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It’s summer in Madrid!


Entertainment, fiestas, holidays…

The heat of July and August in Madrid along with the summer holidays make many of the people from Madrid run away from the city looking for the beach or mountain (leaving the way open for the many visitors who travel to the Foro (popular name for the city) during these months. Nevertheless, far from decreasing its supply of entertainment and activities because of this apparent scattering of its inhabitants, Madrid is hot in summer and not only because of its high temperatures but also because of the numerous cultural and festive opportunities one can find there during the summer period. A clear example of all of this activity is the well-rounded program of the Veranos de la Villa, (Summers in la Villa).

Veranos de la Villa, (Summers in la Villa)

What is it? It is a Cultural Festival which has taken place in Madrid for the past 24 years and has grown with each past edition in offer and diversity. It entails all disciplines: music, theatre, cinema, dance, puppet shows, circus, magic shows…The aim is to include in one unique program the large number of activities that are celebrated in the different locations throughout the city.

· Jardines de Sabatini (at the northern façade of the Palacio Real, between c/Bailén and the cuesta de San Vicente)
· Centro Cultural Galileo (c/Fernando el Católico, 35)
· Puerta del Angel stage (in the Casa de Campo, Av. De Portugal s/n)
· Theatres and venues: dozens of theatres in Madrid partake in this initiative
· Outdoors: In both the Plaza de España and the Tempo de Debod there are free concerts and shows. There will also be free outdoor concerts in the Parque del Retiro performed by the Symphonic Orchestra.

Some highlights:
Circus: “Diavolo Dance Theatre”, an innovative show that redefines what the circus is, combining it with modern dance and some movement games and choreographies, aimed directly at our emotions. Directed by the French choreographer Jacques Heim.
Music: Amongst the renowned musicians who’ll be performing one finds the Brasilian Gilberto Gil (on the 26th of July) and the American Jerry Lee Lewis (16th of July), both at the Puerta del Angel stage.
Flamenco: From the 11th to the 22nd of August there will be important figures of the Flamenco world performing in the stage that will be set in the Jardines Sabatini including singers and dancers such as: El Cabrero, El Farruco, Sara Baras, Carmen Linares…
Puppet Shows: Though there will be various shows during both months, the “Puppet Marathon”, on the 30th of August, is a must where there will be 13 shows for the young and the old going on throughout the entire day.

For more information and the full program:

In August: The Fiestas of the Paloma, the most popular
Dedicated to the Virgin of the Paloma they are without a doubt the most traditional fiestas in Madrid and the most widely attended.

When: From the 5th to the 16th of August.

Where: The fair is installed from the carrera de San Francisco to Bailén st., all the way until the Puerta de Toledo. The concerts take place in the Vistillas and in Toledo st. All of the area around Calatrava st. and Toledo st. will be animated as well as the streets surrounding San Andrés.

What: The most important element for those devoted to this Virgin is the procession celebrated on the 15th of August and its awaited bajada del cuadro (the actual lowering of the image of the Virgin in a frame). The image of the Paloma is then placed on a carriage sumptuously decorated with an array of coloured carnations and is carried on the shoulders of the Madrid firemen and paraded along the streets, accompanied at all times by the faithful crowd. The more popular aspect of these fiestas is found in the savouring of the typical dishes served throughout the fair: from the typical Madrid barquillos, (fried pastries) ready to sweeten any moment, to the Madrilean callos, (tripe stew) more likely to fill the stomach, or the classic calamar bocadillos (sandwiches), all to be washed down with a cool lemonade, sangria or vermouth.
In addition to the atmosphere in the bars and amongst the people who take their “barras” out onto the streets and do not stop serving drinks until well into the early hours of the morning, the fiestas are accompanied by free concerts in the Vistillas.

History: One must trace these festivities all the way back to 1790 when Isabel Tintero, originally from Madrid, found a painting that represented the Virgin and placed it upon the door of her house on Paloma st.  The image soon captivated and caught the fancy of the neighbours who slowly began to pay her visits, asking for healing, protection for pregnant women and any kind of miracle. After a few years the image was placed in a chapel and because of the increasing devotion of the Madrid people and its popularisation throughout the years, in 1912 a chapel was built solely for the virgin where you may find her today. The virgin was elected patron saint by the people of Madrid, along with the Virgin of Almudena and the Virgin of Carmen.

For more information:

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