Come with us and explore the Madrid of the Borbón dynasty, developed after the fall of the Austrian dynasty at the beginning of the XVIII century. Learn how the first French king (Philip V) was so horrified by Madrid upon his arrival when comparing it to his native Paris, and how he found the Spanish capital harsh and out-of-style. Also discover how a period of expansion and renewal would begin reaching its greatest heights under the king known as “The Best Mayor of Madrid,” Charles III. On our Free Walking Tour Madrid New City you will witness the push of both Madrid and Spain to become a more modern country, and how it transformed itself from the end of a decaying empire to today’s modern democracy.
Cross La Puerta del Sol, The Gate of the Sun, centre of the city, the beginning of all roads in Spain, and a symbol of the new enlightened order from where Charles III would pronounce the sentence that would guide his entire reign: “Everything for the people, but without the people.” Observe how the new Frenchified order seeks to enlighten the new city with the rays of reason, as you walk around the very symbolically-charged new urbanism, heavily influenced by the classical period. See the French king’s use of the rich cultural heritage (which was inherited from the Austrian kings) with the creation of museums and academies, which today translates to the famous Art Triangle. It’s here where in only a few hundred meters apart you have three of the most important art galleries in the world: The Prado Nacional Museum, The Reina Sofia and the Nacional Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza. Visit the fountains in which Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid celebrate their numerous titles.
Hear the stories of the Napoleonic Invasion and of the Uprising of the 2nd of May that followed, which would mean the beginning of the end for Napoleon, and the birth of modern Spain with a new national narrative – which is questioned today more than ever. Go over the tortuous path the led Spain from Enlightened Absolutism to today’s Parliamentary Monarchy in front of the most important symbol of its democracy: The Congress of the Deputies.
On our Free Walking Tour Madrid New City you will not only walk on some of the most beautiful streets in the Spanish capital around its most monumental and grandiose area, but also begin to understand the very complex and fascinating Spanish political climate over the last three centuries, and the problems and realities that its national identity faces to this very day.
This tour will be operated by our local partners in Madrid.