Welcome to Thursday!
Halloween is over and you are back at work in your regular clothes for two more days of being "professional" until you have the entire weekend to cut loose. But don't get too excited just yet, because you have still got to keep it together today. In order to help you out, we have put together some great things that you can do today that might be just as cool as your weekend plans. The best part is that today, you are free of one thing - a budget! Check out what we have lined up for you in today's Madrid installment of Dollars & Sense.
Visit The Real Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
The convent of the Descalzas Reales ('Royal Barefoot Nuns') is the most complete 16th-century building in Madrid and still houses a cloistered community. It was originally built as a palace for Alonso Gutiérrez, treasurer of Charles V, but was converted into a convent in 1556-64 by Antonio Sillero and Juan Bautista de Toledo after Philip II's widowed sister Joanna of Austria decided to become a nun. Founded with royal patronage, the Descalzas became the preferred destination of the many widows, younger daughters and other women of the royal family and high aristocracy of Spain who entered religious orders. Hence it also acquired an extraordinary collection of works of art - paintings, sculptures, tapestries and objects d'art - given as bequests by the novices' families. Equally lavish is the European decoration of the building itself, with a grand painted staircase, frescoed ceilings and 32 chapels, only some of which can be visited.
Inside The Real Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales