The Majesty of Madrid

The Majesty of Madrid


HI, I’M RICK STEVES,
BACK WITH MORE
OF THE BEST OF EUROPE.
THIS TIME, WE’RE IN MADRID:
PALACES, PASEO, AND PERHAPS
EUROPE’S FINEST HAM: JAMÓN.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.
MADRID WAS ONCE THE CAPITAL
OF THE MIGHTIEST EMPIRE
ON EARTH.
IT’S STUDDED WITH RICHES
FROM THOSE GLORY DAYS.
WE’LL EXPERIENCE THE MAJESTY
OF ITS PALACES, MUSEUMS,
AND WE’LL ENJOY TODAY’S MADRID
AT ITS FUN-LOVING BEST.
WE’LL MARVEL AT
LAVISH PALACES,
PONDER THE PRADO’S
EVOCATIVE ART,
BELLY UP TO A BULL BAR,
DAY-TRIP TO SPAIN’S IMPOSING
CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL,
STARE DOWN A
FLAMENCO DANCER,
DELVE DEEP INTO PICASSO’S
GREATEST MASTERPIECE,
AND MUNCH ON PIGS EARS
DURING A TAPAS CRAWL.
IN THE SOUTHWEST
OF EUROPE,
SPAIN DOMINATES
THE IBERIAN PENINSULA.
ITS CAPITAL, MADRID,
SITS HIGH IN THE CENTER.
MADRID’S CORE IS BOUNDED BY
THE ROYAL PALACE ON THE WEST
AND THE MAGNIFICENT PRADO
MUSEUM IN THE EAST.
THE PLAZA MAYOR
AND PUERTO DEL SOL
MARK THE CENTER.
FROM HERE WE SIDE-TRIP
TO EL ESCORIAL AND THE
VALLEY OF THE FALLEN.
MADRID IS THE HUB OF SPAIN.
THIS VIBRANT CAPITAL,
EUROPE’S HIGHEST AT 2000 FEET,
HAS A POPULATION
OF OVER FOUR MILLION.
MOST OF THE CITY
IS MODERN URBAN SPRAWL
SURROUNDING AN INTACT, EASY-
TO-NAVIGATE HISTORIC CENTER.
WE’LL LIMIT OUR VISIT
TO THIS OLD CORE.
MADRID IS LIVABLE
AND FUN TO VISIT.
FORMER PARKING LOTS
ARE ONCE AGAIN GRAND AND
PEOPLE-FRIENDLY SQUARES.
SHORT POSTS KEEP CARS
OFF THE SIDEWALKS.
AND THE FINE OLD BUILDINGS
SHOW OFF THEIR ORIGINAL
ELEGANCE.
THE HISTORIC CENTER IS
ENJOYABLY COVERED ON FOOT.
NO MAJOR SIGHT IS MORE
THAN A 20-MINUTE WALK
OR A FIVE-MINUTE CAB RIDE
FROM MADRID’S LIVELY MAIN
SQUARE, THE PUERTO DEL SOL.
IT’S A HUB FOR THE METRO,
BUSES, CITY CELEBRATIONS
AND A BUSY PEDESTRIAN
SHOPPING ZONE.
AND IN THE OLD CENTER,
IT SEEMS THERE’S A SURPRISE
AROUND EVERY CORNER.
MY SPANISH FRIEND AND FELLOW
TOUR GUIDE CARLOS GAVIN
IS JOINING US TO SHARE
A LOCAL’S INSIGHT
INTO MADRID’S
CULTURE AND FOOD.
CARLOS IS TAKING ME TO A
PLACE FAMOUS FOR FOOD
SPANIARDS ARE
CRAZY ABOUT.
IF SPAIN HAD A NATIONAL FOOD,
IT WOULD PROBABLY BE JAMÓN.
THAT’S HAM.
THE EATERY,
CALLED THE MUSEUM OF HAM,
IS TASTEFULLY DECORATED,
UNLESS YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN
OR A PIG.
THIS CHEAP AND CHEERY
STAND-UP BAR
IS AN ASSEMBLY LINE
OF MEATY TREATS.
CHIN CHIN!
CHIN CHIN!
JAÓN!
JAÓN SERRANO.
SO IN SPAIN,
YOU DON’T JUST SAY HAM?
NO, WE HAVE
DIFFERENT KINDS.
WE’VE GOT ALL THESE
DIFFERENT KINDS THERE,
LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE,
JAMÓN GRANADINO
OR BELLOCA EXTRA,
OR SALAMANCA.
YOU KNOW,
THE DIFFERENT ORIGINS.
SO WHAT DO
WE HAVE HERE?
SO HERE WE HAVE A
REGULAR JAMÓN SERRANO AND
WE HAVE IBÉRICO.
THIS ONE, THE PIG HAS BEEN
KILLED AFTER THREE MONTHS
AND HAS BEEN EATING
JUST BASIC PIG FOOD.
AND THIS ONE
HAS BEEN EATING ACORNS.
ACORNS?
ACORNS.
YEAH.
THEY’RE IN FREEDOM IN THE FIELDS
AND THEY’RE EATING THE ACORN.
AND THIS IS MUCH
MORE EXPENSIVE?
YEAH.
IF THIS COST $3,
THIS WOULD COST LIKE $12.
CAN YOU TASTE
THE DIFFERENCE?
I CAN, YEAH.
OH, YEAH.
THIS IS DELICIOUS.
ACORNS.
YEAH.
HAPPY PIGS, RUNNING FREE
IN THE MOUNTAINS.
THAT’S RIGHT.
PLAZA MAYOR IS A STATELY,
TRAFFIC-FREE CHUNK
OF 17th- CENTURY SPAIN.
WHETHER HANGING OUT
WITH OLD FRIENDS,
ENJOYING A CUP OF COFFEE
OR FINDING A TREASURE
AT THE SUNDAY COIN MARKET,
IT’S AN INVITING PLACE
FOR PEOPLE TO GATHER.
THE SQUARE IS FILLED
WITH EMBLEMS
OF SPAIN’S POWERFUL PAST.
BRONZE RELIEFS UNDER
THE LAMPPOSTS SHOW HOW
UPON THIS STAGE,
MUCH OF SPANISH HISTORY
WAS PLAYED OUT.
THE SQUARE HOSTED
BULLFIGHTS.
IT WAS THE SCENE OF
GENERATIONS OF CARNIVAL
GAIETY.
AND DURING THE
INQUISITION,
MANY SUSPECTED HERETICS WERE
TRIED HERE AND PUNISHED;
IN THIS CASE,
PUBLICLY STRANGLED.
THANKFULLY, THE BRUTALITY
OF THE INQUISITION IS LONG GONE.
BUT ONE BRUTAL SPECTACLE
THAT SURVIVES TODAY,
ANCHORED DEEP
IN THE PSYCHE OF SPAIN,
IS THE BULLFIGHT.
WHETHER YOU ACTUALLY
GO TO A BULLFIGHT OR NOT
IS ENTIRELY UP TO YOU.
BUT ANYONE, FOR A QUICK SENSE
OF THE ACTION,
CAN POP INTO ONE
OF MADRID’S MANY BULL BARS.
[ guitar chords ]
AFICIONADOS GATHER AT A
BAR LIKE THIS AFTER FIGHTS,
OR TO WATCH ONE ON TV.
THIS BAR IS A TEMPLE
TO BULLFIGHTING.
IF YOU
LIKE BULLFIGHTING,
HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY IT
WITH THE ANIMAL?
HOW DO YOU
EXCUSE IT?
IT’S AN ART.
BULL FIGHTING
IS AN ART.
IT’S NOT, IT’S NOT
ABOUT THE CRUELTY.
IT’S JUST AN ART.
IT’S A WHOLE AESTHETIC.
YOU’RE FIGHTING
AGAINST AN ANIMAL
THAT IS
500 OR 600 KILOS,
AND THERE IS THIS GUY
RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM
WITH A CAPE
AND WITH A SWORD
AND HE’S BRAVE ENOUGH
AND HE’S WEARING THIS SUIT
AND PEOPLE ARE
SO SUPPORTIVE OF HIM.
THEY WANNA SEE HIM,
LIKE, DOING WELL.
SO SOME BULLFIGHTERS ARE
ACTUALLY VERY POPULAR,
LIKE HEROES,
OR POPULAR HEROES?
OH, ABSOLUTELY.
RICK, LOOK
AT THESE PHOTOGRAPHS.
I THINK THEY PROVE
THAT THE MATADOR
DOES NOT
ALWAYS WIN.
[ speaking Spanish ]
HEMMINGWAY WAS
AT THAT BULL FIGHT.
HEMMINGWAY
WAS THERE.
HEMMINGWAY SAW
LISTON
DIE.
CORDOBES
IN THE HANDS
OF CORDOBES
WITH FRANCO
IN THE AUDIENCE.
FRANCO
AND HEMMINGWAY
SAW THE BABE RUTH
OF BULL FIGHTING,
EL CORDOBES
EXACTLY.
KILL LISTON?
THAT’S RIGHT.
A FEW BLOCKS AWAY
STANDS ONE OF EUROPE’S
MOST STUNNING PALACES.
MADRID’S ROYAL PALACE
WAS BUILT BY PHILLIP THE FIFTH
IN THE 1700s.
HE WAS BORN IN VERSAILLES,
AND WHILE HE RULED SPAIN FOR 40
YEARS, HE STAYED VERY FRENCH.
THE PALACE WAS DESIGNED TO BE
PHILLIP’S VERSAILLES,
TO HELP ESTABLISH A NEW
DYNASTY, THE BOURBONS,
AND IT’S BIG,
OVER 2,000 ROOMS.
WITH ACRES OF LAVISH
PAINTINGS AND TAPESTRIES,
A KING’S RANSOM
OF CHANDELIERS…
PRICELESS TREASURES AND
BRONZE DECOR COVERED IN GOLD
LEAF.
THERE ARE OVER 150 FANCY
CLOCKS IN THE PALACE,
ALL IN WORKING ORDER.
PORTRAITS OF PAST ROYAL
RESIDENTS
THESE ARE BY THE GREAT
SPANISH PAINTER GOYA
DECORATE THE WALLS.
IN THE LAVISH THRONE ROOM
GOLDEN LIONS TREAD RED
VELVET,
SYMBOLIZING THE MIGHT
OF THE MONARCHY,
WHOSE COAT OF ARMS
INCORPORATED MANY REALMS
AND WHOSE EMPIRE SPANNED
BOTH HEMISPHERES.
ABOVE THE THRONE, THE CEILING
FRESCO BY TIEPOLO
CELEBRATES THAT VAST
SPANISH EMPIRE,
UPON WHICH THE
SUN NEVER SET.
A RAINBOW LEADS TO A MACHO
RED-CAPED CONQUISTADOR
AND AMERICAN INDIANS,
JUST SOME MORE DISTANT
SPANISH SUBJECTS.
PHILLIP THE FIFTH,
THE GRANDSON OF FRANCE’S
KING LOUIS THE 14th,
BEGAN THE BOURBON
DYNASTY,
WHICH CONTINUED
INTO THE 21st CENTURY
WITH THE POPULAR
KING JUAN CARLOS.
THE PALACE IS STILL USED
FOR FORMAL STATE CEREMONIES
AND RECEPTIONS.
THE KING THROWS DINNER
PARTIES FOR UP TO 150 GUESTS
AT THIS BOWLING LANE-SIZED
TABLE.
THE KING’S FRONT YARD?
IT’S ENJOYED
BY ALL THE PEOPLE OF
MADRID.
AND THIS PLAZA IS ANOTHER
EXAMPLE OF HOW,
THROUGHOUT EUROPE,
ENERGETIC GOVERNMENTS
ARE TURNING FORMERLY
CAR-CONGESTED WASTELANDS
INTO CHARMING
PUBLIC SPACES.
MADRID’S MAYOR
IS NICKNAMED “THE MOLE,”
FOR ALL THE DIGGING
HE’S DONE.
WHERE’S ALL THE TRAFFIC?
UNDER YOUR FEET.
AND SO IS THE SUBWAY.
MADRID’S SUBWAY IS SIMPLE,
SPEEDY AND CHEAP.
TICKET TEN-PACKS
SAVE MONEY
AND CAN BE SHARED
BY SEVERAL TRAVELERS.
THE CITY’S BROAD STREETS
CAN BE HOT AND EXHAUSTING.
A SUBWAY TRIP OF EVEN A STOP
OR TWO SAVES TIME AND
ENERGY.
TO TRANSFER, CHECK A MAP AND
SIMPLY FOLLOW THE SIGNS.
GREEN salidaSIGNS
POINT TO THE EXIT.
FOR DINNER IN MADRID,
IT’S A MOVABLE FEAST.
FOR MAXIMUM FUN, PEOPLE AND
ATMOSPHERE, DO THE TAPA
TANGO.
IT’S A TIME-HONORED TRADITION
GOING FROM ONE BAR TO THE
NEXT,
MUNCHING, DRINKING
AND SOCIALIZING.
WHEN IT COMES TO VARIETY,
MADRID IS SPAIN’S
TAPAS CAPITAL.
GRAB A TOOTHPICK AND STAB
SOMETHING STRANGE.
WHILE SPANIARDS DON’T EAT
DINNER UNTIL 9:00 OR 10:00,
WITH A MEAL LIKE THIS,
I CAN EAT EARLY
AND STILL GO LOCAL.
FOR STARTERS,
WE’RE GOING FOR ONE OF
MADRID’S QUIRKIEST SNACKS,
AND THIS SPOT IS NAMED FOR
IT, LA OREJA DE ORO,
SAUTÉED PIGS EARS.
PIGS EARS ARE A FAVORITE HERE,
AND JAMIE IS A FRANTIC
ONE-MAN SHOW
WHO SOMEHOW GETS
EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT.
[ speaking Spanish ]
SEE, THIS WINE IS
LIKE HOUSE-MADE WINE
FROM THE NORTHWEST
OF SPAIN, FROM GALICIA.
OKAY, AND IT’S CLOUDY
A LITTLE BIT.
YEAH, IT’S
A LITTLE BIT CLOUDY
SO YOU DO NOT SEE
THE POOR QUALITY.
[ laughs ]
YAY, ALL RIGHT.
GRACIAS.
SO THIS IS?
YEAH, SO THIS
IS PIGS EAR.
THIS IS THE CARTILAGE,
ACTUALLY.
THIS IS SAUTÉED WITH A
LITTLE BIT OF OLIVE OIL,
SPANISH PAPRIKA
AND PARSLEY.
AND THAT’S ACTUALLY
THE CARTILAGE?
THAT’S RIGHT.
MMM.
CRUNCHY.
YEAH.
WOW.
PIGS EARS.
I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE EATING
ACTUAL PIGS EARS.
YEAH.
JUST UP THE STREET,
CASA TONI IS RUN BY…
TONI.
HE’S POPULAR FOR HIS
REFRESHING GAZPACHO,
THE COLD TOMATO
AND GARLIC SOUP.
CARLOS, THE GAZPACHO IS REALLY
REFRESHING IN THE SUMMER, RIGHT?
YEAH.
GAZPACHO IS LIKE A VEGETABLE
SOUP WITH A TOMATO BASE.
BUT COLD.
AND IT’S
VERY REFRESHING.
YEAH,
IT’S COLD.
IT’S NICE,
YEAH.
AT TONI’S, YOU CAN HAVE
HUEVOS CON CHORIZO,
POTATOES BRAVA,
MYSTERY MEATS
AND THE HOUSE VERMOUTH.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT PAYING
UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO GO.
THEN ASK FOR “LA CUENTA,”
THE BILL.
NEXT, IT’S LA CASA DEL
ABUELO, PACKED WITH SEAFOOD
LOVERS
SAVORING SIZZLING PLATES
OF TASTY SHRIMP AND PRAWNS.
I LIKE GAMBAS AL
AJILLO,SHRIMP SAUTÉED WITH
GARLIC,
AND GAMBAS A LA PLANCHA,
GRILLED SHRIMP.
A GLASS OF THE HOUSE RED
WINE, RIGHT OUT OF THE KEG,
IS INCREDIBLY CHEAP.
THE LITTER ON THE FLOOR
IS NORMAL.
THAT’S WHERE PEOPLE
TRADITIONALLY
TOSS THEIR TRASH
AND SHELLS.
FOR A SWEET,
LATE-NIGHT FINALE,
ENJOY PUDDING-LIKE HOT
CHOCOLATE AND CHURROS.
CHURROS ARE THE FAVORITE
LOCAL DOUGHNUT.
DUNK AND CHAT,
RECALLING HIGHLIGHTS
OF THE DAY
AND LOOKING FORWARD
TO TOMORROW.
WE’RE SIDE-TRIPPING,
A SHORT DRIVE INTO THE HILLS
FROM MADRID,
TO SAN LORENZO
DE EL ESCORIAL.
THE TOWN HAS CHARM,
BUT EVERYBODY VISITS FOR
THIS:
ITS SPRAWLING PALACE.
IN THE MID 1500s,
KING PHILLIP THE SECOND
NEEDED A SUITABLY GRAND PALACE
TO ESTABLISH HIS FAMILY DYNASTY,
THE SPANISH BRANCH
OF THE HABSBURGS.
HE ALSO NEEDED A HEADQUARTERS
FROM WHICH TO RUN A STRONG,
CENTRALIZED SPANISH STATE.
PHILLIP RULED HIS
HUGE EMPIRE,
WHICH STRETCHED FROM MEXICO
TO MANILA, FROM HERE.
EL ESCORIAL WAS BUILT
DURING THE REFORMATION,
A TIME WHEN CATHOLIC SPAIN
WAS DEFENDING THE CHURCH
AGAINST THE PROTESTANT
HERETICS.
THE ENIGMATIC, INTROVERTED
AND EXTREMELY CATHOLIC
KING PHILLIP THE SECOND
DIRECTED THE COUNTER-
REFORMATION FROM THIS SPOT.
TODAY IT’S PACKED
WITH HISTORY AND ART,
OFFERING AN
EVOCATIVE TRIP BACK
TO SPAIN’S MOST
FASCINATING AGE.
EL ESCORIAL WAS MORE
THAN AN IMPRESSIVE PALACE
FOR A DIVINE MONARCH.
IT WAS A GRAND MAUSOLEUM
FOR SPAIN’S ROYAL FAMILY.
IT WAS A MONASTERY
TO PROVIDE CONSTANT PRAYER
FOR THE KING’S SOUL.
AND IT WAS A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
DESIGNED TO TEACH AND EMBRACE
HUMANISM
IN A WAY THAT FIT
THE CATHOLIC FAITH.
KING PHILLIP BUILT
IN AUSTERITY:
PLAIN WHITE WALLS
AND BARE-BONES CHANDELIERS.
HIS SIMPLE BED, WITH A
MATTRESS THAT’S NOT EVEN
QUEEN-SIZE,
CAME WITH A VIEW OF THE HIGH
ALTAR IN THE BASILICA
JUST NEXT DOOR.
THE BASILICA,
THE ARCHITECTURAL AND
SPIRITUAL HEART OF THE
COMPLEX,
IS DEDICATED
TO THE MARTYR ST.LAURENCE.
THE ALTAR FEATURES A PAINTING
OF THE FLAME-ENGULFED GRILL
WITH ST. LAURENCE
MEETING HIS FIERY DEATH.
DOWNSTAIRS, THE ROYAL
PANTHEON IS THE GILDED RESTING
PLACE
OF FOUR CENTURIES OF
SPANISH KINGS AND QUEENS.
THERE’S A STRICT
FILING SYSTEM.
THE FIRST AND GREATEST,
CHARLES THE FIFTH,
AND HIS QUEEN, FLANK THE
ALTAR ON THE TOP SHELF.
THEIR SON, PHILLIP
THE SECOND,
RESTS BELOW CHARLES AND
OPPOSITE HIS WIFE, AND SO
ON.
BECAUSE KINGS MIGHT HAVE
MARRIED MORE THAN ONCE,
TO MAKE IT HERE,
A WOMAN NEEDED TO BE BOTH
QUEEN AND MOTHER OF A KING.
THE IMMENSE LIBRARY SHOWS
THAT KNOWLEDGE WAS A PRIORITY
FOR THE SPANISH ROYALTY.
THE CEILING CELEBRATES THE
SEVEN CLASSICAL DISCIPLINES
WITH A BURST OF COLOR.
THE ELABORATE MODEL,
CONSTRUCTED AFTER THE AGE
OF COPERNICUS,
INSISTS ON PROVING THAT THE
SOLAR SYSTEM REVOLVES,
UNMISTAKABLY,
AROUND THE EARTH.
AS YOU LEAVE,
A PLAQUE ABOVE THE DOOR WARNS
YOU’LL BE EXCOMMUNICATED
IF YOU TAKE A BOOK
WITHOUT CHECKING IT OUT.
WHO NEEDS LATE FEES
WHEN YOU HOLD THE KEYS
TO ETERNAL DAMNATION?
THE EMOTIONAL INTENSITY
OF SPANISH CULTURE
CAN BE EXPERIENCED
IN ITS ROYAL PALACES.
BUT IT’S MOST RIVETING IN THE
MUSIC AND DANCE OF ITS PEOPLE.
IT’S TIME FOR FLAMENCO.
[ tapping and snapping ]
WHILE SEVILLE IS THE HOME
OF FLAMENCO,
MADRID DRAWS SPAIN’S
TOP ARTISTS.
THE SINGING AND DANCING GIVES
YOU AN EXOTIC WHIFF
OF THE ARABIC AND GYPSY
INFLUENCES ON SPANISH
CULTURE.
SOME SHOWS ARE
SULTRY AND SERIOUS.
OTHERS ARE LIGHT AND DESIGNED
MOSTLY FOR TOUR GROUPS.
AND SOME BARS ARE MORE
CONTEMPORARY,
CATERING TO YOUNG LOCALS
WHO COME OUT
FOR THEIR FAVORITE ACTS.
[ speaking Spanish ]
I PREFER A HOTEL RIGHT IN THE
TOWN CENTER, LIKE HOTEL
EUROPA.
THIS PLACE IS POPULAR AMONG
TRAVELERS WITH MY GUIDEBOOKS
FOR ITS WARM
AND HELPFUL WELCOME.
UPSTAIRS THERE’S A RED-CARPET
CHARM WITH PLUSH HALLS,
A VELVETY LOUNGE
AND BASIC ROOMS
WITH VIEWS OVERLOOKING
MADRID’S SHOPPING STREET
ACTION.
ITS CONVENIENT CAFETERIA IS
JUST RIGHT FOR BREAKFAST
OR A RELAXING
COFFEE BREAK.
FOR ANOTHER THOUGHT-PROVOKING
EXCURSION,
WE’RE SIDE-TRIPPING
FROM MADRID
UP INTO THE GUADARRAMA
MOUNTAINS.
A 500-FOOT-TALL GRANITE CROSS
MARKS THE VALLEY OF THE
FALLEN,
AN IMMENSE AND POWERFUL
UNDERGROUND MONUMENT
TO THE VICTIMS OF SPAIN’S
DEVASTATING CIVIL WAR.
IN THE LATE 1930s,
A MILLION SPANIARDS DIED
AS CONSERVATIVE CATHOLICS
IN THE MILITARY SLUGGED IT OUT
AGAINST SECULAR DEMOCRATS.
UNLIKE AMERICA’S CIVIL WAR,
WHICH PITTED NORTH
AGAINST SOUTH,
THIS WAR WAS
BETWEEN CLASSES AND IDEOLOGIES.
IT DIVIDED EVERY VILLAGE.
THE RIGHT-WING FASCISTS
ULTIMATELY WON
AND FRANCO RULED SPAIN
AS ITS DICTATOR UNTIL 1975.
[ somber music ]
THE SORROWFUL PIETA DRAPED
OVER THE ENTRANCE
MUST HAVE HAD A
POWERFUL IMPACT
ON MOTHERS WHO CAME HERE TO
REMEMBER THEIR FALLEN SONS.
A SOLEMN SILENCE
FILLS THE BASILICA.
AS IF MEASURING SORROW
IN DISTANCE,
THIS 870-FOOT-LONG
CHAMBER
IS FAR LONGER THAN
ANY CHURCH IN EUROPE.
THE LINE OF TORCH-LIKE LAMPS
ADDS TO THE SOMBER AMBIANCE.
FRANCO’S PRISONERS,
THE ENEMIES OF THE RIGHT,
WERE PUT TO WORK DIGGING THIS
MEMORIAL OUT OF SOLID ROCK.
FRANCO’S GRAVE
TAKES CENTER STAGE.
SOME SPANIARDS COME HERE
TO HONOR HIM.
OTHERS COME TO BE SURE
HE’S STILL DEAD.
BUT INTERRED HERE,
IN CHAPELS FLANKING THE ALTAR,
ARE THE REMAINS
OF TENS OF THOUSANDS,
VICTIMS FROM BOTH SIDES,
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES
IN SPAIN’S CIVIL WAR.
WITH EVERY VISIT,
I STARE INTO THE EYES
OF THOSE ANGELS WITH SWORDS
AND THINK ABOUT
ALL THE HEROES
WHO KEEP DYING
“FOR GOD AND COUNTRY”
AT THE REQUEST
OF THE LATTER.
ANOTHER PLACE TO REMEMBER THE
VICTIMS OF SPAIN’S CIVIL WAR
IS BACK IN MADRID
AT THE CENTRO REINA SOFIA.
THIS MODERN ART MUSEUM HAS A
FINE COLLECTION OF
PAINTINGS,
BUT WE’RE HEADING DIRECTLY
TO THE EPIC WORK
SHOWING THE HARSH REALITIES
OF MODERN WAR.
IN 1937, GUERNICA,
A VILLAGE IN NORTHERN SPAIN,
WAS THE TARGET OF THE WORLD’S
FIRST AERIAL SATURATION BOMBING.
IT WAS KIND OF A DRESS REHEARSAL
FOR THE HORRORS OF WORLD WAR II,
APPROVED BY FRANCO,
CARRIED OUT BY HITLER.
THE SPANISH ARTIST PABLO
PICASSO HEARD THE SHOCKING
NEWS
AND IMMEDIATELY
SET TO WORK
SKETCHING THE DESTRUCTION
AS HE IMAGINED IT.
IN A MATTER OF WEEKS, HE WOVE
THESE BOMB-SHATTERED SHARDS
INTO A LARGE MURAL
CALLED “GUERNICA.”
FOR THE FIRST TIME,
THE WORLD COULD SEE
THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCE
OF THE RISING
FASCIST MOVEMENT,
A PRELUDE TO
WORLD WAR II.
IT’S AS IF SHARDS
FROM THE BOMBING
ARE PASTED ONTO
THE CANVAS.
A WOMAN LOOKS TO THE SKY,
HORSES SCREAM,
A SOLDIER FALLS, BODY
SHATTERED, SWORD BROKEN.
A WOUNDED WOMAN
FLEES A BURNING HOUSE.
A BULL, SYMBOL OF SPAIN,
PONDERS IT ALL,
WATCHING OVER A MOTHER
AND HER DEAD BABY,
A MODERN PIETA.
PICASSO’S PAINTING
THREW A STARK LIGHT
ON THE BRUTALITY
OF HITLER AND FRANCO.
“GUERNICA” CAUSED
AN IMMEDIATE SENSATION
AND WITH EACH PASSING YEAR,
AND WAR,
IT SEEMS MORE PROPHETIC.
PICASSO PUT A HUMAN FACE
ON COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
TODAY SPAIN ENJOYS
ITS PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
THAT’S PARTICULARLY CLEAR
AT THE RETIRO PARK.
IT’S MADE TO ORDER FOR A
GREEN AND BREEZY ESCAPE
FROM THE CITY.
DURING WEEKENDS, IT BECOMES
A CARNIVAL OF FUN.
[ speaking Spanish ]
NO!
[ clapping ]
MADRID’S MUCH-LOVED
CENTRAL PARK
OFFERS SPLENDID PICNICKING,
ROWBOATING AND PEOPLE
WATCHING.
[ screams and laughter ]
[ speaking Spanish ]
OPPOSITE THE PARK,
THE PRADO MUSEUM
HOLDS MY FAVORITE COLLECTION
OF PAINTINGS ANYWHERE.
THE PAINTINGS GIVE
AN EYE-PLEASING OVERVIEW
OF SPAIN’S RICH HISTORY,
FROM THE GOLDEN AGE
THROUGH ITS SLOW FADE.
IN THE 1500s, SPAIN WAS
EUROPE’S SUPERPOWER,
FLUSH WITH GOLD FROM
NEWLY DISCOVERED AMERICA
AND RULED BY THIS MAN,
EMPEROR CHARLES THE FIFTH.
HERE THE GREAT
VENETIAN ARTIST TITIAN
PORTRAYS CHARLES
AS HE WAS,
THE MOST POWERFUL MAN
IN THE WORLD.
CHARLES’ SON, PHILLIP THE
SECOND, THOUGH VERY
RELIGIOUS,
COLLECTED A BEVY OF SENSUAL
VENETIAN PAINTINGS.
IN “TITIAN’S VENUS
AND THE ORGAN PLAYER,”
WE SEE THE CONFLICTS THESE
PEOPLE STRUGGLED WITH,
TORN BETWEEN HIGH CULTURAL
PURSUITS,
AS SYMBOLIZED HERE BY MUSIC,
AND MORE WORLDLY PLEASURES.
“DANAE,” ALSO BY TITIAN,
IS A VIRTUAL RENAISSANCE
MISS AUGUST.
MONEY FALLING FROM THE SKY
MADE ROYALS AND ARISTOCRATS,
THE PEOPLE WHO COMMISSIONED
THIS KIND OF ART,
FEEL THEIR WEALTH
WAS BLESSED BY GOD.
HIERONYMOUS BOSCH, WHO
PAINTED 500 YEARS AGO
AND SEEMS RADICAL
EVEN TODAY,
GIVES ALL THIS HEDONISM
A DIFFERENT SPIN.
HIS GARDEN OF EARTHLY
DELIGHTS, A THREE-PANELED
ALTAR PIECE
THAT ACTUALLY HUNG
IN THE KING’S BEDROOM,
SHOWS WHERE ALL THIS WORLDLY
TEMPTATION ULTIMATELY LEADS.
FIRST, MAN AND WOMAN ARE
BORN, INNOCENT IN THE GARDEN
OF EDEN,
BLESSED BY A KIND GOD.
THEN FOOLISH PEOPLE CHASE
AFTER EARTHLY DELIGHTS,
A PURSUIT THAT IS ULTIMATELY
A VICIOUS CYCLE.
THEY’RE LURED
BY THE WORLD’S PLEASURES:
EATING,
DRINKING,
SEX.
TWO LOVERS ARE SUSPENDED
IN A BUBBLE.
AND IN THE THIRD PANEL,
THE BUBBLE POPS.
THESE PARTY ANIMALS ARE
HEADING STRAIGHT TO HELL,
A BURNING POST APOCALYPTIC
WASTELAND,
WHERE SINNERS ARE LED OFF
TO ETERNAL TORMENT.
EVERY SINNER
GETS HIS JUST DESERTS.
GLUTTONS ARE THEMSELVES
CONSUMED.
GOOD-TIME MUSICIANS
ARE TORTURED
BY THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS.
GAMBLERS HAVE THEIR PARTY
FOREVER CRASHED.
AND A LECHER GETS SEXUALLY
HARASSED BY A PIG-FACED NUN.
IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL,
A FACE PEERS OUT
OF THIS BIZARRE NIGHTMARE,
A SELF-PORTRAIT OF
THE ARTIST: BOSCH.
STARTING IN THE 1600s,
SPAIN ENTERED A LONG, SLOW
PERIOD OF DECLINE.
BUT ITS WEALTHY COURT CONTINUED
TO FINANCE GREAT ART.
PERHAPS THE MOST LOVED PAINTING
IN ALL THE PRADO
IS “LAS MENINAS”
BY DIEGO VELASQUEZ.
VELASQUEZ TAKES US
BEHIND THE SCENES
AS HE PAINTS A PORTRAIT
OF THE KING AND QUEEN.
THE ARTIST PAINTS HIMSELF AT
WORK, ALONG WITH A PRINCESS,
WHO’S WATCHING
HER MOM AND DAD POSE.
SHE’S JOINED BY HER SERVANTS,
THE MENINAS.
IN THIS WONDERFULLY 3-D
PAINTING,
THE UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
IS THAT OF THE KING
AND THE QUEEN AS THEY POSE.
IN FACT, THEY CAN BE SEEN
IN THE MIRROR
AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM.
BY 1800, SPAIN WAS NO
LONGER A WORLD POWER,
BUT IT CONTINUED TO PRODUCE
GREAT ARTISTS.
FRANCISCO DE GOYA WAS SPAIN’S
OFFICIAL COURT PAINTER.
HE DUTIFULLY PORTRAYED
THE KING AND THE QUEEN
IN ALL THEIR
ROYAL FINERY.
BUT MANY SEE GOYA BECOMING
DISENCHANTED WITH HIS
PATRONS.
HERE IN THESE
VACANT FACES
HE REVEALS THE INEPTITUDE
OF THE ROYAL FAMILY.
GOYA’S PAINTING CALLED
“THE 2ND OF MAY”
RECALLS HOW SPAIN HOPED
THE IDEALS OF REVOLUTIONARY
FRANCE WOULD SPREAD,
BRINGING DEMOCRACY
TO SPAIN.
BUT WHEN NAPOLEON INVADED,
THEIR HOPES WERE DASHED.
ON MAY 2, 1808,
MADRID’S WORKING PEOPLE
STAGED A PROTEST.
FRENCH SOLDIERS, WITH THEIR
EGYPTIAN MERCENARIES,
SLASHED THROUGH THE CROWDS
AND ARRESTED THE
RINGLEADERS.
THE NEXT DAY THIS
PAINTING’S CALLED “THE 3rd OF
MAY”
THE FRENCH BEGAN
REPRISALS.
IGNORING THE REBELS’
PASSIONATE PLEAS,
A FACELESS FIRING SQUAD MOWS
THEM DOWN WITHOUT MERCY.
GOYA, DISILLUSIONED BY ALL
THE SENSELESS VIOLENCE,
PORTRAYED COMMON PEOPLE
AS THE VICTIMS OF WAR.
THANKFULLY,
STEPPING OUT OF THE PRADO,
IT’S A BRIGHT AND HAPPY DAY
IN MADRID,
WHICH SEEMS DETERMINED
TO CELEBRATE ITS FREEDOM
AND ENJOY LIFE
TO ITS FULLEST.
WHILE SPAIN REMEMBERS ITS
RICH AND POIGNANT HISTORY,
AND SHARES IT WELL
WITH VISITORS,
THE FOCUS OF TODAY SEEMS
TO BE ON LIVING WELL.
AFTER EVERY TRIP TO THIS
EXCITING CITY,
THE IMPRESSION
I TAKE HOME
IS THAT OF A THRIVING PEOPLE
WITH AN ENDURING CULTURE,
WHICH REALLY KNOWS
HOW TO DANCE.
MADRID, PERMEATED WITH PASSION,
FROM ITS GRAND HISTORY
TO ITS LOVE OF LIFE TODAY.
LET’S EXPLORE MORE OF EUROPE
TOGETHER AGAIN SOON.
UNTIL THEN, I’M RICK STEVES.
KEEP ON TRAVELIN’.
HASTA LUEGO!
GOT THAT WIND.
CALM DOWN!
IN THE MID
1500s
OKAY.
AHH!
AGHH!
HA, HA, HA!
LET’S EXPLORE
MORE OF EUROPE
AGAIN SOON.
UNTIL THEN,
I’M I’M
DICK STEVES.
KEEP ON
TRAVELIN’.

100 thoughts on “The Majesty of Madrid”

  1. "Spain dominates the Iberian Península" ? Not yet ! The Iberian Península is composed by two countries, that you ought to know : Portugal and Spain .

  2. I have a clinical case of depression so I don't enjoy things nearly as much as other people do and I still think that Madrid was and still is amazing

  3. Madrid is very beautiful city in Spain. there are lots of beautiful churches, museums, art galleries and other things to see and visit.

  4. A documentary whit some of tópics. Flamenco music is from Andalucía, bullfighting too. Madrid has a lot of culture, museums….

  5. The painting on the ceiling those are my great-grandmother and great-grandfather you can imagine how great many generations old he came to our country and did an unspeakable things for a seemingly endless time over 90% of us are gone now because of him the lake water used to be sky blue if you were rolling around in it you couldn't tell the sky from the lake the ocean used to be blue green now it's just Brown we had Coral of every color of the rainbow then it was just White then it was just nothing are children used to hunt and more deeply into science and farming now most of them are gone because of Columbus so if African Americans and Indian Americans same and different to that painting please understand

  6. The inquisition killed no more than 20,000 people in 3 centuries, the French killed 21,000 in Saint Bartholomew's massacre in 1572 yet the Spaniard got the bad reputation for intolerance. Folks accuses of heresy were allowed to name 10 men and women who hated them and if one was one of the 2 accusers they were set free.

  7. ¿Pero de qué vas hablando de la inquisición? ¿No sabes que Inglaterra tuvo también inquisición y se cargó a muchísima gente más? España con su famosa inquisición solo se cargó a 46 personas en 300 años. Inglaterra se llegó a cargar a 10.000 mujeres durante las famosas "cazas de brujas" que asolaron Europa. Hay un registro en el Vaticano de todo esto. Este canal es pura porquería.

  8. I studied abroad in Spain, specifically in Madrid, and it was a transformative experience. It has so much culture, art, and pride that you don't have a choice but to appreciate and admire it.

  9. Some Spaniards come here to honor him. Others to make sure he is still dead… jajajajaja que buena estuvo esa!

  10. Hello Rick. I am seeing your shows and loving them. Let me say its a treat for people who cannot afford to Visit these places. But due to your excellent tourism we are able to see. Sir I have seen you before, some of your show related to gardening. Think, is that true?

  11. It wasn't 'conservative catholics and military' slugging it out against secular 'democrats'!!! It was capitalist democrats and the institutions that defend it fighting to prevent an (atheist) socialist revolution akin to the Russian Revolution that would have resulted in economic collapse and socialist tyranny; as socialism always does! I wish a certain Liberal Lutheran (or more accurately Marxist anti-Catholic propagandist) could be more honest instead of revising history, then again if he studied history in a Marxist dominated American 'University' facts and honesty can't be expected.

  12. BTW…"el valle de los caídos" is not a memorial to the Spanish civil war. That place is the burial site of the dictator Francisco Franco, which was built by prisoners of the dictatorship. Shame on him and his heirs, followers or supporters.

  13. I am proud of my Spanish heritage. Being a descendant of Spaniards who settled in the new world, I couldn't help but wonder what life would've been like for me, if we had stayed in Spain…

  14. Guernica could have been so much more powerful had it not looked like a first grade art project. Sure the stuffy art crowd would get all mushy for it but if had looked like a snapshot of the true horror it would have resonated throughout all walks of life not just those who call first grade drawings art!! (Yes I can do better to all you critics)

  15. No concern for the poor pigs, who would have lived lives of absolute misery in tiny cages just so that RS could get his 'buzz'.

  16. Madrid is one of the most beautiful and monumental cities in the world. Do not be limited to visit the Historic Center, mistake number one that most tourists make, go to the suburbs El Escorial, Aranjuez, etc.

  17. Madrid is surrounded by beautiful and green snow-capped mountains and you can take a train and enjoy. Most tourists have no idea about this.

  18. I’m speechless looking at all these comments about Madrid.. Madrid has got to be the most boring city (capital) in the world.. how can you say it is better then Barcelona or many other cities in the world??? I want some that good stuff you’re smoking.. obviously you haven’t seen much around to make such comments..

  19. "Thankfully the brutality of the Inquisition is long gone."
    The Bible says it's coming back, same persecuting power.
    Time to draw close to the Lord!

  20. Pig's ear? I am Spanish, I have lived in Madrid several years, and I have never heard of this … certainly not a big thing nor a favorite for 99,99% of Spaniards

  21. First of all, Madrid is a beautiful and enjoyable city and this video portraits it very well.
    However, the choice of Valley of the Fallen as nearby visit is very unfortunate. I assume you were not well advised by your local partners. There are many other more beautiful attractions nearby, which don't have the political bias of this place. Please, get well informed about it.
    And, please, understand that bullfighting is not so popular anymore. A big portion of the Spaniards are against this brutal tradition.

  22. Soy español y no puedo estar más orgulloso de nuestra cultura y forma de ver la vida.
    Grande España y cada vez más valorada por todo el mundo

  23. 2019. I wondered why everything looked so outdated… until I fast forward to the end of video and realize it's a 2004 TV documentary.

  24. Madrid is the most beautiful city in Europe, the best hotels, delicious cuisine and the friendliest and friendliest people in all of Europe.

  25. I have been visited Spain so many times, and I still love it. It so beautiful people, friendly, cultures, architectures, food. Someday I would love move there

  26. I’m from China , I studied in Madrid more than 3years for masters , I love this country , I miss the life of there . Viva expat

  27. Im Spanish and I live in Madrid and this video is cool. The thing is I travel a lot in metro and you can see the change

  28. Crazy american loocking mierda fascistas y nacis de mierda fascistas y nacis de mierda fascistas y nacis de de el C.E.S.I.D!

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