On foot around the Madrid of the Bourbons
To the east of Bourbon Madrid was the area of orchards, called for that reason El Prado.
The Count-Duke of Olivares began the construction of a palace for Felipe IV, of which there remains some pavilions and the gardens of the Retiro.
In the 18th century, Carlos III extended the city in this area, a gate was erected and the foundations were laid of what would become the Prado Museum.
Church of San Jerónimo el Real
It has a Gothic style, but was restored in the 19th century. The royal wedding of Alfonso XIII to Victoria Eugenia de Battenburg took place there in 1906. The coronation of King Juan Carlos I took place there in 1975.
Puerta de Alcalá
It is the most representative monument of the reign of Carlos III. It replaced an old Baroque gate which Felipe III had built to receive his wife Margarita of Austria. Its construction began in 1769 and lasted 9 years.
It is named after the former palace of which it formed part, of which only the Buen Retiro House and the Queens’ Hall remain. Until the 18th century it was used only for royal purposes. Bullfights and even naval battles were organised there. There are palaces by Ricardo Velázquez; one, the Glass Palace and the other, Velázquez Palace.
Reina Sofía Art Centre
From San Carlos hospital, now a museum, it houses a great collection of art dedicated, above all, to the 20th century.
It preserves an extraordinary Spanish pictorial collection from the 17th and 19th centuries. The works of Velázquez and Goya stand out. It is in a neoclassical building which was commissioned by Carlos III in 1785 as a Natural Sciences laboratory.
This museum was installed in 1992 in the palace of Villahermosa. The next year it was donated to Spain. It contained the works of art collected by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich.