Robin Hood: The restaurant that lives up to its name

By Angelica Linde & Anouk Slot

José and Tony in a big discussion with one of the waitresses of Robin hood.            

In Spain, where homelessness is a big problem, one restaurant in Madrid does what the people expect their government to do: take from the rich, and give to the poor. Or rather, give the wealthy people a chance to both enjoy a good meal and help the homeless.

Outside of the Robin Hood Cafe, Christmas lights are brightening up the streets of central Madrid. An older man, dressed in a grey suit, stands in the doorway welcoming the guests stamping the small paper cards everyone is bringing along. Inside, the tables are decorated with red and white tablecloths. Big baguettes lay next to every set of neatly placed cutlery. Soft music is coming out of the small speakers hanging on the wall next to the plants, that seem to be made of plastic.

“I heard in church about this place, and I have come to this restaurant every day since its opening at the end of November. The food is not perfect, but it’s free”, says 57-year-old Javier Incymrar, who has been homeless for six years now.common and unique infographic

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Madrid’s top six hotspots

By Rick Lugtenberg & Noëlle Batelaan

Spain is a popular holiday destination among students. Unfortunately, most students will rather visit a city near the coast or one of Spanish islands instead of the capital Madrid. This is a pity, because Madrid has much to offer. First of all, it is an affordable destination. This allows people with a small budget to see and do a lot. Secondly, Madrid is much less crowded with tourists compared to Barcelona. Therefore, you can experience the real Spanish lifestyle and still have an enormous range of cultural activities. In this selection you will find the best places for students to visit. From laid back parks to exciting history, art and cultural venues. Most of those places offer student discount or are free to visit.

Plaza Mayor1
0 Plaza Mayor
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After a long day of walking, you will definitely find your rest here. At this square, surrounded by 18th century architecture, you will find many bars and restaurants.

“At this square you will also find a lot of tourist entertainment. Most people hate that, but I kind of like it when an old man is playing on his guitar and singing old Spanish songs. It is ni2ce to see how they are really creative in getting tourist money,” says Stephany Sosa (28). She is from Argentina and has been working for over 8 months now in the Ok Hostel in Madrid.
Plaza Mayor (Main Square) is an important square in Madrid. It was built in 1619. After multiple fires, the whole square had to be rebuilt in 1790. Architect Juan de Villanueva designed the square as you see it today.

Also, you will find the main tourist information point here. They will provide you with all the information you want to know about Madrid.


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New tapas restaurant in La Latina serves fresh and healthy dishes

By Anneroos van Eijk

The owner of tapas restaurant Juana la Loca in La Latina opened a new restaurant: Toga. Toga is also a tapas restaurant, but with a different twist. At Calle de Juanelo, visitors can eat fish, meat, salads, cheese and Anneroos 1desserts. Dishes are inspired by the Spanish and Latin American cuisine.

The restaurant serves Latin American dishes as ceviche, but also Spanish dishes as croquettas and more European dishes like pasta. For dessert a little bit of everything is available, for example: pancakes with dulche de leche, pineapple with mascarpone, lemon and white chocolate and yoghurt with fruit and muesli.

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What a Catholic University looks like

By Jantine Brandemann & Melanie Hazenberg

Like most universities and schools in Madrid, Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid is a Catholic university. Most schools and universities are private so they have a choice to add catholic religious education to their curriculum or not. Ana, a student at San Pablo, says: “This is not a conservative university, although the most important Catholic holidays are being celebrated here.”

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Only one in six students still go to church

By Jantine Brandemann & Melanie Hazenberg

Catholicism is by far the largest religion in Madrid. But although it is a big thing in Madrid, one-in four declares to be atheist nowadays. So, is it still relevant that a lot of Roman Catholic schools and universities can be found in Madrid? Because more and more people say they do not feel connected to Catholicism.

For a long time in Spanish history, Roman Catholic religion was strongly connected to the Spanish ideCrossntity and Catholicism was taught at all schools, both private and public. Under the name of religion, the Franco government used education to connect nationalism and religion to promote its fascist agenda.

Since the Spanish socialist prime-minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero took up his post in 2004, religious education in public schools started being cancelled and crucifixes were being removed, despite of protests of the Spanish church leaders. So the influence of the church in the Spanish educational system has been decreased. What is striking is that private schools do more with religion than public schools. More often, private schools have a religious background, and religious activities and lectures still takes place here. This happens fewer at public schools, where Catholicism is optionally being taught. At some schools pupils have the choice to choose between Jewish and Islamic religion.

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The importance of eating tapas

By Kim Vercammen

In Madrid, tapas bars can be found at every street corner and are still very successful, even in times of crisis. Tapas, the small dishes you can eat all day long, are typical for Spanish culture. They bring people together and have always played an important role within the social life of Madrileños. And although the cultural tradition continues, the tapas change all the time.

‘It is our culture to share food at the table’, says Joaon (38), a Madrid local. Tapas are a part of the social tradition of Spanish people. Today, the serving of tapas is still designed to encourage conversation, because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal which is set in front of them.

Kim 1
People share tapas while standing or sitting down

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Catholicism is becoming less popular in borough Malasaña in Madrid

By Anneroos van Eijk

When you ask people what they think of when you say Spain, it is very likely that they would say something like ´Nice weather´, ´Barcelona´ and ´Catholicism´. Nice weather and Barcelona may be true, but there is something changing in the Catholicism. While the stereotype of the Spanish is that they are still strict believers in God, this is getting less and less with the younger generation. In the borough Malasaña in Madrid, the bars and churches are so close to each other that you could go straight from partying Saturday night into church Sunday morning.

Malasaña is one of the most popular neighborhoods of Madrid for youngsters. The neighborhood is situated near borough Chueca and the city centre. The historic architecture contrasts with some of the clean-looking concept-shops, like Amen Concept Store at Calle de San Vicente Ferrer. The borough has a sorrowful story. In the 19th century, the neighborhood suffered a lot from the French occupation. Centuries later, after Spain became a democracy, the borough was known for its sex, drugs and rock & roll. At that time, many died from their drugs addiction. The borough is now known for its hipster-culture and nightlife. With the many bars, (vintage/concept) shops and restaurants, daily life in Malasaña is quiet, but the nights are noisy. With the catholic history of Spain, you could think that the party life of Malasaña could clash, but this is not the case.

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The success story of HEMA in Madrid

By Melanie Hazenberg & Jantine Brandemann

HEMA opened its fourth store in November 2016 in Madrid, at Calle del Carmen. This Dutch own-branded store is continuing its expansion with a fifth store in Madrid – which is planned for 2017. But what makes this store so popular in this country?

Red, white and the typical HEMA font. You already recognize it miles away. Not only from the outside, but mostly inside you get the Dutchy, cozy feeling of being home. The first things you see is the Old Dutch candy like drop and stroopwafels. There are apparently no Spanish words that could translate those words, so they are being kept in the Dutch way. Just stroopwafels, that is Spanish enough. Long tables and high walls make this store a little different. But it really becomes unique due to the division in different worlds. On the wall, in the typical, bright blue HEMA colour, Cocina is written and you immediately know everything on the wall is about cooking. And it is true. Pans, cutlery and dishes are all on the cooking wall, including HEMA´s white, transparent mark on the back of the products. Apparently HEMA also exists in Spain.

For the ‘ordinary’ people
For the ones who do not know, HEMA is a well-known department store in The Netherlands. In 1926, HEMA was established by Leo Meyer and Arthur Isaac who were managers of The Bijenkorf, in those times an expensive department store for rich people. Meyer and Isaac wanted to found a department store for ´ordinary´ people because this was missing in The Netherlands. By means of finances from the Bijenkorf, they established HEMA. At November 4, 1926, the first shop opened. A few decades ago, HEMA went international and since April 1, 2014, the department store can be found in Madrid as well. Within two years’ time, more stores were being established in the main city of Spain.

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