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El Museo Naval de Madrid

By | 8 August, 2011 | 0 comments

Being Madrid an inland city, one would not expect to find a Naval Museum in it, but fortunately, Madrid has one of the best in Europe.

The museum is in the centre of Madrid, in Paseo del Prado, 5, very close to Puerta del Sol and a short walk away from Hotel Victoria4. The Museo Naval or Naval Museum is sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Defense and it was set up to promote the research and study into the naval history of Spain.

The museum is situated in Paseo del Prado, which some call the street of museums because there are other three museums in the same road,Prado Museum, Thyssen Museum and CaixaForum, the art gallery sponsored by the charitable financial institution Caixa. At the bottom of Paseo del Prado, in a quite square off the main road, you can enjoy the greatest modern art in the Museo de Arte Moderno Reina Sofia.


In the Naval Museum you can expect to find the weapons and implements used on naval warfare as well as all the uniforms and tools typical of the Spanish naval force. However, this is not all you will find here, there is also a great collection of paintings. The art collection at the Naval Museum is inspired, of course, in one common topic sea and sea warfare.

The pictorial collection at the Naval Museum illustrates Spanish naval history and its battles from the 16th century till the 19th century.

The collection also included medals and coins used throughout the history of the Spanish naval force.

El Casino de Madrid

By | 8 August, 2011 | 0 comments

The Casino de Madrid was founded in 1836, but it was not until 1903 when the current building was finalized in its final location. The building was designed by Luis Esteve, he drew the plans, and José López Salaberry built it. The entrance is beautiful, as well as the main staircase and the lounge with its royal paintings by Romero de Torres, Anselmo Miguel Nieto y Manuel Benedito. Nowadays it is a private cultural center. If you want to visit the interior and visit its prestigious restaurant you must be a member.

The Casino has a long story, from its humble beginnings in Café de Sólito, to its current location in Calle de Alcalá, 15. Back when the Casino started it was very common for intellectuals and artists to meet in cafés for “tertulias” or gatherings where the main objective was to chat to talk, normally about political, artistic or literary issues.

After a few years the number of members increased so much that they decided to move to permanent and larger premises, and that’s how they moved to Calle del Príncipe, there el Casino was known as ”Casino de la Casa del Príncipe”. 

After several moves, finally el Casino found its permanent home in Calle Alcalá, 15 at the beginning of the 20th century, where it still is in the 21st century.

The architecture of the building corresponds to the modernist style of the beginning of the 20th century. It was designed to preside over the wide avenues that they liked so much back then, and Calle Alcalá is still a magnificent avenue. The building was declared of National Interest in 1993.

The Casino remains a members’ club and shares members’ privileges with other gentlemen’s clubs from around the world.

El plato típico de Madrid, el cocido

By | 8 August, 2011 | 0 comments

Every city and town in the world can boast about a traditional specialty or dish that they are particularly proud about. In the case of Madrid, it is “cocido”, which translates something like “boiled”. It is the Spanish version of the old European broth with boiled vegetables and meat that is the base of so many country’s winter staple meals. However, cocido is something special!

There are many restaurants in the city that specialize in the real cocido Madrileño or Madrilian cocido. However, be warned that cocido has an acquired taste, and it’s not for everybody’s taste. A cocido meal basically consists of a broth with pasta, the broth is the result of boiling chickpeas, potatoes, meat, bones and a chunk of pork’s fat. The main course is a plate with the chickpeas, potatoes, meat and fat.

One of the most famous cocido restaurants in town is Taberna la Bola in Calle Bola, 5in Metro Santo Domingo. This restaurant has been serving cocido in clay pots for over 200 years. The decoration is also a must-see, old wooden tables complete the effect of this wonderful traditional restaurant.

Casa Carola in Calle Padilla, 54, Metro Lista, is another great restaurant for cocido. They serve it at lunch time, and in the evenings you can enjoy big platters of typical Spanish food to share.

Casa Jacinto in Calle del Reloj, 20 is quite central just off Plaza de España Metro station. In this restaurant you will find a short but strongly traditional menu that includes cocido as well as other very typical Spanish dishes.

Espectáculos en el Teatro Häagen-Dazs-Calderón de Madrid

By | 8 August, 2011 | 0 comments

The Häagen-Dazs-Calderón theatre previously known as Teatro Calderón is a theatre situated in the Calle Atocha, just off Puerta del Sol and not very far from Hotel Victoria4. The theatre was inaugurated in 1917 with a different name, Teatro Odeón, finally it’s been in recent times that the interest of the brand Häagen-Dazs for the culture in Spain has led it to sponsor many plays and productions and the theatre that has become to be known as Häagen-Dazs-Calderón. read full article

Fandango para Traviata en el Teatro Fernán Gómez

By | 19 July, 2011 | 0 comments

Fandango is a typical Spanish style of dance, usually accompanied by guitar, castanets and hand clapping. It originated in the southern region of Andalusia, and as with all the flamenco styles the rhythm and the music brings memories of Moroccan and north African styles.

This July from the 6th till the 17th, those lucky tourists who will be in Madrid, have the chance to see a great show by Salvador de Tavola, an opera that using fragments of Verdi’s work and with Fandango influences, tells the story of two lovers. These two are are a courtesan and rich man.

This piece is a real work of art for all of those who love fandango, with its deep cries of sorrow and all of that feeling that gets conveyed in the music, the dance and the songs.

Salvador Távora is theatre actor and director that is best known for his efforts to bring outdate the world of flamenco, more like adapting flamenco to the modern taste.

The theatre chosen to show this wonderful opera ins Teatro Fernán Gómez, known formerly as Centro Cultural de la Villa. It is situated just under the Plaza de Colón, very close to the city centre and with very good underground and bus connections.

The ticket price is 25 Euros and only 20 Euros on the “Día del Espectador”, Wednesdays. The Teatro Fernán Gómez is an art and cultural centre, besides the theatre shows they usually have different art exhibitions an an arts café. So, why not visiting the theatre and seeing if there is something interesting to see?

El típico cocido madrileño

By | 16 July, 2011 | 0 comments

The typical Spanish dish is called cocido, that translate something like “boiled”. It is in fact a boiled mix of potatoes, chickpeas, meat and lard. Not your typical high cuisine gourmet dish, but it is a dish with a long tradition in Spain, and it is very delicious once you try it. This dish is served in two courses, the first one is a light broth with pasta, followed by a plate with potatoes, chick peas the meat and the lard.

One of the best cocidos is served in Restaurante la Bola, in Calle Bola 5. This restaurant open at the beginning of the 19th century. It started offering cocido in an individual clay pot and cooked on a coal stove. Today La Bola features wooden benches and a decoration of older times that contribute to its wonderful atmosphere. Today, it still prepares cocido in clay pots, and also offers callos, a local specialty made of spicy beef tripes, and roast lamb. They also have a big selection of wines and home-made desserts.

Casa Carola in Padilla 54 is a mix of the modern and the traditional. At lunch time they serve traditional cocido and in the evenings their motto is “sharing” so all the dishes are served in platters for sharing with traditional food and some more modern bits.

Malacatín in Ruda 5, in the area of la Latina, is the king of cocido madrileño, Madrilian cocido. Their other specialty is custard. The restaurant is decorated in very Spanish motives with bullfighting posters and old posters.

La zarzuela en Madrid

By | 9 July, 2011 | 0 comments

Like every year the Madrid Council organizes a series of cultural activities to make the heat of the summer a bit less heavy-going. Zarzuela is again present in this year’s edition of Veranos de la Villa, the umbrella name that covers all the artistic and cultural activities sponsored by the council.

Zarzuela is a Spanish genre of musical theatre, something in between an opera, a musical and a theatre play. The main attractive of zarzuela is that the stories are stories from real people and from the lands of Spain. Many of the zarzuelas are set in 19th century Madrid, but many others also represent beautiful scenes of typical Spanish festivals of other areas.

The dances and the music used for zarzuelas are all inspired in the traditional musics, songs and dances of the local folklore. The shows are usually very colourful.

This year the show will take place in Jardines de Sabatini, not far from the centre. The open air stage will host two different zarzuelas, Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente, (Water, Sugar and Brandy) and La Verbena de la Paloma (the Virgin of Paloma Festival), both set in 19th century Madrid.  The former paints a picture of the inhabitants of Madrid of all classes, all mingling together during some celebrations in July. While the latter one tells the story of the old wealthy man wanting to find a young wife, while the young lad in love with the lady does all in his power to stop him.

These zarzuelas are among the best known of all, a great way of finishing a wonderful sightseeing day in Madrid.

La magia en la Biblioteca Nacional

By | 9 July, 2011 | 0 comments

The National Library of Spain (BNE, Biblioteca Nacional de España) is hosting from 16th of June to September 4th 2011an exhibition of the best books of magic tricks, juggling and illusions.

The BNE, located in the Paseo de Recoletos 20-22, is open Tuesday through to Saturday from 10 to 21 hours. Sundays and bank holidays, the centre is only open in the mornings from 10 to 14 hours. Access for all visitors is completely free.

This exhibition, part of the program Magical Madrid (Madrid Mágico), displays nearly a hundred items that are stored in the National Library’s own collection and from the Amieva collection.

Hypnotism, fortune telling, escapism, mental techniques, different card games, illusionism, and all kinds of tricks are presented in various publications intended mainly for professionals.

Along with the valuable books you can also enjoy an extensive collection of photographs, posters, hats, stickers, cards and other instruments used by magicians throughout history. In addition, the organizers of Magical Madrid have arranged a series of lectures to be delivered by prestigious Spanish magicians, such as JuanTamariz.

Salón Internacional de Moda de Madrid

By | 8 July, 2011 | 0 comments

The countdown has begun. The capital of Spain is getting to receive, with all the glamour it deserves a new edition of the Madrid International Fashion Fair (SIMM), which will take place from 1 to 3 September, 2011.

The event will be held in the facilities of the exhibition centre of Madrid, IFEMA. Opening times are 9.30 to 19.30 during the three days.

Access to the biennial meeting for fashion professionals only costs 30 Euros if visitors do not pre-register on the event’s webpage. Nearly19,000 professionals of the fashion sector have already registered for the event, of these about 1,500 are from 61 different countries around the world. In total, there will be more than 300 exhibitors responsible for representing over 500 brands, and they will introduce the spring-summer collections of the 2011-12 season.

In addition, to accommodate new and upcoming designers, the organizers of the International Fashion Fair in Madrid have created the space EGO, where 22 new artists will exhibit their innovative and risky new designs. In this issue they will pay special attention to collections of swimwear, clothing and accessories to use around the beach. Also there will be a special guest in the event, the fashion of the Balearic Islands,  that will bring to the Spanish capital the most fashionable and chic designs of the moment.

El Museo de La Roja en Las Rozas

By | 7 July, 2011 | 0 comments

It happened on August 28, 1920. On that historic date 11 players wore the Spanish shirt for the first time. With  Zamora as the goalkeeper and Arrate and Acedo in the lineup, the team went to the seventh Olympic Games and the match was played in the stadium of La Butte, Brussels.

This anecdote is just one of the brilliant and unforgettable stories that you will find in the Museum of Spanish football, which opened in December 2010 at the Soccer City of Las Rozas, la Ciudad del Fútbol.

The Museum of the Red Team, the Spanish national team, can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm and the ticket price is 12 Euros for adults and 8 Euros for children.

Among the most valuable pieces on display in the museum’s collection is the Gioconda of Football, the football that was used in the first World Cup final, that of Uruguay 1930.

Obviously, it is the Euro 2008 Cup and the World Cup 2011 in South Africa, the last trophy won by the national team, the trophies that attract all the flashes and almost all camera lenses.

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