For more on Franco's rise to power, for instance, we recommend our Madrid Civil War Tour. Or, to see the controversial Valle de los Caídos monument at which Franco is buried, consider our El Escorial Day Trip from Madrid.
Andrea Van Houtven received her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Maryland. Her dissertation was on the relationship between art and humanism at the Spanish court in the early 17th century, which inevitably led her to Madrid. She has lived in Madrid for 12 years where she has been teaching art history and art-related courses at various universities and private centers. She also participates in special events at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Lourdes Fernández Bencosme has made Madrid her home for the last nineteen years. She is very passionate about the city and Spain in general. She holds a BA in History from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo after which she moved to Chicago to pursue her graduate work. She holds a MA degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a PhD in Romance Languages & Literatures from the University of Chicago. She has taught courses at the University of Illinois, The University of Chicago, Colgate University, Universidad Autónoma de México, Syracuse University Madrid, Suffolk University Boston and is currently part of the faculty at Suffolk University Madrid Campus where she teaches a course entitled Madrid Cosmopolitan City among others. Her main interests are visual culture, popular music, urban life and their literary representations in Hispanic literature. Lourdes lives with her husband, her two daughters and two cats in the historic center of Madrid.
Originally from Equatorial Guinea, Clara moved to Spain when she was 2 years old. She holds degrees in geography and history and a Master’s in art history from Sorbonne University in Paris. With more than fifteen years experience in museum education and public programs, Clara has worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (Italy), the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, and a number of institutions within the cultural department of the Ministry of Culture in Spain. She also has designed art and cultural tours for groups for more than 10 years. At present Clara works as a Public Programmes and Communication Coordinator at the Museo del Traje (Costume Museum) of Madrid, organising events, lectures, group visits and educational programmes. An avid traveller, she has lived in Seville, Bilbao, New York City, Washington, D.C., Venice, Florence, London and Paris. Interested in different aspects of Spanish cultures, she also has been developing her other passion: food. She has certificates in wine tasting from the Spanish School of Wine Tasting and the Basque Culinary Center and in Gastronomy from the Complutense University. At the present she enjoys combining her research in Spanish Art History and Spanish Museums with her passion about food in Madrid and in the Basque Country.
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Toledo Cathedral, Synagogue of El Transito, Church of Santo Tomé, Cristo de la Luz Mosque, and Santa María la Blanca