Madrid Mysteries

Photo by Beebe Bahrami

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Madrid’s Ghost Stories, Unsolved Riddles and Curious Incidents

Every place has its unique stories that each generation repeats as if for the first time. Some of these tales remain mysteries, stories without a final solution. This keeps them alive for the next generation to spin, weave, and speculates over what happened.

Madrid has many such stories. The city offers a perfect back drop for mysteries ancient and recent. Some go to Madrid’s origins as a defensive fortress. Others to the city’s growth as the ruling center of a diverse global empire.

From the earliest times to the most recent, many influences and stories have passed through the city.

This itinerary shares some of the most often retold and the most beloved of these tales. You too may soon join the locals in their intelligent guesses and colorful storytelling.

(And nothing supports this better than to pause along this walk at a tavern to enjoy a glass while speculating about the whodunits with others. You might even discover a few of new mysteries.)

===> Explore more local itineraries via the RELATED links below.

Walk This Way Into Madrid’s Mysteries

Here are some of the city’s most celebrated, unsolved, and historical mysteries, along with the locations where they took place:

Why do people gather eat Twelve grapes at midnight, especially at the Puerta del Sol?

Was the Marquis de Cañete really murdered by a priest or was he the scape goat at the Palacio de Cañete?

Why are there so many ghosts in the Plaza Mayor?

What does a mythic figure from Etruscan (and pre-Roman) Italy, Ocna Bianor, have to do with Felipe III’s Madrid?

What messages did spirits deliver to church goers in the Iglesia de Santa Cruz?

How did the Street of the Head, La Calle de la Cabeza, get its eerie name?

Why have several people witnessed ghosts in the Reina Sofía museum?

What about similar strange occurrences in the Palacio de Linares, or the wandering spirit of an unsolved mystery in the House of the Seven Chimneys?

And last but not least, why are the officers, Daoiz and Velarde, who led the rebellion against Napoleon’s occupation in 1808, dressed as ancient Iberian chieftains who lived some 2,300 years ago?

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