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If you take the bus from the airport, it will drop you off at Plaza de Colon. (The bus stop is located under the plaza.)
Madrid Orientation Map
Madrid Metro
Madrid sights:
Museo de America
Royal Palace
Egyptian temple
Parque del Buen Retiro
Madrid Train Station
El Rastro
National Archeological Museum
Museo Cerralbo
Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
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Mercado, Plaza de San Miguel
The Plazas:
Plaza Mayor
Puerta del Sol
Plaza de Expaña
Plaza de la Villa
Plaza de Oriente
Plaza de La Independencia
Plaza de Colon

Read about my family's tapas tour in Madrid"

If you are looking to find a Hard Rock T-shirt from Madrid, the restaurant is located just northwest of the plaza.
Though the plaza is named after Columbus, the gardens are referred to as the Gardens of Discovery.

Photo Left: Columbus stands at the pinnacle of a tall column. I did not check, but I would not be surprised to learn that the statue of Columbus is facing west and that the eyes are scanning the horizon, looking for that westward route to the Indies.

The Colon bus stop is but one of the attractions under the plaza. The cultural center, de la Villa de Madrid, is also located beneath the plaza. At the base of the Columbus Monument is a fountain with a huge cascade of water. At the ends of the fountain are stairs leading down under the cascade. Take them to check out the cultural center.

The cascading water has a very stimulating roar, making it difficult to carry on a conversation outside the cultural center.

A second monument in the plaza honors the voyage of Columbus in a much more striking way. Several large structures expand across the plaza with lengthy inscriptions related to the voyage. When viewed from a- far, this modern structure does have an odd nautical feel to it, like ships at sea.

The fishtail-like section shown above (see closeup of the structure below) has a number of names carved into its base.


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This page last updated October 2004