Come with us and dive into the roots of Madrid, from its settlement as a small Moorish town in the 9th century, to its establishment in the 16th century as the capital of the biggest empire to date: The empire of the most powerful family in medieval Europe also known as the Habsburgs. On our Free Walking Tour Madrid Old City you will see how a minor Latin language (Castilian), became one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world thanks to the controversial colonisation of the Americas propelled by the Catholic King and Queen, Fernando and Isabel.
Learn about all the cultures that form the rich Spanish genealogical map: From classical Greece and Rome, the Germanic and Moorish invasions, the reclaiming of the Christians who would expel the Jews, and the influence of the New World, America. Let our guides show you the essence of them all which today is still evident in the city’s architecture and culture, and the everyday life of Madrileños.
Navigate through the lights and shadows of a fascinating historical period. Get frightened by the shocking stories of the infamous Spanish Inquisition, yet enjoy the religious heritage of the city through its many stunning temples scattered through its countless streets. Walk through El Barrio de las Letras (The Arts Quarter) and learn how as the Empire bled through its many wars and bankruptcies, the more and better literature flooded the streets, theatres, and inns, producing works of immense universal relevance such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote. For the Habsburgs weren’t just absolute monarchs, they were also great patrons of the arts, protecting and financing such great artists as Velázquez, Tiziano or Rubens, whose works now rest before eternity in the walls of the Prado Museum.
On Our Free Walking Tour Madrid Old City we will give you the keys of understanding modern-day Madrid through its history: An inclusive, cosmopolitan, welcoming, culturally-rich city full of contrasts. You will discover how it transformed from old, isolated and cold Castile, to an empire which conquered the seas. An empire so big that in the words of Phillip II: “The empire on which the sun never sets.”
This tour will be operated by our local partners in Madrid