Madrid is an attractive blend of tradition and modernity. The city has many artistic attractions, thanks to the different styles that have left their imprint in the city over the centuries.
From the remains of the old Arab wall, to small Gothic churches and early Renaissance works, Madrid boasts a multitude of rich and varied works of art. Madrid comes from the Arabic word Magerit ("mother of waters"), which was the name that was given to the fortress built on the banks of the Manzanares River.
The arrival of Los Austrias –as the Hapsburg dynasty was known– in the 16th century, and at the period of maximum splendour in the 17th century, brought about the monuments that today make up one of the most famous parts of the city along with the Plaza Mayor square, and a number of beautiful sites churches and convents. The austere Baroque façades contrast with the luxurious interiors of the palaces.
The 18th century left a Neoclassical imprint, with the Royal Palace, Sabatini Gardens, and Campo del Moro gardens, which are in the city centre. The church of San Francisco El Grande, the fountains in the Paseo del Prado, the Puente de Toledo bridge, the Prado Museum and the Puerta de Alcalá arch are also in the Neoclassical style.
Madrid's more modern and avant-garde areas are the two avenues in the new urban expansion area, the Gran Vía and Paseo de la Castellana. The Gran Vía, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, is a place for shopping, leisure and hotels. The Paseo de La Castellana crosses the city from north to south, and has some of the most elegant hotels in the city, as well as corporate offices in modern and avant-garde buildings
Three nearby museums, located a stone's throw away from each other, make what is known as the Paseo del Arte art route. These are the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Reina Sofía National Art Centre.
Madrid is exceptionally well equipped for trade fairs, conferences, and exhibitions, with convention centres and trade fair complexes. Equipped with the most modern service facilities, the city's capacity and high standards attract a few million professionals each year, who attend a variety of events.
Lavish palaces and castles mingle with modern buildings in Madrid, giving rise to a varied selection of venues for holding conferences, meetings, incentives and all kinds of receptions. All this makes of Madrid a rising travel destination, one of the world's favourites for holding conventions and congresses.
Fully aware of this, the city's range of accommodation is constantly growing and improving. Madrid's hotels are of exceptional quality and combine comfort with outstandingly professional, friendly, and personalised service.