- Schweppes Badge on the Carrion Building
It is one of the most famous advertising posters in Spain. This Schweppes billboard contains 104 neon lights of all colors. Each letter weighs 100 kilos. It is 10 meters high and 9 meters wide, and the colors blink, turn on and off one by one. Behind this Schweppes sign are hotel rooms. This advertising poster has been here since 1972. It is an icon of the city of Madrid, a must see.
2. The Plaza Mayor
After seeing the Schweppes badge, our second stop was the Plaza Mayor.
It is a very large square, measuring 129 meters long and 94 meters wide. Three-story buildings with porches all around the square surround it.
Historically, it was a meeting place and a place of celebrations.
This square houses three famous monuments and buildings:
- The equestrian statue of Philip 3.
- La casa de la panaderia: It was the first building established in the square in 1590 and was originally the most important bakery in Madrid.
- El arco de cuchilleros: This is the most famous of the nine entrances to the Plaza Mayor.
Every Christmas and since 150 years, a Christmas market is organized here, with lots of Christmas decorations, costumes and Christmas articles perfect for a nice Christmas gift.
3. El Oso y el Madrono – ‘The Bear and the Madrono’
After the Plaza Mayor, we stopped to take a picture with the famous statue of the bear and the strawberry tree. This statue is located in the plaza of the Puerta Del Sol. It is a bronze sculpture from the second half of the 20th century. It represents a bear standing on its two hind legs, leaning against a strawberry tree. The bear and the strawberry tree are symbols of Madrid, and they also appear on the flag and coat of arms of Madrid. This statue is the work of the Spanish architect Antonio Navarro Santa Fe.
This bronze and stone statue weighs about 20 tons and is 4 meters high. It rests on a granite pedestal.
I think it is something not to be missed during your visit to Madrid.
4. The façade of the Four Seasons Hotel for Christmas
We then passed in front of the 4 Seasons hotel to discover its big decorated Christmas tree, which covers the entire Hermès store. It is a 25m high tree, very beautiful to see, day and night. We took the opportunity to take some nice pictures. Moreover, if you are in the area during Christmas time, I advise you to go there, it’s really beautiful. A real luxury decoration offers the Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid.
5. Metropolis Building
We continue our journey to the Metropolis building. It is one of the most admired buildings in Madrid. It appears in many photos of the city. Many visitors and Madrilenians walk along its sidewalk to admire it. It was built between 1907 and 1911. It is 45 meters high. The interior of the building is not known to the general public because it is not visitable. All the space is used for the offices of the company Metropolis Assurance.
The dome is decorated with 30,000 pieces of 24-carat gold. There are also several sculptures on the facade, including the one at the foot of the dome, by Mariano Benlliure. This building is located on CalleAlcalá. It is a very beautiful building, a must-see during your visit to Madrid.
6. Plaza de Cibeles
It is a square in the center of Madrid. It is located at the intersection of Paseo del Prado and CalleAlcalá. This square has become one of the most emblematic symbols of the Spanish capital. This square is dominated by a magnificent fountain and beautiful and emblematic buildings, dating from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century.
Among its buildings, there are:
Cibeles Palace: The construction of this palace was completed in 1919. It used to be the headquarters of the Spanish postal service. Since 2007, it is now the headquarters of the City Council of Madrid. It also has a roof terrace with a bar and a restaurant that offers a great view of Madrid.
Buenavista Palace: It was built in 1777 as the residence of the Dukes of Alba. It currently serves as the headquarters of the Spanish army.
The Bank of Spain: Opened in 1891, this building serves as the headquarters of the Bank of Spain. Currently, the metro stop Bank of Spain is decorated with ingots for an advertisement for the series La casa de Papel.
The Linares Palace: Commissioned by the Marquis of Linares, it was completed in 1900. Years later, it was restored and serves as the Casa de America. An institution that seeks to promote cultural relations between Spain and Latin America. According to legend, the palace is haunted by the ghosts of the first Marquis of Linares and his wife, as well as their daughter who was murdered by her parents.