Madrid is a fabulous city. Its history, its spirit, its people. Madrid is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s not surprising. Madrid architecture gives a feeling that you somehow managed to find a time machine and flew several centuries back.
The best place to start your time journey is to go to the Fountain Sibelis (Fuente Sibelis). This place was constructed in 1782; the fountain was a part of projecting “Salon del Prado” which was aimed to be a place of slow walks and relaxation for Madrilenians. Fontain Sibelis is situated on one of the most beautiful squares in the world that was designed by Ventura Rodriguez in 1777 during the reign of Carl III. The fountain is displayed with an image of earth goddess Sibelis, who rides the carriage which is yoked with two lions. According to the myth, Hippomenes and Atlanta are the lions who were charmed as a punishment.
To continue the journey the good place to go is “Casa de la Villa”. It is situated on a small and a true Madrid square - “plaza de la Villa”. It took 54 years to build this place, since 1644. The main projector was Juan Gomez de More. For a long time this building was a prison so one will have a possibility to feel the atmosphere of the old Madrid with its mysteries and crime. Casa de Villa has a grand staircase, gallery, portrait ante-room, hall de Goya, chapel, conventional hall, glassy yard and a cart room.
Next stop is National library. The book world itself is a wonderful adventure and this library is a great example of it. The library was built in 1712 by Philip V. It was aimed to be public so everybody could get educated. The front elevation was designed in two styles: the first floor in Dorian and the second in Ionic. Nowadays, the library has more than 6 million books, about 100 thousand periodicals, 30 thousand of manuscripts and 8 million documents.
After the great library turn your way and go through the “Puerta de Alcala”. This gate is one of the most important symbols and one of top 10 famous sights to see in Madrid. The arch owes its name to the road that lead to the Alcala de Enares. Originally, they were built for the meeting of Margaret Austrian, the wife of Philip III. Years later, Carl III ordered to increase them and made them the way they are today. The gate consists of 3 passages. Purta de Alcala is situated near one of top 10 parks of Madrid, gorgeous “Parque del Buen Retiro” and is connected with main streets of the city.
To finish the journey go to the park Retiro “Parque Retiro”. This place will let you feel the luxurious life of Madrid. Centuries ago it was a center of a city life, almost every week there were masked-balls and theatrical performances. In 1790 Carlos III built an astronomic laboratory. This park will delight you with its architecture. Velasquez's classical palace and a modern glance palace will put centuries together and you will come back to the busy, bright, live megapolis city - Madrid.