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IslamiCity > Travel > 2008 Summer Program to Spain

Madrid is the capital of the modern Spanish state, a cosmopolitan city located roughly in the center of the country. The city acquired its European quality during the 17th century and beyond, when Spain was at the peak of its confidence and power. The name of the city, however, hints at its Arabic roots: "Madrid" comes from "al-majrit," meaning "the water channel." The Andalusis were famed for their irrigation practices, and a small Muslim settlement located in the border regions between Islamic and Christian Spain bore the name referring to this quality. Al-Majrit was lost to the Muslims at the time when the great city of Toledo was surrendered to the Christians in 1085 CE. 

Our tour begins and ends in Madrid. Cumulatively, you will have several days to explore the city. We will visit the old city, containing remnants of Muslim era monuments, and the newer areas of the city which demonstrate impressive architecture and design. You will have a chance to become acquainted with Spanish cuisine, and stroll along the boulevards of the city.

We will visit some or all of the following places. You may wish to spend more time at the following points of interest:

  • the Plaza Mayor, a large enclosed square with restaurants and cafes. In past times, it was a site of Inquisition proceedings, bullfights, tournaments and festivals.
  • the Cibeles fountain and other fountains around the city, plus other monumental architecture such as the Central Post Office.
  • the Gran Via, Madrid's major street lined with boutiques, cinemas, cafes etc. 
  • the world famous Prado Museum, housing over 7,000 paintings. Contains many famous works of Spanish masters Velazquez, Goya, El Greco, and Murillo, plus works of other famous European painters.
  • the Reina Sofia Museum, where Pablo Picasso's  famous painting Guernica is on display.
  • the Plaza Monumental de Toros de las Ventas, the the major bullfighting arena in Madrid.


Inside Travel
Islam in Spain 
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