The Congress of Deputies, located on San Jerónimo Street in Madrid, is perhaps not the city’s most spectacular monument, but it is one of the most famous and well-known given its function as headquarters of the Spanish Parliament, and anyone has seen it countless times on television and in the papers.
Given its location in the centre of the capital, it’s a place which is passed sooner or later and is quickly identified by its facade, designed in the form of a classic temple with large columns that support a triangular pediment with reliefs that embody the forms of good governance.
In addition, the two bronze lions that flank the entrance are also very recognizable. They are the work of Aragon artist Ponciano Ponzano, who made them in the 19th century.
But in addition to recognizing its facade, guided tours inside the Congress can also be scheduled. These visits allow you to tour the most charismatic places full of history in the Spanish Parliament, but always at times when there are no political acts taking place inside. In other words, there are scheduled visits for Saturdays, and they cannot be booked in advance.
The tourist trip begins by going through the Lion Gate, access which is not commonplace, since generally the Deputies enter through another side gate. From the monumental facade, you’ll go to the Queen’s Vestibule first, and then go to the famous Hall of Lost Steps, the Clock Desk and the Constitution Desk.
Finally, you’ll go to the semi-circular Chamber where the senators meet. One of the most attractive things sought there, in addition to seeing the speakers’ podium or the Prime Minister’s seat, is discovering the bullets that have survived the coup of 23-F.
After visiting the chamber, the visit continues through the Portrait Gallery on the first floor, the Mariana Pineda room and the Constitutional room. The itinerary ends there, in a place that is key to the recent history and the future of all Spaniards.