The borough of the ‘Austrias’ is considered to be the most genuine area in the capital of Spain. Among all the Madrid tours we offer in our catalog, a guided walk over these narrow streets is a product that you cannot miss. These are some of facts and monuments that make this area so special.
The native of Madrid use ‘Austrias’ word to refer to a part of the historic borough that was developed during the reign of Habsburg dynasty, whose origins were in Austria. Those kings, starting by Charles I and finishing by Charles II, fell in love with this city and ordered to build many buildings in this area in 16th and 17th centuries. The most important moment of that period took place in 1561: that year, the king Philip II named Madrid the capital of the biggest empire of the moment.
This borough is not only history, but present too. One of the reasons why lots of tourists walk through this area everyday is its preservation: many buildings of that period still remain today, giving the borough a lovely look that takes us centuries back. Besides this, the ‘Austrias’ is a place where some of the best restaurants and tapas bar are located, so many people, including natives of Madrid, have lunch and dinner here.
Main monuments of the ‘Austrias’
You’ll discover the beauty of this borough not only in the buildings, but also in the small details. Anyway, these are some of the main monuments of the ‘Austrias’, which you’ll discover in our Madrid tours:
Monuments of Plaza Mayor: this great square is a monument itself. Its porches and granite columns, its roofs made by slates, the red paint of the walls… The appearance of this place shows you how Madrid was centuries ago, even if it was renovated in 1790 after a devastating fire. At the center of the square, there is statue: it represents Phillip III, the first king born here. He, of course, belonged to the Habsburg dynasty. Another monument that is worth mentioning is the Cuchilleros Arch, a humble arch over a stair that leads you to old streets full of restaurants and bars.
Monuments of Plaza de la Villa: unlike Plaza Mayor, this is a very quiet square. The main building of it is Casa de la Villa, which used to host the City Hall. It was a prison centuries ago and it shows the basic features of Madrilenian architecture: walls made by bricks and granite, two towers in the facade topped by pinnacles and roofs made by slate. In front of it, the oldest civil building of Madrid: Casa de los Lujanes, a medieval house that was designed in mudejar style, which is a mix between Christian and Muslim architecture. The third building of the square is Casa de Cisneros: its facade was renovated in the 20th century following the local style.
Monuments of Plaza de la Paja: this is a humble and very unknown square in downtown Madrid, but it amazes tourists thanks to features that takes you to the Middle Ages: a sandy sloped ground, a quiet garden and ancient churches. San Pedro church stands out because of its 12th century tower and the Bishop Chapel because of its local Renascence style.
Besides this, there are other important buildings you will discover with us: the Uceda Palace or San Miguel Market, among others. Buy your ticket and find out why the ‘Austrias’ is one of the most popular Madrid tours.