Lonely Planet review
Behind the cathedral apse and down Cuesta de la Vega is a short stretch of the original ‘Arab Wall’, the city wall built by Madrid’s early-medieval Muslim rulers. Some of it dates as far back as the 9th century, when the initial Muslim fort was raised. Other sections date from the 12th and 13th centuries, by which time the city had been taken by the Christians. The earliest sections were ingeniously conceived – the outside of the wall was made to look dauntingly sturdy, while the inside was put together with cheap materials to save money. It must have worked, as the town was rarely taken by force. In summer the city council organises open-air theatre and music performances here. Just above the wall on Cuesta de la Vega, information panels show the original extent of the city walls superimposed on a modern map.