The following sites of cultural and historic interest will be visited during this excursion.
Madrid was first part of muslim Spain built as a border fortress between Al-Andalus and the kingdoms of León and Castile and was meant to protect Toledo from invading Christians. The Christians finally conquered Madrid and Toledo in 1085 and they became part of the Crown of Castile. Madrid is the current day capital and has been, for its majority, since 1561.
Walking tour of Madrid de las Austrias:
During the walking tour we will see the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Teatro Español, Gran Via, Barrio de las Letras (where Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Quevedo lived).
Visit the Spanish Senate, the Royal Palace, and Cathedral:
Spanish Senate: A visit to the interior of the Spanish senate, which is the upper house of Spain’s parliament, the Cortes Generales. All senators serve four-year terms, though regional legislatures may recall their appointees at any time.
Royal Palace: The palace has 135,000 square metres (1,450,000 sq ft) of floorspace and contains 2800 rooms. It is the largest palace in Europe by floor area. The interior of the palace is notable for its wealth of art, in regards to the use of all kinds of fine materials in its construction and the decoration of its rooms with artwork of all kinds. The royal family no longer lives in the palace and is only used for state ceremonies.
Visits to the Museo del Prado Museum and the Museo de Reina Sofia:
Museo del Prado: is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid.It features one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art.
Museo Reina Sofía: The museum is mainly dedicated to 20th century art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain’s two greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Certainly the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso’s painting Guernica.
Toledo has been an important city since the roman times being the commercial and administrative centre of the Roman province of Carthaginensis. After the fall of the Roman Empire it became the capital city of the Visigothic Spain until the moors conquered the Iberian Peninsula in the early 8th century.
Walking tour of Toledo: Walk around the casco antiguo of this walled medieval city.
Visit the Santa Cruz and El Greco Museum
Museo Santa Cruz: The museum is located in the former Santa Cruz hospital and it holds a collection of Archaeology of Toledo’s historic populations, Fine Arts of 16th and 17th century paintings from Toledo, including works from El Greco, and Industrial Arts with examples of popular cultural and traditional local crafts.
Museo de El Greco: Museum dedicated to Toledo of the 16th and 17th century and the works from El Greco.
Visit to The Sinagoga del Transito and the Mezquita de la Luz
Toledo was known for it Convivencia period where a peaceful co-existence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In 1085 the Christians took over Toledo being the first time and place the Christian took from a Moorish city, and started the Reconquista. Under the Christians it still remained a cultural and intellectual city, its Arab libraries were not pillaged, and a group of Jews, Muslim, and Christians worked together to translate the knowledge in the libraries that spread through Christian Europe and brought on the renaissance.
- Transportation to and from Madrid
- Lodging for 2 nights
- 6 meals
- All entrance fees to cultural sites and museums and transportation to sites
- Guided visits
- Personal travel throughout the city during free time.
- Incidentals such as soft drinks or snacks outside of regular meals.
- Any meals other than those programmed at the residence. Students will not be compensated if they choose to opt out of scheduled meals or activity.
- Personal entertainment or purchases at the discretion of individual students