Located in the center of Spain, the province
lies around the city of Madrid. The city has
been Spain's capital since the 18th century.
It was founded on the 11th century by the
Arabs who gave it the name of 'Magerid'. Today
it's an important economical and cultural
center and home to a relevant historic and
artistic heritage in wich one can highlight
the 'Madrid de los Austrias'. Some 'must-sees'
are the 'Puerta del Sol' (the very center),
the 'Plaza Mayor' (main square) or the 'Palacio
de Oriente' (the old royal palace). Madrid
has excellent museums like the Prado
Museum, one of the best in the world for
painting. A recent acquisition has been the
collection hosted in a building accross the
street from the Prado Museum. Contemporary
art has its own museum, the Museo
Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
In Madrid province we suggest
visiting the monsatery of San Lorenzo del
Escorial, founded by the king Felipe II in
1563, and designed by Juan de Herrera the
most relvant reinassance Spanish architect.
To the south we recommend the town of Aranjuez,
an old Summer residence of the royal family.
We provide an extensive amount
of information about Madrid in our Softguide