Madrid Monuments

Madrid Monuments
A visit to Madrid, Spain, is incomplete without a tour of the city's many monuments that have been built starting from the Middle Ages to modern times. From 14th-century edifices to the contemporary Faro de Moncloa, Madrid is a monument playground for visitors. Tourists will notice that citizens of Madrid not only erect monuments to honor their rich history, but also to commemorate the fallen: The Bosque de los Ausentes monument was built in honor of the 2004 Madrid train bombing victims.

Iglesia de San Pedro el Viejo

It's clear that medieval Madrid is still alive when visiting Iglesia de San Pedro el Viejo, a small church on Calle del Nuncio that is considered a monument. Built by Alfonso XI in the 14th century to honor his victory at the Battle of Algeciras, the monument is a reminder of an ancient era that played a key role in Madrid's development. Visitors to this church will notice both Gothic and Renaissance features. They also may take note of the church's distinctive "Mudejar tower," which historians believe is a minaret of a mosque.

Iglesia de San Pedro el Viejo
Calle del Nuncio, 14
Madrid, Spain
(+34) 91 365 12 84

Temple of Debod

Amid the awe-inspiring architecture of Spain's capital city rests an Egyptian monument to the gods. The Temple of Debod, relocated to Madrid after being threatened by construction of the Aswan High Dam, was dedicated to Egyptian fertility goddess Isis and Ammon, god of the oracle. More than 2,000 years old, this monument was rebuilt in Madrid to depict its original east-to-west orientation. Open to the public since 1972, the temple bears relief printings of Egyptian deities. It is also adorned with audio-visual displays and exhibits that explain its history. It is said that Debod priests marched a statue of Isis to a chapel of Osiris to "charge it with energy." Osiris was known as the husband of Isis, god of the dead.

Temple of Debod
Ferraz, 1
Parque del Cuartel de la Montana
Madrid, Spain
(+34) 91 366 74 15

Faro de Moncloa

The soaring Faro de Moncloa monument is a symbol of modern Madrid. Designed by Spanish architect Salvador Perez Arroyo, the 110-meter-high building is a stunning sight at the intersection of Avenida de los Reyes Católicos, Highway A-6 and the Avenida de la Victoria.The building, inaugurated in 1992, serves not only as an antenna base but also as light for a high-traffic area. It's easy to see why the modern monument--also known as Plataforma de Iluminacion y Comunicaciones--- is the source of light: Faro de Moncloa is equipped with 2,000-watt projector lamps fastened to the building's platform that spans 400 meters. Though the monument features panoramic views of the city at its top, the building is currently closed to the public.

Faro de Moncloa
Plaza de Moncloa
Madrid, Spain
(+34) 91 549 10 08

Article Written By Katie Arcieri

Katie Arcieri has been writing news stories for a decade. She started out as an intern with "The Baltimore Sun" and later cut her teeth as a daily reporter at "The Capital," a 50,000 circulation newspaper in Annapolis, Md. Her stories are regularly picked up by the Associated Press.

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