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Thinking back…

To the east of the Madrid of the Habsburgs there used to be areas covered in vegetable gardens known as El Prado. The Count Duke of Olivares ordered the construction of a palace for King Philip IV, of which only some pavilions remain as well as its gardens: the Retiro. In the Eighteenth century, King Charles III expanded the city in this area, building a gate and shaping up the building which would later become the Prado Museum.

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Prado Museum

The museum is home to an extraordinary collection of Spanish art which ranges from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth century, including works by Velázquez and Goya. The Prado is located in a Neoclassical building which was ordered to be built by King Charles III in 1785 as an office for Natural Sciences.

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Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

This museum was set up in Villahermosa Palace back in 1992. One year later, it was donated to the Spanish State. Inside you can find all the works of art gathered by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich.

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Reina Sofía National Art Centre

Previously the old hospital of San Carlos, today it is a museum with more than 21,000 works mainly dedicated to Twentieth-century art. The museum also organises different exhibitions and activities and it also includes a prestigious library and a documentation centre with a comprehensive catalogue.

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El Retiro Park

This park bears the name of the old palace which it used to be part of, of which only the Casón del Buen Retiro and the Hall of Realms remain. Up until the Eighteenth century, it was for royal use only, hosting many different bullfights and even naval battles.

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Alcalá Bridge

The most representative monument of the reign of King Charles III. The bridge substituted an old Baroque gate ordered by King Philip III to receive his wife Margaret of Austria. Its construction began in 1769 and lasted for nine years.

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Church of San Jerónimo el Real

This Gothic-style church restored in the Nineteenth century was the setting for the royal wedding of King Alfonso XIII with Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg in 1906. In 1975, it hosted the coronation of King Juan Carlos I.