Would you like to know the history of Hostal Astoria?
Hostal Astoria is located in the heart of the old town of Madrid, on the fourth and fifth floors of an restored classic old building which dates from 1890, which has been working as a tourist accommodation since 1993. This building used to hold one of the first hotels that existed in Madrid, Hotel de La Russie.
On the ground floor, the first ever cinematographic exhibition in Madrid took place on May 15th 1896, conducted by Mr. Promio who represented the Lumière company. The programme included different short films that were actual features: a trip in the sea, the Champs-Elysées Avenue, the Lyon horse-riding contest, etc.
Today, there is a medical centre but the original columns are preserved and can be seen, as well as a mural that makes reference to the aforementioned exhibition.
On the building’s facade there is a commemorative plaque of the centenary of the exhibition.
For those with a sweet tooth, Hostal Astoria is located above the famous Casa Mira, which is the most traditional shop to buy the famous Spanish turrones and other Christmas sweets all year long.
As an anecdote, at the shop they exhibit a sign with an old appearance that states “Royal House provider”, since Luis Mira was the main provider of turrones to the Spanish Royal Family during the reigns of Queen Isabel II, Amadeo I of Savoie, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII.
Also, Luis Mira obtained a Grand Prix in the Paris World Fair of 1899, which clearly illustrates the importance of this shop, also close to the Spanish Parliament.
As you will already know, Hostal Astoria is located in the heart of Madrid, surrounded by all sorts of historical buildings, shops and restaurants. From here, you can visit the whole tourist area by foot.
The closes landmark to the hostel is the Puerta del Sol, which constitutes the kilometre zero for all Spanish roads. This is a meeting point for all locals and here you will find a statue which is the symbol of the city: the sculpture of the bear and the strawberry tree (Oso y el madroño). Nearby, there’s the Post Office Building (Casa de Correos), whose clock is the focal point for New Year’s Eve, where the Spanish people gather and take the 12 grapes at midnight.
Very close to the hostel is the famous Art Triangle, which is made up by the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía museums, important art galleries where you will find important works of Spanish and European art.
The Paseo del Arte is a unique itinerary in the whole world which encompasses painting, sculpture, architecture and nature in one of the most emblematic areas in Madrid: the Paseo del Prado, which can be easily seen by foot and where three of the most important museums are located: the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
This excellent location allows you to see, just a few yards away from one another, Las Meninas by Velázquez, the Majas by Goya, Giovanna Tornabuoni by Ghirlandaio, Les Vessenots in Auvers by Van Gogh and Guernica by Picasso, alongside other masterpieces of the history of art.
One of the most traditional itineraries in Madrid is in fact an artistic triangle which allows you to enjoy the history of art and the best of Madrid.