This wide boulevard is the twin to the Paseo del Prado, which lies just to the south. Both were created during Charles III’s efforts to prettify the area.
Unfortunately, a lot of the Paseo’s best features—Art Nouveau cafés, trees, plazas, and book stalls—are overwhelmed by the constant din & belch of traffic. You can try walking down the pedestrian strip in the middle, but watch out for rogue buses.
Why the Name?
It owes its name to the Convento de los Agustinos Recoletos, a convent built in A.D. 1592. The convent stood where the Biblioteca now stands, so you’ll see a plaque on the library’s gates commemorating it. It was disentailed during the Ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizábal in the early 19th century.