There are two dates in the calendar in which the people of Madrid bring out their regional attire. The city dresses up for partying and regional dancing and food take over, food such as the entresijos (lamb mesentery), gallinejas (chitterlings) and rosquillas (doughnuts).
One of those dates is in August, the Festival of the Virgen de la Paloma. However, the more important date is San Isidro, celebrated on May 15th.
San Isidro is Madrid’s patron saint, a farmer who lived in the 11th century during the reign of King Alfonso X. Both San Isidro and his wife were devotees and many miracles are attributed to them, miracles related with healing, animals and water.
These wedded saints have been venerated in Madrid for many centuries. San Isidro has the Ermita del Santo chapel dedicated to him, a small sanctuary built around a water spring that, stories say, the saint made appear one day that his master was thirsty. Before the construction of this chapel in the 18th century, there was another chapel in its place, built by order of Empress Isabel of Portugal, wife of King Carlos I. They say that the queen was grateful because those waters had healed her son, who was no other than future king Felipe II.
During the days of the festival, the surrounding area of the chapel is filled with stalls, food stalls and locals dressed with traditional attire, such as the chulapo, sitting on the grass and enjoying the spring sun. The area is usually very busy but if you come to Madrid at this time of year, you cannot miss out on coming here for a walk to see the most traditional side of the city.
There is still somewhere else we can see San Isidro. If you walk on the Puente de Toledo bridge you will see Baroque-style alcoves in the middle of the route. They are San Isidro and his wife Santa María de la Cabeza, looking at each other face to face for the rest of eternity.
The month of May and the Festival of San Isidro is one of the best times to visit Madrid. At Hotel Liabeny we offer you four-star accommodation in a perfect location in the centre of Madrid, a stone’s throw from the Puerta del Sol, from where you can easily and quickly get to the places where the main festival events take place either walking or on public transport.
Written by Laura Blanco
Imagen (CC) Alex Bikfalvi
Categories: Madrid Eventos