King Philip II began constructing the House of Austria’s imperial court in Madrid. Despite being so many centuries later, the historic centre of Madrid still conserves the architectural highlights of that time. The Austrias neighboroughood that we explored is famous for being historically significant for this era. We began our walk in the Plaza Mayor, a timeless square that has hosted all kinds of events throughout history. It’s been known to house markets, bullfights, and auto-da-fés, amongst many more. In the middle of the square you’ll see the equestrian statue of Philip III, who ordered the reconstruction of this now-famous plaza. However its current architecture is thanks to Juan de Villanueva’s, following a fire in 1790.
We then walked through the old narrow streets of the time, to the Plaza de la Villa. Our students loved it here because of its range of architectural styles, and its prime location. In this picturesque square you can find: the Lujanes’ House and Tower (15th century), built with a Gothic-Mudejar style, the Cisneros’ House (16th century), a Plateresque palace, and the Casa de la Villa (17th century), which features a Baroque style.
Thanks to this walking tour, our students gained a great insight into the history and culture of Madrid. If you fancy joining us on our next adventure round the city, check out our after-class activities page. All activities are completely free and there are over 80 on offer to all students of AIL. To get involved just sign up for a class today!
Need more persuading? Read about another one of our activities: Madrid’s Centennial Taverns. You won’t want to miss our next activity!