Palacio de Altamira
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The Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) is the coolest place to study fashion and design. But its Madrid headquarters are much more than that. Designed by Ventura Rodríguez, it's a palace (not just anyone gets to study in a building that was among one of the most beautiful in 18th-century Madrid). According to the news of the time, the palace was so striking that Carlos IV was jealous that would overshadow the Royal Palace and ordered the resources be cut off for the residence of the Count and Countess of Altamira. As a result, the large building with an elegant façade and a beautiful staircase never grew and was just another palace in the Court. Declared a historic monument in 1977, during the final years of the 20th century it was semi-abandoned, until the IED made use of it. Even if you don't study there, its 3,000 square metres are open to the public, via the many cultural activities programmed. You'll be surprised to see how the most modern aesthetic trends have merged with a classical palace (rococo mouldings alongside designer chairs, for example).