The Community of Madrid is an autonomous community of Spain, located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, borders Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León. Madrid is the only capital of the community and it is also the capital of Spain.
In the territory of the Community of Madrid there are important archaeological sites, proof of the existence of ancient populations living in its lands.
The region has two climates, in the mountainous area cold winters and mild summers; and plain area hot summers and mild winters.

Natural site of national interest Hayedo de Montejo

hayedo comunidad madrid

Natural parks and reserves

For nature lovers, in the Community of Madrid there is the sierra de Guadarrama and its extension Somosierra, where there are three regional parks and a natural park that are a part of Guadarrama National Park.

  • Cumbre Natural Park, Circo y Lagunas de Peñalara
  • Cuenca Alta del Manzanares regional park, declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
  • Sureste Regional Park
  • Regional Park of the Curso Medio del Río Guadarrama
  • El Regajal-Mar de Ontígola Natural Reserve
  • Carrizal de Villamejor Natural Reserve
  • San Juan Lagoon Wildlife Refuge
  • Las Peñas del Arcipreste de Hita natural monument
  • Paraje Pintoresco del Pinar de Abantos and the Zone de La Herrería
  • Natural site of national interest Hayedo de Montejo
  • Natural space of temporal protection of Término Municipal de Sevilla la Nueva
  • Protección Preventiva de los Sotos del Henares natural space

For speleology enthusiasts, you can visit the Cueva del Reguerillo, which is accessible via the Garganta de Patones.

Outdoor activities

In the Community of Madrid you can practice various open air activities every season of the year: skiing in the Sierra de Guadarrama, water sports in the Pantano of San Juan or trekking in Pedriza, in the Valle de la Fuenfría y Peñalara; birdwatching, going horseback riding or bicycle tours in the Vías Verdes, old abandoned railway tracks converted to bike and hiking trails.

Monastery and Real Site San Lorenzo de El Escorial

escorial madrid

Cultural and artistic heritage

In the Community of Madrid there are world heritage sites such as the Monastery and Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, where you can visit the dépandance of the palace of the Austrias and the Bourbons, the library, the basilica, totally immersed in a very suggestive place like the Sierra de Guadarrama. The University and the historic center of Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, where, in addition to monuments and museums, you can taste typical sweets such as almendras garrapiñadas (sweet almonds) and the costrada (meringue cake, cream and puff pastry). And the cultural landscape of Aranjuez, which was once a spring residence of the Bourbons.
In the Community of Madrid were born famous writers like: Miguel de Cervantes (author of Don Quixote of La Mancha), Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Calderón de la Barca.

Mendoza castle in Manzanares el Real

castillo manzanares comunidad madrid

Castles

Among the castles of remarkable historical interest, built between the XII and XVI century, there are:

  • The castle of Coracera in San Martín de Valdeiglesias, inside it there is a wine shop where you can taste typical wines of the Madrid community;
  • The Mendoza Castle in Manzanares el Real, where you can visit the center of interpretation that preserves a permanent exhibition on the history, construction and preservation of the castle;
  • The castle of D. Gonzalo Chacón in Arroyomolinos;
  • The Castle of the Order of Santiago in Villarejo de Salvanés;
  • The fortified enclosure and castle of Buitrago del Lozoya, inside the castle they organize cultural events, exhibitions, theatrical tours, and the festival of ancient and classical music Marqués de Santillana.

Cristal Palace

palacio cristal madrid

Museums and art galleries

Some of the museums and art galleries are:

  • The Caja de Madrid Foundation “La casa encendida”, where you can visit avant-garde exhibitions, the library, the media library.
  • Juan March Foundation, which exhibits modern and sometimes Oriental art.
  • Phone Foundation Space, maintains a permanent artistic and technological collection of different periods.
  • Sala Alcalá 31, where you can visit contemporary art exhibitions.
  • Sala Joven Art, works of emerging artists.
  • Cristal Palace, a building in the Parque del Retiro in Madrid, a part of the National Museum of Art Center of Reina Sofía, and houses several art collections.
  • Casa de América, which houses art collections of Ibero-American artists.

Popular parties and traditions

In May the community of Madrid celebrates Feria San Isidro, in august they celebrate “los encierros” de San Sebastián de los Reyes, the second Sunday of September they celebrate Romería de la Virgen de Gracia, patron saint of the Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, in the forest of Herrería de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Of great importance are the celebrations taking place during Holy Week, and the October Cervantino in Alcalá de Henares, to celebrate the birth of Miguel de Cervantes with music, exhibitions, conferences and more.

Gastronomy

Among the typical dishes of the Community of Madrid there are: cocido madrileño, besugo a la madrileña, and tapas to taste in small portions, different dishes of the region. In the territory you can also visit the wine cellars of Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martín de Valdeiglesias.

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