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Puerta del Sol, 28013 Madrid Spain

Discover the Madrid of the Austrias: A Journey to the Historic Heart of the Capital

Welcome to Trip Tours Madrid, where history and legends are around every corner. Today we invite you to immerse yourself in one of our most popular tours, the Free Tour Madrid de los Austrias. This walk through the oldest Madrid will not only reveal the best kept secrets of the city, but will also make you experience history in a unique and exciting way.

What is the Madrid de los Austrias?

Madrid de los Austrias is the name given to the oldest part of our city, the one that flourished under the reign of the powerful Habsburg dynasty. From Charles I in the 16th century, to the last of the Habsburgs, Charles II in 1700, this era was fundamental in shaping the Madrid we know today. Cobblestone streets, majestic palaces, and squares that still retain the air of past grandeur await you on our tour.

History and Development of the Neighborhood

The origin of Madrid

Madrid became the capital of Spain under the reign of Philip II in 1561, a change that marked the beginning of major developments in the city. The choice was not accidental; Madrid’s location, in the heart of the peninsula, made it perfect from a logistical point of view, in addition to its climate and abundance of game, which was to the royalty’s liking.

Emblematic buildings

During the Hapsburg period, many of the historic buildings that are emblematic of Madrid today were built. The Royal Palace, the Plaza Mayor and the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales are just a few examples of the impressive architecture that was promoted by the kings of the house of Austria.

The Historical Importance of Hapsburg Madrid

The Plaza Mayor: Heart of the Hapsburgs’ Madrid

The Plaza Mayor is one of the most emblematic sites of Hapsburg Madrid. Originally known as the Plaza del Arrabal, it was transformed in the 17th century under Philip III, whose equestrian statue still dominates the center of this historic square. Originally, this place served as a central market and was the scene of numerous events, including festivals, bullfights, and, unfortunately, also executions and autos de fe during the Inquisition. Today, the square is a vibrant meeting point surrounded by cafes and stores, where visitors can feel the pulse of the city while enjoying a cup of coffee, observing the impressive frescoes that adorn the Bakery House.

Free Tour Medieval

The Royal Palace: A Testimony of Imperial Greatness

Although the current Royal Palace was built during the reign of the Bourbons, its location has been the site of a royal residence since the time of the Habsburgs. The old Alcazar, destroyed by fire in 1734, was the official residence of the kings of Spain during the Hapsburg period. The new palace was built on the same site, emulating the magnificence and style of the great European palaces. Today’s visitors can explore its countless rooms adorned with works of art, tapestries and furniture that tell the story of an imperial and powerful Spain.

Legends and Anecdotes of the Neighborhood

The Legend of Elbow Street

One of the narrowest and most peculiar streets of Madrid de los Austrias is Calle del Codo, so called because of its pronounced curvature. According to legend, this street was the scene of a curious nocturnal encounter between Philip IV and a mysterious man dressed in black. The story goes that the king, known for his incognito night walks, came across this enigmatic character who, after a brief dialogue, disappeared into the darkness, leaving the king perplexed and terrified. Some say it was the devil himself with whom the king conversed that night.

The Secret of the Plaza de la Villa

The Plaza de la Villa, another emblematic site of Madrid de los Austrias, is surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in the city, including the Casa de la Villa, which was Madrid’s city hall until 2007. This picturesque corner witnessed political intrigues and significant events. It is rumored that secret passageways connected this former town hall to other important buildings, allowing rulers and advisors to move discreetly during times of conspiracy or danger.

The Ghost of the House of the Seven Chimneys

It is said that the spirit of a lady from the court of Philip II still roams the House of the Seven Chimneys. Her story, between love, mystery and tragedy, is one of the many that we will share with you on our tour.

Discover More in Our Free Tour of the Hapsburgs Madrid

Each visit to these places allows you to step where history was written. The streets and squares of Hapsburg Madrid are not just dots on a map, but pages of an open book waiting to be read. In our Free Tour through Madrid de los Austrias, we not only show you these places, but we also tell you the stories that make them alive.

Unique Experiences on Our Tour

Our tour is not just a historical walk; it is an immersion in the past, an opportunity to experience history through anecdotes and legends, observing the architecture and details that many overlook. With us, every step is a discovery, every story a treasure revealed.

Reserve your place now!

We invite you to discover the Madrid of the Austrias with us. Book your place on our next free tour and let yourself be carried away by the stories of kings, intrigues and legends. It is a perfect opportunity to see and experience Madrid in a totally different way.

To explore Hapsburg Madrid with Trip Tours Madrid is to immerse yourself in a living account of the history, architecture and culture that defines the Spanish capital. Come and live the story with us.

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