The world-renowned Golden Triangle of Art is one of the must-visit places for all tourists to Madrid. The picture on the left page shows the square in front of the Queen Sofia National Art Center Museum; the picture on the right page shows the statue of August Thyssen, the founder of the Thyssen family business, and the picture below shows a corner of the Prado Museum.
The first time I went to Spain was on Christmas in a certain year. In just 3 days, I indulged in Barcelona in Catalonia. At that time, my impression of Spain was probably the blue Mediterranean sea and Gaudí’s fantasy architecture in winter.
I set off again a few years later, due to a music program of guitar appreciation-after listening to the masterpiece “Aranjuez Concerto”, it reawakened my yearning for Spain in my heart. And this time, my destination is the capital of Spain, Madrid.
1 Go straight to the “Golden Triangle of Art”
No city in the world can gather the entire country and even the world’s first-class works of art in one area like Madrid. This is why the “Golden Triangle of Art” is famous.
The name “Golden Triangle of Art” was created by the media. In 1992, the Thyssen Bonemisa Museum officially opened for exhibition. It is adjacent to the Prado Museum and the Queen Sofia National Art Center Museum. The three just form a triangular landmark area. In these three major museums, there are a large number of world-class art masterpieces, and all have free opening hours. Almost all tourists who come to Madrid will come here in admiration-this is also the first stop of my trip in Madrid.
The first thing I visited was the Queen Sofia National Art Center Museum. As one of the largest museums in the world, Sofia covers an area of more than 12,000 square meters and has a collection of 18,000 items. In 1992, Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica” moved here and became the town museum’s work! If you want to come during the two hours of free visit time from 19:00 to 21:00, for a limited time, visiting the works of No. 1900-1945 on the 2nd floor is your first choice.
Among them, the most worthy of introduction is “Guernica” without a doubt. This work created by Picasso in 1937 is so famous that there is no need to repeat it. It shows the cruelty of war in an extremely abstract picture, and it still shows the cruelty of war until today’s peaceful age. And justice. After enjoying “Guernica”, Picasso’s “Woman in Blue” is nearby. The painting was created between 1900 and 1904. The “woman in blue” in the painting is dressed in exaggerated clothing and has a charming look and eyes. It is said that this painting was difficult to sell before Picasso was alive, but it is now a priceless treasure.
In addition to Picasso’s works, there are also works by Salvador Dali, the greatest surrealist painter of the 20th century.
Dali’s works are known for exaggeration and absurdity. The “Huge Portrait of a Masturbator” exhibited by Sophia is an autobiographical work. This painting was created in the late summer of 1929. Dali had this work after spending a few days with Gala. Gala is the wife of the French poet Paul Eluard. After getting acquainted with Dali, the two fell in love and eloped to live in a small fishing village in Spain. Gala is both Dali’s lover and his muse of inspiration.
The next day was Monday, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was open for free from 12 to 16 o’clock, so I took the time to go. This museum is the private collection of Baron Thyssen Bonniemissa and his son. The fine Western art in this museum spans 8 centuries, which is like a living history of Western art. You can get a Chinese guidebook at the front desk of the museum lobby, which can help visitors quickly understand the paintings on each floor of the museum. The tour route started from the second floor, displaying 17th-century Italian and Dutch paintings, as well as important landscape paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries. As the exhibition hall deepened, I came to the impressionist oil paintings.
The first thing that came into the line of sight was a work called “Ovie’s Scenery” by the famous Vincent Van Gogh. As a masterpiece of Van Gogh’s late period, the color of this painting is mainly bright green and yellow, with the intense and exciting brushstrokes, it gives a strong sense of shock. Before his death, Van Gogh created a large number of similar landscape paintings. The vast and fertile farmland gave him a sense of freedom, but at the same time it exacerbated his loneliness. After completing these works, Van Gogh finally committed suicide, which is embarrassing.
Claude Monet is one of the representatives and founders of Impressionism. Water lily is his favorite subject. It is said that he painted more than 200 water lilies in his lifetime. But here, I did not see the water lily, but admired the “House among the Rose Bushes”. However, this work still has a strong personal touch. Even if I am painting roses, I can see the shadow of the water lily. .
Leaving the exhibition hall on the second floor, I came to the first floor. I visited expressionist and Fauvist paintings. I also saw many modern avant-garde works. In the author’s signature place, there are masters. For example, the core figure of abstraction, Pete Mondrian, the representative of expressionism, Morris Royce, and the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein…
The upper left picture on the left page is Dali’s masterpiece “Portrait of a Huge Masturbator”; the lower left picture on the left page is the work of German-American painter Richard, which belongs to Pop Art; the right picture on the left page is the work of American artist Sargent. The figure in the painting is a duchess, which is now in the Thyssen Bonemisa Museum; the picture on the right is the Oriental Plaza.
Finally, I came to the Prado Museum. This museum inherited the royal collections and was hailed as one of the “Four Great Art Galleries in the World” at the end of the 19th century. Since it is open for free every night from 18:00 to 20:00, there are always crowds during this time. After all, the museum has gathered the best works in the history of Spanish art from the 16th to the 19th century, as well as a large number of masterpieces by great foreign Renaissance painters. For example, Titian of the Venetian school of Italy, Rubens of the German Baroque school, Dutch surrealist painter Jerónimis Boss, etc.
In the Prado Museum, the most worthwhile work is “Gong’e”. As one of the three most famous paintings in the world, “Gong’e” is juxtaposed with Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” and Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”, and is the most important work of Velázquez’s late period. The painting describes the daily life of the royal family in the palace, using perspective with great success, and using the clever idea of “painting in painting” to include all the people in the room and even the painter himself who is painting. . This masterpiece is called the “theology of painting”. Dali and other painters kept copying and interpreting it, and Picasso copied it 58 times! The influence is evident.
2Walk in the palaces and squares that carry history
Madrid is rich in historical and cultural relics, from the Royal Palace of Madrid to Plaza Mayor, from Puerta del Sol to Puerta Alcala, carrying the history of the city through the ages.
After visiting the “Golden Triangle of Art”, the next itinerary is to go to the Royal Palace of Madrid and several major squares.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is Europe’s third largest palace after Versailles and Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace. From the early 18th century to the mid-20th century, it has been the residence of the royal family. Like the major royal palaces in Europe, the Royal Palace of Madrid has countless precious collections, including all kinds of gold and silver vessels, porcelain, tapestries, and artworks used by the royal families of the past dynasties, recreating the rich and luxurious luxury of the former royal family. I shuttled through the countless rooms in the palace, the complex and exquisite decorations, the beautiful murals on the tall domes, the luxurious crystal lamps of the mid-air pendants…there were magnificent and dazzling all over. In addition, the palace also houses the works of painters of various genres, which is comparable to an art museum.
Leaving the palace, the crowds of the streets of Madrid rushed over. It is said that there are more than 300 squares in Madrid, large and small, not only providing residents with a good place to stroll and socialize, but also to appreciate the city scenery and experience the city atmosphere. People can see people basking in the sun and walking everywhere. Children walk their dogs and hold various festivals…
The Oriental Plaza, located on the side of the palace, is vast, like a garden, beautiful and elegant. This garden-style square was completed in 1844, and the equestrian statue of King Felipe IV was erected in the center. It has the most beautiful sunset view in Madrid, and it is also the most popular place for citizens to take a walk and relax.
Not far from Plaza de Oriente, is another lively venue and also the heart of Madrid: Puerta del Sol. Many important historical events took place in the square. For example, on May 3, 1808, the people of Madrid stood up here to resist the invasion of Napoleon’s army, thus kicking off the Spanish War of Independence. When I walked to the square, I found a “zero kilometer” sign on the ground, which means that Puerta del Sol is the starting point of Madrid’s house number and the starting point of the entire road traffic network. Therefore, there is a saying in Madrid: All roads It leads to the Sun Gate. In the center of the square stands a bronze statue of King Carlos III on horseback. On the other side is the statue of “Little Bear and Strawberry Tree”. As the emblem of Madrid, it is the favorite of Madrid people and the oldest symbol of the city.
Talk about an interesting source. Hundreds of years ago, during the time of King Alfonso VIII, the Madridians printed a female bear and seven stars on their flags. Later, this bear was chosen as the city emblem of Madrid, and its gender became a male bear; The strawberry tree was chosen as the city tree because of the plague that controlled the city in the legend, so they appeared on the city logo together.
Madrid’s major palaces and squares carry history and have a rich cultural heritage. The picture on the left page shows the interior of the Royal Palace of Madrid. The high dome is full of complicated murals, and the overall decoration is magnificent and dazzling.
Across the Prado Avenue, is the Independence Square built in the 19th century. There is a magnificent and exquisite Alcala Gate in the middle of the square. It is one of the four remaining ancient city gates in Madrid. It is said that the architect Sabatini originally designed a triumphal arch to commemorate Carlos III, but Carlos III was not satisfied with the city gate. In 1764, he ordered it to be demolished and rebuilt as it is now. So far, the Porta Alcala has become a symbol of Madrid, and many large-scale celebration parades will use this as the end point.
In front of Alcala gate, there is a colored sculpture of a girl in palace costume. Her familiar face and figure made me realize that she is the little princess in “Gong’e”! It turned out that in order to let art come into life, the designer specially produced the image of the little princess, so that the characters in the famous paintings jumped out of the frame and walked onto the streets. In 2018 and 2019, Madrid held related activities for two consecutive years, allowing the little princesses to appear on all corners of the streets of Madrid. They wore clothes printed with Madrid’s cultural symbols, allowing tourists to once again appreciate the charm of the city.
3 leisure time in Madrid
I have been to many European cities, but the afternoon in Madrid made me lazy, looking at the scenery, savoring books, enjoying the food, indulging in the tenderness of the sunset…
In addition to lingering in the major attractions, I will do more Time to enjoy life in Madrid. Like the locals, visiting the neighborhood, wandering in the park, looking for food, and feeling the slow pace of the city, it is so leisurely and comfortable.
On the west side of Prado Avenue, there is a literary district, which is one of my favorite places. In the golden age of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was a colony of literati and inkmen. There were many great writers who left traces of their lives here: Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, Tissot de Molina, Gongora… Many streets in this neighborhood are named after them to commemorate their contributions to the city.
Walking on the stone roads in the literature district, the deep alleys are filled with three or four-story exquisite small buildings with different architectural styles and main colors, exuding a unique charm. The windows and balconies of the small buildings are in full bloom, the small trees on the street are full of greenery, and the pedestrians are in twos and threes, which makes people feel peaceful. Take a closer look. Some posters and pictures on the wall describe the lives of writers. Their works are displayed in souvenir shops and bookstores. Their famous sayings and quotes are also engraved on the ground. Although they are all in Spanish, they can still Feel the rich literary atmosphere.
From the literary district through the Prado Avenue and two more blocks, you will see the green lung of Madrid’s largest city: Retiro Park. It is a foreign palace of the Spanish royal family. It was built in the 16th century, and in the 19th century, it was changed to a park open to the public. Walking along Argentina Avenue at the side entrance of the park, I soon saw the most beautiful attraction in the park-the Crystal Palace. This is a romantic venue built to showcase exotic plants during the Philippine Exposition in 1887. It is also one of Spain’s most famous iron frame structures.
The Crystal Palace is located on the bank of an artificial lake and is 25 meters high. Its biggest feature is that it uses steel as the overall frame support of the building, and the rest is almost entirely made of transparent glass. Therefore, whether viewed from the outside or from the inside, what is presented to people is a palace that is crystal clear and transparent. In the daytime, when you walk into the Crystal Palace, the interior is empty, the dome is high, and the sun pours in without hindrance, which is very suitable for taking pictures; at night, the Crystal Palace is brightly lit, looking at the panorama across the lake, and the whole palace is reflected in the sparkling lights. The water surface is extremely dreamy.
Literary districts, beautiful parks, delicious food… leisure time in Madrid is also worth savoring. Perhaps, living like a local is the essence of traveling to another country.
In terms of food, there are more choices. Spaniards eat 5 meals a day: bread and coffee at 6 in the morning, some bread and sausage at 12 o’clock, the formal lunch starts at 15 o’clock, afternoon tea desserts and hot drinks at 17 o’clock, and the last dinner is due It starts at 21 o’clock. Therefore, the number of restaurants and bars per capita in Spain exceeds that of any country in the world, allowing all tourists to enjoy food anytime and anywhere, which is Spain’s high-quality service as a world tourist country.
The Spanish meal process is generally: appetizer, staple food, dessert and after-dinner wine (with Sherry as a major feature). During the few days in Madrid, I didn’t go to the restaurant for dinner because it took too long. In contrast, some “buy now, enjoy” specialty snacks are more suitable for my rhythm.
Near Puerta del Sol, there is a chocolate shop called CHOCOLATERIA SAN GINES. This shop opened in 1894 and has a history of more than 100 years. It mainly sells hot chocolate and Spanish churros. The freshly fried churros dipped in rich and sweet hot chocolate is a limited delicacy unique to Spain. Because there are too many diners here, this shop has almost become a check-in place and it takes a long time to queue, but when the soft and fragrant dough sticks enter the mouth, the sweet and fragrant taste layers open, and the sense of happiness is immediately filled. Whole body, the wait is totally worth it.
How can you not eat ham when you come to Spain? In Madrid, the Ham Museum is the most prestigious, but it is not a real museum, but a chain of Iberian ham, a specialty of Spain. In addition to ham, the store also offers a variety of Spanish specialties, such as paella, various breads, cakes, coffee, beer, etc. A piece of bread with ham only costs 1 Euro. Many local workers will come here to fill their stomachs before dinner. The shops are all standing, and people are eating and chatting around the counter, enjoying themselves.
If you want to go to a place where food is concentrated, the San Miguel Market on the west side of Plaza Mayor is the best choice. This is the largest food court in Madrid. It gathers special snacks from various regions of Spain and is the No.1 gourmet mecca in the hearts of locals. Every day after 12 o’clock noon, the place is overcrowded. In addition to locals, a large number of tourists also come to forage for food. There are too many delicacies in the market, such as TAPAS, Iberian ham, red wine, fried seafood, paella, Spanish dumplings, chocolate desserts…you can’t eat it for a few days in Madrid.
Order the food, sit down and taste it slowly, and you can also chat with the locals around or tourists from all over the world. Getting connected with the food is also a great joy during the trip.