Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Madrid Architecture

 Today I fell in love with architecture.  I admit that I was definitely most excited for Spanish cuisine, but the only thing better than enjoying good food is being able to savor it in a gorgeous environment.  Over the past few days we have seen many different styles of buildings and palaces but nothing can match the old neighborhoods of Madrid.  These colonial style buildings are so close together that they create canyons out of the streets and have so many intricate details that make it easy for one to trip on the cobble stone as they admire the buildings rather than the street.

This morning we visited the Monastery of San Lorenzo in El Escorial, a short drive into the foot hills of the mountains outside of Madrid.  This plain and simple looking building is a definite contrast to the luxurious colonial style of Madrid.  The building itself is in the shape of a grill which is a symbol of Saint Lorenzo who was 'grilled' by the Romans for practicing Christianity.

For me, the history represented in the architecture here makes it even more intriguing.  Everything here is so much older than anything in the U.S. and the philosophy of using the buildings already built rather than tearing them down makes walking down the street feel like a walk back in time or through a museum.

Here are a few of my favorites so far....
A typical street in old Madrid.

Fun colonial architecture

El Escorial.

Courtyard in El Escorial

Plaza de Cibeles
.....also if you would like to see more pictures feel free to check out my Picasa Web Album:


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