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Richard Jones-Nerzic

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The IST is considering a cross-curricular trip to Madrid and (day trip travel distance) local environment. The subjects involved are History, Art and Spanish. I have suggested a visit to Guernica in the Reina Sophia and personally I'd like to see the Valley of the Fallen. What else should be at the top of our list?

IB History groups ie 20th Century history as a priority.

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20th century:

Museo Reina Sofía (fine 20th century paintings apart from Guernica)

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (splendid collection with some important 20th century paintings)

Apart from that I would suggest:

After visiting El Valle de los Caídos, you have two possibilities either getting to El Escorial (you can have a stroll to the Silla de Felipe II throug a oak tree forest with a scenic view of the El Escorial) or a half an hour drive to Segovia, one of the finest Castilian towns.

Other possiblity is Toledo one hour away from Madrid.

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Chinchon is a small town about 30-45 minutes from Madrid. Old houses, famous circular "square", very picturesque. Avila is a bit further, but if you're going to Segovia and the Valle de los Caidos already, it's in the same direction. It's a lovely old medieval walled city.

I'd also back up Juan Carlos' recommendation about Toledo: city of 3 cultures: catherdral, mosque, synagogues. Visit the mosque and el Greco's house. You can hire an English-speaking guide by calling the local tourist office.

One favorite of mine in Madrid is the Sorolla Museum on Avda General Martinez Campos. Sorolla was the Spanish Impressionist and the museum is small and highly accessible.

The usual tourist circuit includes a visit to Plaza Mayor, but they don't usually tell you that the equestrial statue stands on the spot where the autos de fe were held!

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  • 2 months later...
Did you come? How did it go?



Not yet, but our planning is well advanced. We will be bringing a class of about 30 IB students in October for six nights. In addition to three days in Madrid we will be stopping off in Burgos on our way down and spending full days at Toledo (thanks for the recommendation, I've never been) and Salamanca. Salamanca because both myself and Nuria (our Spanish teacher) spent our student days at the University town.

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