I’ve been taking a little time to walk around Madrid and try to get to know it and its different neighborhoods, and that one that’s struck me the most so far with its charm is Las Letras, which I actually just stumbled upon when walking home from El Parque del Retiro one day. I started up some smaller streets to escape the scalding sun, and suddenly found myself stopping to look in just about every shop window and restaurant.
The heart of the neighborhood is between Calle de Cervantes, Calle del Leon, and Calle de la Huerta. The reason behind the nickname for the barrio I overheard from two people walking by (more or less reliable source than Wikipedia? I’m not sure): it is an area where some of the most important writers of Spain’s incredible literary history lived or hung out, including Cervantes, Quevedo, Zorrilla… and one place I’ll definitely have to check out is the house of Lope de Vega, now a museum about the playwright. My undergraduate degree was actually in Spanish literature, so suffice to say I know all these names pretty well… But okay, it’s not for everyone. Las Letras has more than enough contemporary attractions as well.
Did I mention how colorful it is in Madrid?
A Hitchcock-themed bar on C/ Cervantes
Crazy lizard made entirely out of CDs, for a record store
painted panels for a pharmacy on Calle del Leon
A shop to buy shoes for flamenco and ballroom dance