Category Archives: Art & Culture

Holy Week (Semana Santa) in Madrid

Semana Santa Madrid
Spain is a predominantly Catholic country – regardless of whether people try to say it has become more secular (acceding to the Spanish statistics office 92% of the population have been baptised Catholic). And as in other mediterranean countries (Italy, Portugal and Malta) the Holy Week is the focal point of the church calendar. All over Spain you will find processions taking place, from small villages to large cities like Madrid. Starting with Palm Sunday and going through to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Weekend, you will find these processions heading out from many churches in the centre of the capital.

These are the main processions taking place in the centre of Madrid over the next week:

Cristo de la Fé y del Perdón
Sunday 13th April – 7.00 pm
Basílica Pontificia de San Miguel
Calle San Justo, 4

Nuestro Padre Jesús de la Salud “Los Gitanos”
Wednesday 16th April – 8.30 pm
Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen y San Luis
Calle Carmen, 10 – Centro

Maundy Thursday

El Divino Cautivo
Thursday 17th April – 7.00 pm
Colegio Calasancio de los PP Escolapios
Calle General Díaz Porlier, 58
Neighbourhood: Salamanca

Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno “El Pobre” y María Santísima del Dulce Nombre
Thursday 17th April – 7.00 pm
Iglesia de San Pedro “El Viejo”
Calle Nuncio, 14 – Centro

Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder y María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena
Thursday 17th April – 8.00 pm
Real Colegiata de San Isidro
Calle Toledo, 37 – Centro

Good Friday
Jesús Nazareno de Medinaceli
Friday 18th April – 8.00 pm
Iglesia-basílica de Nuestro Padre Jesús de Medinaceli de los PP Capuchinos
Plaza de Jesús – Centro

Procesión del Silencio
Friday 18th April – 7.00 pm
Iglesia del Santísimo Cristo de la Fe
Calle Atocha, 87 bis – Centro

Santísimo Cristo de los Abaderos
Friday 18th April – 7.00 pm
Iglesia Catedral Castrense
Calle Sacramento, 11 – Centro

El Divino Cautivo
Friday 18th April – 7.30 pm
Colegio Calasancio de los PP Escolapios
Calle General Díaz Porlier, 58 – Salamanca

María Santísima de los Siete Dolores
Friday 18th April – 7.30 pm
Parroquia de Santa Cruz
Calle Atocha, 6 – Centro

Santo Entierro
Friday 18th April – 8.30 pm
Parroquia de Santa Cruz
Calle Atocha, 6 – Centro

Holy Saturday

Procesión de la Soledad
Saturday 19th April – 4.30 pm
Real Iglesia Parroquial de San Ginés
Calle Arenal, 13 – Centro

Virgen Dolorosa
Saturday 19th April – 8.00 pm
Iglesia-basílica de Nuestro Padre Jesús de Medinaceli de los PP Capuchinos
Plaza de Jesús – Centro

Related Links
Find out more about Holy Week in Spain or
in Spanish Semana Santa en Madrid

National Archaeological Museum Re-Opens April 1st

After two and a half years and with the help of over 1,200 architects, carpenters, electricians, builders and other professionals, the Archaeological Museum of Spain opens its doors on April 1st, 2014. The refurbishment actually began in 2008 and has cost over 60 million Euros. In total 13,000 pieces of archaeology from Prehistory, Greece, Egypt and the Near East, Hispano-Roman, Middle Ages and the Modern Age will be on display to the public. 50 audiovisual screens, maps, illustration and touchscreen points will offer a state-of-the-art experience for visitors.

More Information
Website: National Archaeological Museum

Travelling there
C/ Serrano, 13
28001 Madrid

Tel: (0034) 91 577 79 12

Public transport
1, 9, 19, 51, 74: Stop outside museum
5, 14, 27, 45, 150: Stop on Paseo Recoletos
21, 53: Stop at Plaza de Colón
2, 15 20, 28, 52, 146: Stop at Plaza de la Independencia

Serrano (Line 4) and Retiro (Line 2) underground stations

Autumn Exhibitions in Madrid Museums

There are quite a few good exhibitions going on in Madrid at this time of year. Here is a breakdown of the temporary exhibitions from the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen Museums and the Juan March Foundation.

Albrecht DürerMuseo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza

Dürer and Cranach. Art and Humanism in Renaissance Germany

Dates: October 9th, 2007 – January 6th, 2008

Reina Sofía

This museum has a few temporary exhibitions this Autumn, including:

Gustavo Torner – September 11th, 2007 – December 16th, 2007
Paul Rego – September 26th – December 30th, 2007
Andy Goldsworthy – October 3rd, 2007 – January 21st, 2008
Jano – La doble cara de la fotografía. October 10th – December 20th, 2007

Prado Musuem

The 19th century in the Prado including:

Goya and Neo-classicism
History Painting

The end of the century

Dates:  October 31th, 2007 – April 20th, 2008

Fundación Juan March

The Abstraction of Landscape

Dates: October 5th, 2007 – 13th January, 2008

2007 Festival de Otoño

festival de otoño, Madrid
For the 24th year running the Festival de Otoño returns to Madrid. A combination of music, theatre, dance and circus from around the world will entertain visitors and Madrileños for the coming 5 weeks. The event runs from the 15th October to the 18th November and is held is venues across the city.

The Theatre companies who are represented include: Britain’s National Theatre, La Comédie-Française, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Josep Maria Mestres.

Dance companies
attending include: Les Ballets C. de la B., Compañía Blanca Li, Toneelhuis. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Compañía Carlotta Sagna.

On the music front Caetano Veloso, Companyia Carles Santos, David Sylvian, Philip Glass and Compagnia dell’ Ambra will all be performing.

For more information, visit the Festival de Otoño website.

Shameless Advertising!!

Madrid’s Galleries Open at Night

As a forerunner to next week’s ‘Noche en Blanco‘ (White Night), Madrid’s art galleries will be opening their doors tomorrow night until midnight. An initiative of Arte Madrid over 40 galleries will participate. For more details download their pdf document. More details on Noche en Blanco will follow this week. In the meantime you may want to check out Damian Corrigan’s Noche en Blanco page on

Veranos de la Villa – Madrid’s Summer Festival

I must apologise to regular visitors to this blog for not having written an article for a while but I have been quite busy with work and developing my other website – Marketing Tom. Because of that I failed to write up about one of the big events in Madrid’s calendar, the Veranos de la Villa festival. This festival runs from the 2nd July until the 26th August and offers visitors and Madrileños the ability to see around 100 shows covering music, theatre, dance, circus events and zarzuela in some of the most important venues around the city. The Sabatini gardens (next to Palacio Real), Conde Duque, Plaza Mayor, Centro Cultural de la Villa and Teatro Español are just some of those locations.

Here’s a brief selection of singers who will perform – Liza Minelli, Laurie Anderson, Carlos Núñez, Andy & Lucas, David de María, Antonio Vega, Patricia Kraus and Mercedes Ferrer, Diego el Cigala, Yossou N’ Dour. Flamenco artists include: José Mercé, Carmen Linares, José Menese, Rafaela Carrasco, Manuel Molina, La Negra and Esperanza Fernández. The Patio Conde Duque will host the Boston Ballet and the Legend Lin Dance Theatre and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is performed by the New York Harlem Theatre.

Classsic Spanish plays like Calderón de la Barca’s Casa con dos puertas mala es de guardar and Shakespeare’s Cymbelline will be performed in the Jardines de Galileo.

All in all, there’s something for everyone.

For more (much more) information, take a look at the Veranos de la Villa microsite from EsMadrid.

Palacio de Linares to Remain Open Until October

Palacio de Linares Wikipedia

One of Madrid’s most emblematic palaces, the Palacio de Linares, will keep its doors open until October. The Palace, which can be found on one corner of the Plaza de Cibeles,  dates from the 19th Century and is well-known for its beautiful architecture and exquisite interior. It also has an interesting history and is said to even have its own ghosts. The story of the palace and its owners is actually very sad. The palace was built by the Marqués de Linares for both himself and his wife. His father had educated him to choose a wife without consideration of her financial or social class. This he did and he married the tobacconist’s daughter. What he didn’t know was that his father had had a relationship with the mother and his wife was the result!  He only found out when his dying father, God bless him!, sent him a letter to inform him of the situation.

The Pope at the time, Leo XIII had to issue a papal bull which allowed them to live together but in chastity. In order to forget the shame the Marqués threw all his energy into the building of his palace, where budgets and time had no constraints. The Marqués and his wife told the architect that they would like the Palace to be split in two, with him taking the ground floor and the wife the upper floor. What is interesting is that they didn’t have a kitchen, but instead relied on food being delivered from Lhardy, a Madrid restaurant which still operates today!

Opening Times
Saturdays: 11am to 1pm
Sundays: 11am to 1pm
Mondays: 3pm to 5pm

6 Euros for Adults; 2 Euros for Retired people; students 3 Euros and Under 12’s Free.

Casa de América

Related Links
Photos on 20Minutos Website
Walk the Paseo del Prado and Paseo de Recoletos

Van Gogh Exhibition Opens in Madrid

From tomorrow, 12th June 2007, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Musuem will be exhibiting paintings created by Vincent Van Gogh in the last 3 months of his life at Auvers-sur-Oise, France. He painted a total of 72 paintings in 70 days and even painted until the last day of his life! This exhibition brings together 30 works of art – 27 paintings and 3 drawings and will run until the 16th September, 2007.

If you’d like to know more about Vincent Van Gogh’s life, and final few months, go look where everyone else looks: Wikipedia.

New Prado Extension Unveiled

New Prado Extension
Having spent 152 million Euros on developing the new extension to the Prado Museum, yesterday the new “wing” of the Prado was opened by the Spanish culture minister Carmen Calvo. Designed by the architect Rafael Moneo, it adds an extra 22,000 square metres to the great museum. One of the main focal points will be the cloister of Los Jerónimos church (found next door) which was dismantled, and re-assembled, piece-by-piece.

The extension is open to the public from the 28th April, 2007. The picture above is from an album of Gorka Lejarcegi and found on El Pais‘s website. As yet, you will find nothing on the absolutely crappy and pitiful Prado Museum website – though you may in time! Having spent this much money, it doesn’t even make it their news section.

The clip below is from 20 Minutos:

A Selection of Bullfighting Blogs

I was just doing some surfing around local Madrid blogs, including Madrid Me Mata, esmadriz! and La Bitacora de Moeh, when I stumbled upon a blog roll on Nuevo Periodismo which linked to bullfighting blogs. For some strange reason I had never thought that people would blog about bullfighting, but there again why wouldn’t they?

On these sites people blog about all things related to bullfighting, from the bullfights to the people who go, to the people involved in the business. Some of the images on these sites are quite stunning – and I don’t just mean the ones from the Plaza but also the ones where the bulls and horse riders are in the campo.

Here is a selection that I found on there.

* A los toros

* Alicia Ureña

* Cornadas para todos
* Desde el tendido 6

* Desde la charrería (on MySpace)
* La Tienta

* Los toros de A. Hervás

* Taurofilia

* Torear

On a related subject, there will be a new film coming out in the Summer on the most famous bullfighter of them all, Manolete. Directed by  Menno Meyes, it will star Adrien Brody as Manolete and the cast includes Penélope Cruz, Santiago Segura and Juan Echanove (household names in Spain).

Diario de Madrid Exhibition


Madrid, al paso. Fotografías del Diario de Madrid realizadas entre 1926 y 1971 is an exhibition of photographs which appeared in the Madrid newspaper Diario de Madrid (and some which didn’t get to be published) between 1926 and 1971. They give a fascinating insight into the people who lived in the city and the changes that have taken place over the course of this period.

It is divided up into 4 subject areas: the city, business, the streets and the people (the man in the street and personalities). Some of the pictures are really interesting – such as Salvador Dalí eating food, a horse and cart being used in construction near the Palacio Real, trams going through the Plaza Mayor and a waiters’ race complete with wine bottles and glasses! The one with Gary Cooper giving crowds a fascist salute looks a bit suspect, though.

The exhibition includes 170 photos and runs from the 13th March to the 29th April; admission is free. 

Fundación Diario Madrid (C/ Larra 14).
Mon – Sat: 10.30 am to 8.30 pm & Sun10.30 am to 2.30 pm

39th National Stamp Fair in Madrid

If you know Madrid at all, you will know that the Plaza Mayor (on Sundays), and the shops around this square, are a favourite haunt of philatelists. Well, from the 7th to the 11th March, 2007 the 39th National Stamp Fair in Madrid will be held in the Plaza Mayor. There will be 21 commercial stalls selling stamps and coins and a special exhibition displaying stamps from the Scout movement. The Real Casa de la Moneda (Spanish Royal Mint) will also be displaying coins and stamps – these are usually held in their (Madrid) museum. It will be possible to purchase a coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.