Immerse yourself in the magic of Madrid’s Christmas illumination!
Christmas in Madrid is a real light show. Every year during this time, the city is transformed into a work of art, the streets are filled with people and the sparkle in their eyes reflects not only the lighting but also the illusion and magic of the Christmas holidays.
There are 10.8 million LED lights on 210 streets in the capital – lighting jewels created by designers such as Juan Duyos, Nuria Sardá or Devota & Lomba.
When activating the lights, the Mayor of Madrid said: this year 2020 the lights “are not of joy, but of hope” in a Christmas in which there will be present “the struggle and the courage” of the people of Madrid in the fight against the pandemic.
Defending that now the need to unite is stronger than ever, the City Council has installed 1.13 kilometers of yellow and red lights – the colors of the Spanish flag – a symbol that, according to the mayor, welcomes everyone and transmits a message of concord, coexistence and unity. This patriotic decision has created controversy and has not been well received by everyone as it has seemed somewhat “tacky” and “nationalistic” in a country where there are regions fighting for their independence from Spain.
Another novelty this year is a giant menina installed in the Plaza de Colón. Decorated with sequins and silver balls and plastic diamonds, the structure of the Velazquez icon is impressive for its height that reaches 10 meters and has 37,720 LED lights (although the total power of watts of that construction is equivalent to only three hair dryers!)
The giant menina is a Christmas version of Antonio Azzato’s work and thanks to this creator the theme of the figure of the infantas has been present on the streets of Madrid for some some time now. The exhibition “Meninas Madrid Gallery” – which this year is designed to bring joy and confidence to the streets of Madrid but above all is dedicated to the victims of the pandemic – was created by different well-known artists such as Agatha Ruiz de la Prada or Santiago Cifuentes who give each menina its personal interpretation of Madrid. Each menina is different in terms of colors and designs, truly a marvel.
If we would like to move away from the more classical symbolic lighting and look for more originality and unique experiences – there is no better way than to visit the Royal Botanical Garden.
This corner, already magical, during Christmas offers visitors “Nature on Fire”, a mixture of audiovisual sensations that transform the Botanical Garden into a magical garden. Light sculptures of giant size, trees, flower paths, the garden of fireflies, sunflowers that emit light … are just some examples of this experience for all the senses. This exhibition can only be visited in Madrid and Tenerife at the moment so it is something really special.
Visiting the Spanish capital during Christmas is almost a must, but… how can we go through so many streets and so many corners so as not to miss anything? We can discover the jewels of lighting in various ways:
- simply by walking through the main streets and squares
- renting a bike in Trixi and riding the streets at our own pace
- getting on the Navibus (a special route offered by the Madrid City Council in a convertible bus where you can see the lights at a very short distance – unfortunately this year it is suspended due to the health crisis)
- or watching the lights from a special Christmas Limousine with champagne and nougat included
And what do we do if we get tired of so much light, so much color and so much brightness? Why not take a break and have a “chocolate con churros” – a very popular Madrid classic especially at this time of year.
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