Whew! We’ve been walking all over Madrid today, starting at the Plaza de Independencia (Independence Plaza).

We went to see this building, which is the main Spanish government building! It has to be the prettiest office building in the world 🙂 The giant rainbow flag down the front was for Madrid’s Gay Pride festival which ended yesterday. 

Then it was back west to this Plaza, the Plaza de España! It is on the Gran Via, which is like Madrid’s version of 5th Avenue in New York. 

This is the other side of that giant monument. It’s dedicated to literature in general but especially that knightly character out front: Don Quixote, possibly the single most famous Spanish literary character of all time! 

A little further west, we found a very surprising sight: the Temple of Debod! This 2,200 year old temple is actually from Egypt and was dedicated to the worship of the ancient Egyptian gods Atum and Isis. Unlike the Concorde in Paris though, the temple was actually given to Spain as a gift when they helped Egypt rescue another temple in Nubia. 

Our last stop before lunch was the Almudena Cathedral, where the Royal family of Spain worships. It is actually the newest cathedral in all of Europe; construction began in the 1800s but the cathedral was not competed until 1993!

It is beautifully decorated in an extremely unique modern style. Using a lot of tile mosaic, stained glass, and painted ceilings, this church had the brightest colors and patterns either of us have ever seen in a cathedral! The artwork itself is also very contemporary in style, as you can see a few examples of in these mosaics. 

This afternoon we’ll be running a few logistical errands like buying train tickets for our next travel day, but we’ll have plenty of time to explore after that, so don’t worry! The evening post should still be pretty cool!