Last month I had the opportunity to visit Madrid for the first time. The spring started and a new local project, at thesame time, dealing with my work from Shanghai. I needed time to hang out and meet local places on my first visit and so this is basically all the places I fell in love with and I think a MUST-SEE!.
Also known as Puerta de Atocha, it was inaugurated in 1851, then the building was largely destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1892. The name Atocha has become attached to the station because of the nearby basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Atocha. The train platforms were partly covered by a roof in the form of the inverted hull with a height of approximately 27 meters and length of 157 meters. The steel and glass roof spreads between two brick flanking buildings. All corners here are a vintage dream, the windows, the architecture remains intact, so its perfect for pictures and to hang out, you have different food places and also a central huge garden.
The original building was taken out of service as a terminal and converted into a concourse with shops, cafés, a nightclub and the magnificent greenhouse. Over 7,000 plants belonging to around 260 different species adorn the garden, including a pond with 22 species of fish and turtles. In the summer months, when the dry heat of Madrid seeps through the glass roof, hundreds of tiny sprinklers let off a sort of steam, giving the place a genuine look of outdoors jungle.
MUSEO REINA SOFIA
Also knows as El Reina, Spain’s national museum of 20th-century art. The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992, and is named for Queen Sofía. It’s near the Atocha so, its perfect location if you have just a few days to meet places around the city, in this area, you can also find Golden Triangle of Art (located along the Paseo del Prado and also comprising the Museo del Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza).
Along with its extensive collection, the Sophia museum offers a mixture of national and international temporary exhibitions in its many galleries, making it one of the world’s largest museums for modern and contemporary art.
It also hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings, and almost 1,000 videos.
La Dama del Manzanares was the place I loved the most on this trip. It’s just an urban sculpture located in the Manzanares Park. Located at the highest point of the Linear Park, this places is famous for its 35-hectare garden area articulated around the banks of the homonymous river, in the vicinity of the so-called south junction of the M-30 motorway.
The lady was made of bronze and steel in 2003, from a design by the Valencian artist Manolo Valdés, one of the founders of Equipo Crónica. It measures 13 meters high and weighs approximately 8 tons. The sculpture crowns the top of the artificial hill of La Atalaya, which was elevated, as a viewpoint of the city, on a pyramid platform 21 m high, designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill.
It represents the head of a woman, with her face oriented towards the north, that is, towards the urban center of Madrid. It is dedicated to the Manzanares River. In 2005 a lighting system was inaugurated, consisting of 24 projectors, whose tonalities change with each station. And the power it has, the face of the lady, you can see the Sierra Nevada from here, this feeling is indescribable. a powerful place to be.
A cultural and particular place to visit, it was a former slaughterhouse in the Arganzuela district, which has been converted to an arts center. Matadero Madrid is lively, constantly changing space at the service of creative processes, participatory artistic training, and dialogue between the arts. It was set up to help reflect on the contemporary sociocultural environment and support processes to build the culture of today and tomorrow. A lab for experimentation and promoting new cross-disciplinary formulae.
The buildings were in use as a slaughterhouse until 1996. At the turn of the 21st century, Madrid City Council decided to turn this space into a great laboratory for contemporary artistic creation. In keeping with its experimental vocation, all the restoration work has been developed through a newly added, flexible and reversible architecture that uses industrial materials that go with the premises’ character.
Thus, Matadero has become an opportunity to experiment with Madrid’s new architecture, is also a place with different spaces and areas, for this place more than 1 day is needed. Art spaces, video expositions, pub, cafes, art arcades. All you can imagine. If you love culture, visuals, and performance as much as I do, this place is for you.
MERCADO SAN MIGUEL
This places is also magic and has a huge significance for me as my grand-father visit it, my father visits it and now I am visiting it so all of us have a different idea of how it was before and what it is now.
San Miguel is a covered market originally built in 1916, it was purchased by private investors in 2003 who renovated the iron structure and reopened it in 2009.
San Miguel Market is the most popular market in Madrid among tourists since it is located in the center of Madrid, within walking distance from Plaza Mayor. The market is not a traditional grocery market but a gourmet tapas market, with over 30 different vendors selling a wide variety of freshly prepared tapas, from lovely wine and tapas bars to colorful stalls selling all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood, there’s nothing you can’t find in Madrid’s best and most exciting market.
In addition to its superb choice of Spanish and international produce, Mercado de San Miguel is also an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. And although the venue itself is now extremely elegant and equipped with the latest technology, it still manages to retain its traditional heritage and atmosphere.