The “Día del Libro” or the Day of the Book is celebrated on April 23rd, so there is no better time to do this free tour of Madrid. Knowing landmarks of the city while learning a little more about the great literary figures is highly recommended. Even for the little ones in the house.
Part of the route is in the Plaza of Santa Ana, the heart of the Neighboorhood of Letters. In this neighborhood the streets are adorned with verses and literary quotes from writers such as Bécquer, Lope de Vega or Cervantes. In fact, the last two lived here. Legend has it that they became declared enemies.
In the Plaza de Santa Ana you can see the facade of the Spanish Theatre, erected on one of the most well-known open-air theatres of comedies of the Spanish Golden Age: “the Corral del Príncipe.” This theatre was rivaled by a fierce competitor during the 16th and 17th centuries, the “Corral de la Cruz.” There was rivalry between the supporters of the functions of one against those who preferred the works of the other. A kind of Madrid Barça of the Baroque.
The route of the free tour of Madrid continues along Huertas Street, passing through the Parish of San Sebastián. It is known to house the mortal remains of Lope de Vega, although today the exact location isn’t known for sure. The route also includes a visit to the Trinitarian Convent, where the remains of Miguel de Cervantes and Saavedra were recently found.
Finally, and to complete the tour, you will visit the Plaza de Cortes where the Congress of Deputies is located. The curious thing about this square is that it is the location of the first statue that Madrid created for a non-religious character, none other than the author of ‘El Quijote’. But that’s not all, in 2009 when the square was being remodeled, the statue had to be moved and a secret that was hidden within the pedestal was discovered. The workers found a hidden door inside. What was behind the secret door? A box converted into a time capsule. To find out what it contained and what year it was from, you will have no choice but to sign up for the route.
Do you want to join the free tour of Madrid?
It starts on Saturday, April 14th and it is scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 12:30pm, and it will last approximately for an hour and a half. As we said, is completely free, although the guides are happy to receive tips.