Major cultural centres organize parallel cultural events and they are housed in uniquebuildings:
Fine arts circle.
Centrocentro is an exhibition space in Cibeles Palace, formerly the Palace ofCommunications and now the City Hall. Two social areas have been set up and offercatalogues and publications about current exhibitions and cultural events along the Art
Walk. Near these social areas are two large street maps showing the 59 institutions,monuments and buildings of special interest that make the Art Walk such a diverseexperience.
The Fine Arts Circle (Crculo de Bellas Artes), built by Antonio Palacios, is one ofMadrid's oldest arts centres and one of the most important private cultural centres inEurope. It is a multidisciplinary centre with activities ranging from visual art toliterature, from science and philosophy to film and the performing arts. Nowadays ithosts exhibitions, shows, film screenings, conferences and workshops; its radio andmagazine Minerva play an important part in the country's cultural life.
Matadero Madrid, literally "Madrid Abattoir", is a complex situated by the riverManzanares and their buildings shape an architectural ensemble devoted to performancearts, which is managed and programmed by the Teatro Espaol. Matadero is a flexiblearea that allows the autonomous operation of these three interconnected spaces: atheatre caf, which accommodates small-scale shows, a large stage, for all sorts ofgenres and the most experimental options, and a third building for dressing rooms andareas for training, debate, analysis and rehearsing new productions.
Conde Duque cultural centre has expanded the amount of space dedicated to culture andart. The new installations now accommodate a theatre, an exhibition hall and anauditorium with a programme running all year long.
Other art galleries and museums in Madrid include:
In the year 2006 Madrid was the fourth most visited city in Europe and the first ofSpain, with almost seven million of tourists. It is also the seat of the World TourismOrganization and the International Tourism Fair FITUR.
Most of the tourist attractions of Madrid are in the old town and the Ensanche,corresponding with the districts of Centro, Salamanca, Chamber, Retiro andArganzuela. The nerve centre of the city is the Puerta del Sol, starting point for thenumbering of all city streets and all the country's highways.
The Calle de Alcal or Alcal Street lead from the Puerta del Sol from the NE of thecity. From the street you get from Plaza de Cibeles. Subsequently the street reaches the"Plaza de la Independencia", which includes the Puerta de Alcal and an entrance to theBuen Retiro Park.
The Calle Mayor leads to Plaza Mayor continuing for the calledMadrid de los Austrias,in reference to the Dynasty of Habsburg - finally reaching Calle de Bailn, near theCathedral of the Almudena and the church of San Francisco el Grande.
The Calle del Arenal comes to Royal Theatre in Plaza de la pera, continuing throughPlaza de Oriente, where the Royal Palaceis it. From there the Calle Bailen leads to
Plaza de Espaa and the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple moved stone by stone toSpain in gratitude for their help in the construction of the Aswan Dam. Also in thissquare is the start ofGran Va street.