Silence. Amid the hubbub of Callao and calle de Preciados stands a Renaissance treasure where shouting is not allowed. In the Monastery de las Descalzas (literally the Monastery of Barefoot Royals), that occupies the site of one of Madrid's first palaces and where Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal lived. From this house you can see that the plateresque structure has been preserved and a large quantity of decorative elements, but paintings such as the Capilla del Milagro (the Chapel of the Miracle) have survived since the late seventeenth century. And not to mention the tapestries brought by many of the high society ladies that entered this convent. The monastery was founded by Juana de Austria, sister of Felipe II, and one of its most important parts is the church (with carvings of the saints who paraded Madrid during Holy Week), the garden and the cloisters. Prepare yourself as the surprises are not over yet: look at the tapestry cartoons by Rubens and the paintings by artists such as Brueghel, Sánchez Coello and Tiziano. This includes the La Anunciación de Fra Angelico, that was once here for years and can now be admired in the Prado Museum. When you leave here, think about the journey through history that you've just made.
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