|Long lines and a fancy pink sign.|
|Sculpture in Puerta del Sol.|
- We reviewed eight monarchs worth of history from Felipe I to Carlos II. There was a lot of inbreeding from marrying their cousins, resulting in an impotent, deformed and mentally disabled Carlos II.
- The Spanish Inquisition (which went on for 300 years or so, amounting in the deaths of around 3,000 people and the persecution of countless others) is a primary reason ham and pork are such a point of pride in Spanish culture. When the non-pork-eating Jews and Muslims all converted (or "converted") to avoid persecution under the Inquisition, they decided the best way to prove they were true Catholics was to hang a pig leg in the window. These legs are ubiquitous in modern-day Madrid.
- Many streets in Madrid feature descriptive pictures of the street names accompanying the street sign to aid the illiterate populace from an earlier time.
- Though the size of the grounds do not compare to Versailles, the palace itself is the largest in western Europe. The Royal Palace tour, which I did later, was a somewhat quick experience for the cost, but the there was still plenty of awe at the decadent rooms within. Nice views in the courtyard too.
- We learned about Spain's recent history under Juan Carlos, who in the 1970s used his royal power to turn Spain into a democracy! There was a military coupe a couple years or so later, but it failed, bringing even more public adoration to Juan Carlos. In recent years, however, he has been criticized for his spending during rough economic times.
|Napolitana de crema.|
In Part 3, we'll talk about art and Madrid's best gelato.