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TopTen

Around Paseo del Prado

This imposing tree-lined avenue, adorned with fountains and sculptures, is home to no fewer than three world-class art galleries: the Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. In the 18th century the prado was a meadow, crossed by a stream, but the bucolic surroundings were deceptive, as the area was acquiring an unsavoury reputation for muggings and amorous encounters. The solution, devised by Charles IV, was a new boulevard between Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de Atocha, lined with handsome buildings devoted to the pursuit of scientific inquiry. Work began in 1775 on a museum of natural history (now the Prado), the ...

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