OLD CITY AND NEW INTERVENTIONS
Madrid, after its foundation as the capital in the year 1562, grows from West to East, between the Arab fortification (Alcazar) and the unfortunately disappeared Summer Palace, which was located between the “Salón del Prado” and the Retiro-Park.
As a city that was founded in the XVI century, Madrid does neither have a medieval town-centre, as we use to see in other European cities, nor roman nor gothic churches or cathedrals.
Despite of being the capital of the Spanish colonial empire during XVII century, despite of power and wealth, there were neither important buildings constructed, nor Renaissance Palaces, nor monumental outdoor-spaces or streets.
Madrid’s growth was slow and only in the second half of the XIX century and after a continuous densification process, the city expands to the outside of the city-fence, which was built by Philip IV at the beginning of the XVII century.
The tour through the historic City-centre starts from the Royal Palace, continues through “Calle Mayor”, “Plaza de la Villa”, “Plaza Mayor” and “Puerta del Sol” to the Plaza Santa Ana. We pass by residential districts of “Barrio de las Letras” and “Lavapies” where we visit three new buildings constructed in the middle of the old city-centre.