Madrid – kingdom of Christmas decorations
I already wrote post about attractions which offers Madrid in Christmas period: trees, lights, decoration, special bus. But I feel that I didn’t mention about another interesting, worth to see things. Madrid is huge city, kind of christmas metropolian kingdom; which try to attach tourist in winter holidays.
Many photos published in that article are made by: Jesus Ibañez Bondzio
1. Belen – Christmas scene
In Spain they have tradition to make in the corners of homes decorated Christmas nativity scene – crib with small figures of Jesus Christ, Maria Joseph, Three Kings, animals. In Spain Belens are everywhere – homes, restaurants, shops (you can see them by window), churches.
It was something new for me, because in Poland at homes we have just christmas tree. Scenes like that are just in the streets or churches and they are huge. Also we have crib who carolers – people singing carols walking from home to home – usually kids – are bringing with them.
- Retiro Park – one of the biggest parks in Madrid, with lake and gondolas; belen with moving figures, pouring water and lightening inscription Feliz Navidad
- church San Jernimo el Real – close to Museo del Prado– main Spanish museum, Belen with the lights and great figures;
2. Street markets
There were a lot of street markets – Mercadillos de Navidad seeling food, gifts and christmas props. Very interesting were at:
- Plaza Mayor – one of the main square in Madrid . It gave possibility to buy christmas figures, funny caps, christmas decorations, New Year props, christmas trees, toys for kids, etc. In the evening Plaza Mayor was full of the people who have enjoyed the market and have watched another attrations of Plaza Mayor. There were a lot of street artists, fance dressed people, animators, seller of soap bubbles, whistles and glowing toys.
- Dulce Navidad (Sweet Christmas) – close to Opera station – in area of famous Madrid theatre – Teatro RealTeatro Real. There was market of sweet things. They was selling in great designed booths (all of booth had up of the roof own artistic food forms): churroz (typical spanish ), cakes, chips, tourkish sweets, etc. There was also possibility to see by how these snaks are prepared. Nice attraction in square Plaza de Isabel II was gate with inscription Dulce Navidad, in which a lot of tourists and locals was making pictures.
- Plaza de España Feria de Artesanía de la Comunidad de Madrid. Big white building where craft artist presented their work;
- Callao – station near Gran Via– the longer Madrid street. Christmas house -picturesque, white small house. Inside of it they were selling Christmas decorations and toys for kids.
- Plaza de Colón – market with street food and ice ring
- In front of Principe Pio – North Station. Market with food (attraction were f ex. nice designed cars), ice rink.
- El Campo de Cebada – alternative area for young people with graffitii walls, place of concerts, street parties, sports. It is close to market Mercado de la Cebada in La Latina region. Some of the days there were selling Christmas requzits, food; and in Day of Three Kings there was possible to drink free chocolate.
3. Christmas attractions in the shopping centres
In the shopping centres in Madrid you could feel Christmas mood really well.
- El Corte Ingles -typical Spanish shopping center. All big Spanish cities have various, buldings of El Corte Ingles with different assortment. You can find there everything – clothes and cosmetics, technology, furnitures, home equipment, books and office assortment, supermarket, food shops, restaurants. Corte Ingles which have a lot of floors (even 9-10) have views for the cities – tarraces, windows with view, etc.
Christmas Corte Ingles had nice lightening decoration outside (colourfull stars) and inside (christmas lights , trees).
- Principe Pio – inside you could find christmas trees, great decorations in shape of big silver and red baubles.
- Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadu Arroyomolinos – this shopping center is out of city. But I think that in Christmas period is nice to mension about it. It is located in area of Madrid in Arroyomolinos close to Arcorcón. Typical for Madrid is that the biggest shopping centers which ocupates huge area are located far away of center of the city. In the center you even couldn’t find really big markets (the biggest is just for example Carreffour in Lavapies and Dia in La LatinaLa Latina). Famous marks as Zara, Berska, H&M, are in various locals in the street ( f. ex. Gran Via, street close to Puerta del Sol – steet Calle de Carretas).
In Xanadu there were: nice Christmas decorations:
– trees and lights;
– christmas objects: polar bear, winter house, pinguins with inscription Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas) – with which you could make a picture.
There were also Christmas actions:
-campanies with Santa Claus – Santa Claus with assistant – kids can speak with him, sit in his knee, make picture;
– Christmas spectacle– show of speaking and singing figures of winter animals close to theChristmas tree;
In Xanadu there is another amazing thing which allow you feel winter ( as there is no snow in Madrid) – ice – skating ring inside of the bulding – Madrid Snow Zone. It is a great attraction where you can take look by window for snow and people making winter sports.
Great Christmas time in Madrid
Madrid offer a lot of Christmas things to see – among them Belens, street markets, decorations and shows in shopping centres.
About another Spanish clebrations you can read: