The following 12th of October is Columbus Day, a national holiday day in Spain, although it is celebrated in a special way in the capital. This date is celebrated in a more intense manner and this is reflected on the acts and events organized to commemorate this day.
Columbus Day, or also commonly known as National Day, is celebrated on the 12th of October, in memory of the date that Christopher Columbus discovered America. This milestone marked the beginning of a linguistic, cultural and economic expansion in Spain, outside the European boundaries.
It is a very important date for Spain, which has tried to remain in the memory and celebrate with festivities here and in other Latin American countries. In Spain it is a national holiday and to celebrate it, in Madrid, a series of events are organised that lead people to the street and the main cultural centres of the capital.
Probably, one of the most impacting events of Columbus Day is the military parade in Madrid, and is attended by the royal family. Other personalities also attend, representing the government, various public institutions, the opposition parties and the presidents of the autonomous communities.
The parade runs from Atocha Station to Plaza Colon. Along this itinerary, the public can admire the deployment of troops and the military vehicles that are exposed to the public, such as tanks or aircraft.
But that’s not all. Columbus Day is also celebrated in the cultural field. An important part of national museums of the capital organise an open day for citizens to visit free of charge the Spanish cultural heritage.
The Museo del Prado, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sorrolla Museum, Cerraldo, the Museum of Romanticism, Museum of Anthropology, American Museum, “Museo del Traje” and the Museum of Decorative Arts are some of the museums that have traditionally participated in the open day.
Also open to the public, free of charge, are some palaces and relevant cultural buildings with guided tours. During this day you can enjoy a guided tour of historic sites like the Pardo Palace, the Palace of Aranjuez or the Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, among others.
But, also, during this day numerous concerts and exhibitions are held in different parts of the capital, making this day a perfect date to visit Madrid and experience first hand, the spirit of the Hispanic Heritage Day.