Plaza de España


This central Madrid square was being given a major overhaul when we last visited. They'll no doubt find room for the 1927 statue of Cervantes, alongside a bronze statue of his immortal characters Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. The 1953 Edificio de España (Spain Building) on the northeast side clearly sprang from the totalitarian recesses of Franco’s imagination, such is its resemblance to austere Soviet monumentalism. To the north stands the 35-storey Torre de Madrid (Madrid Tower).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Madrid attractions

1. Museo Cerralbo

0.13 MILES

The former home of the 17th Marqués de Cerralbo (1845–1922) – politician, poet and archaeologist – is a study in 19th-century opulence. The upper floor…

2. Palacio del Senado

0.14 MILES

Spain's Senate building, which dates to the 16th century, is imposing rather than beautiful. It's closed to the public.

3. Antiguo Cuartel del Conde Duque

0.26 MILES

This grand former barracks dominates Conde Duque on Malasaña's western fringe with its imposing facade stretching 228m down the hill. Built in 1717 under…

4. Convento de la Encarnación

0.27 MILES

Founded by Empress Margarita de Austria, this 17th-century mansion built in the Madrid baroque style (a pleasing amalgam of brick, exposed stone and…

5. Jardines de Sabatini

0.27 MILES

The formal French-style Jardines de Sabatini are to the north of the Palacio Real, a palace with lush gardens.

6. Palacio de Liria

0.29 MILES

This 18th-century mansion, rebuilt after a fire in 1936, nestles amid the modern architecture just north of Plaza de España as a reminder of the days when…

7. Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo

0.29 MILES

This rich collection of modern Spanish art includes mostly paintings and graphic art with a smattering of photography, sculpture and drawings. Highlights…

8. Templo de Debod


Few people would ever guess that a 2200-year-old Egyptian temple exists in the center of Madrid. Yet the Templo de Debod is in no way a Vegas-style…