The City of Bear - Madrid, Spain
The architectural history of Madrid is devided into three periods: Habsburg period from 16th till 17th centuries, Bourbon period from 18th till 19th centuries, the modern period from 20th century.
The old mayor's office of Madrid (Ayuntamiento) is built in the Madrid baroque style of the Habsburg period and is situated on the Villa square. The city was governed from here even before the mayor's office was built in 14th century.
The old center of Madrid is called "The Madrid of the Austrians" (El Madrid de los Austrias).
On this square people were burnt alive comparatively not long ago. And now people are comfortable sitting here and drinking coffee...
Prior to the beginning of 18th century bullfighting was held here. At that time it took place on horseback. The bullfighting on foot was held then in other place.
Season of bullfighting - from May till October. We travelled to Madrid in the end of April (2008), therefore could not visit bullfighting. I really do not know if I should regret about it or not. (My attitude to bullfighting is ambiguous.) Beeing critisized for cruelty to animals corrida keeps its spirit still after 500 years. But its popularity decreases, probably because of degradation of bulls. In Madrid, however, bullfighting still remains very popular.
Right after the corrida the body of bull is sent in one of restaurants. Meat of the fighting bull differs from a usual beef, it is more rigid and bitterish.