The bohemian side of Madrid


Madrid presents different aesthetics and environments, depending on the place and the moment of the day, and that’s what makes the experience of walking through its streets enriching. Its borders, although invisible, exist in everyone’s inner emotion and have been for some people a source of inspiration.
This characteristic is proper of what people from Madrid call the Madrid of the Habsburgs, a non-definite space made of streets that form the most traditional neighborhood of the city, whose name comes from the urban expansion occurred during the governing dynasty of the Habsburgs during the 16th century.
Its value stands in the great change we experience when we move away from the high buildings that give us the idea of being in a big city, to enter into the simplicity and narrowness of the streets that lead to nooks and tiny squares: Plaza de la Paja, Viaducto de Segovia and Pasadizo de la Plaza de la Villa are some examples.
Nowadays what we know as Madrid of the Habsburgs is a more reduced zone than the historical one, due to some corners that are not the same as before. Although it is a very touristic zone, you can still feel the peculiarity of this place by getting lost during the night, thanks to the illumination that intensifies its charming side.
The memories of the Madrid-born greatest writers are well shown in the streets –you can see lots of plaques through all the city- but especially the Habsburgs area has been the stage of lots of the historical works.
Lope de Vega, Benito Pérez-Galdós or Ramón de Valle-Inclán are a few writers who, in different periods, represented these streets in a very special and intimate way, giving them a sense of transcendence and romanticism, contrasting the social decadence of that time.
Moreover, if you are interested in the historic literature of this city, you should take a walk though the barrio de las Letras, within the Habsburg neighborhood. It will give you the chance of seeing the places where important writers such as Miguel de Cervantes or Francisco de Quevedo used to live, together with the courtyards where they used to represent their plays during the 16th and 17th century, known in Spain as the Golden Age.
Do you have any knowledge about Spanish literature? Start to discover it and you will see a different side of Madrid. In Spaneasy you can enjoy some cultural activities that will help you with that.


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