The museum also held several paintings by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
After the museum I took the metro to the old section of Madrid and visited the Plaza Mayor, the great square where many bullfights and public executions took place in the past. Today it is full of cafes, street performers, people sitting on blankets, and fat Spider-Man. In the center is a statue of King Felipe III.
Outside the Plaza Mayor is one of Madrid's oldest covered markets, Mercado de San Miguel, which was constructed in 1915. It was very busy and included fish, meat, produce, and tapas bars.
I also found this very tranquil street nearby. Notice the slanted buildings on the right. (This reminds me of a word you often hear in Spain, "tranquilo," which means "relax" or "don't worry.")
I also returned to Gran Vía to take some pictures of the Edificio Metrópolis, a landmark building in Madrid which was covered up for renovation the last time I was in the area.
From here I walked to the area near the Plaza de Oriente where the Catedral de la Almudena and the Royal Palace are located. Here is the Cathedral:
America celebrates 12 October as Columbus Day, but in Spain, this is a larger holiday. Christopher Columbus sailed under the Spanish flag, and while he may not have actually been the first European to land in the Americas (and actually never believed he had discovered a new continent), the expedition sparked a new wave of exploration toward the Americas which Spain led. The Spanish domination of exploration increased the wealth, power, and prestige of Spain immensely. As a result, in Spain, Columbus Day is the national holiday, much like our own Independence Day.
I was lucky enough to visit the Royal Palace (or Palacio Real) on the day before this holiday and witnessed a performance of the Spanish military's bands. Several people were in attendance, watching the performance from the courtyard of the palace, which stands across from the Cathedral seen above. Here are the photos:
I was in Madrid for almost a whole day, but there is still much of the city that I haven't seen yet.