Archive for June 11th, 2019

June 11, 2019

Metropoli of Madrid!

And now let me tell you about another emblematic building of my beloved Madrid and even if on a popular street and a very popular photo, it is off the beaten path trip. This is the case of the Metropoli building just at Calle de Alcalà (my street) but many thinks it is in Gran Via; I will explain,and tell you a bit more of this emblematic building of my Madrid.

The Metropolis is a French-inspired building, located at the corner of Calle de Alcalá  and Gran Vía. It was inaugurated on January 21, 1911, and was awarded by competition and designed by French architects Jules and Raymond Février for the insurance company La Union y el Fénix ( Phoenix). The final work was carried out by the Spaniard Luis Esteve Fernández-Caballero, who finished it in 1910.


It was built on the land liberated during the construction of the Gran Vía, when the popularly known as “Casa del Ataùd” (house of the coffin) collapsed, so named because of the narrowness of the lot where it was located, between the streets Calle de Alcalá and Calle Caballero de Gracia. It is commonly assumed that Gran Vía begins in the Metropolis building. However, its exact address is Calle de Alcalá ,39. The first building at the beginning of Gran Vía at nº 1, is the Edifciio Grassy (building).

There is an austere ground floor, but  the upper floors, in neo-Renaissance style, are adorned with Corinthian columns and entablatures that serve as a pedestal for allegorical statues of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Mining. The circular tower is crowned by a slate dome with gold inlays, which due to its resemblance to the firemen helmet is called “Firemen style”(Bombero).it is adorned with 30,000 24 carat gold loaves. In the sunlight it shines more than any other building in its surroundings and at night, 205 spotlights give it spectacular lighting. Originally, it supported the company’s symbol, an allegorical bronze statue of the Fénix (Phoenix) on which there was a human figure with the raised arm representing Ganymede, the original Fénix(Phoenix) is ​​now in the garden of the headquarters of the Mutua Madrileña (insurance co.), at Paseo de la Castellana, 33. The figure that we can see today is a Winged Victory.

The interior of the Metropolis building is little known by the general public since it is not visited. All its space is destined to offices of the insurance company Metropolis. From inside you can admire the stained glass windows of the prestigious firm Maumejean. The structure of the building consists of six floors and two basements. The interior of the dome is empty and the roof, with a privileged location, also has no assigned use.

Some webpages to know a bit more of the Metropoli building and just walk by it is one of the highlights of an architecture tour of Madrid.

Tourist office of Madrid on the Metropoli

Official site of Metropolis ins co nice picture

There you go another gem for your leisure walks of gorgeous Madrid, my Madrid mind you. The Metropoli area is full of shops,restos, bars well its Madrid. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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June 11, 2019

Bank of Spain, Madrid!

And I need to rush quickly to my beloved Madrid and to tell you about a symbol yet an off the beaten path place. As a child I lived not far from it in my Madrid and now each time need to pass by it and pay my reverence to this wonderful architectural gem.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Banco de Espana or Bank of Spain in Madrid. A bit of history and architecture I like

The headquarters of the Bank of Spain shows its facades to the Plaza de Cibeles, Calle de Alcalá, Paseo del Prado, Calle de los Madrazo and Calle del Marqués de Cubas. The Bank of Spain, as an institution, was created in 1856, following the merger of the Banco de Isabel II with the Banco de San Fernando in 1847, and its first headquarters was the building of the Five Major Guilds(cinco Gremios Mayores), located on Calle de Atocha.


On July 4  1884, the first stone of the Bank was placed, in a solemn act, with the presence of King Alfonso XII. The finished building will be inaugurated on March 3, 1891 by King Alfonso XIII and his mother Queen Regent Maria Cristina.

The building  is distributed in parallel bays to a series of patios aligned with the axes of Paseo del Prado and Calle de Alcalá, articulated by the diagonal section of the chamfer. The facades reflect an eclectic decorative repertoire, although the sobriety of baseboards and ground floors accentuate the idea of solid ​​representation that corresponds to the institution that it houses.


In the year 1927 the construction of the later half of the facade to Calle de Alcalá was approved, demolishing the Palace mansions known as Santamarca. Finally, the closing of the block was completed from 2003 to 2006. At the corner of Calle de Alcalá with Marqués de Cubas where the Palacio de Lorite was located, the former headquarters of the García-Calamarte Bank building that was added.

You can see the most notable elements such as the stained-glass windows, as well as the stonework, in classicist style, as well as its golden dome that culminates in the façade that opens onto Plaza de Cibeles. A symbol of Madrid and my gearing point each time going home in my beloved Madrid of the 1970’s. A must stop now when lucky to visited every year.

As you know,if reading my blog, that I lived at Calle de Alcalà in Madrid and the bank at the corner of institutions such as Prado, Thyssen and Cibeles fountain/square and the Retiro park are a must while in Madrid. I am again lucky to be able to see these gems every year and sometimes more. Enjoy it

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Official Bank of Spain

Tourist office of Madrid on the Bank of Spain

And there you have another gem and because it is a bank, an off the beaten path lovely architecture of my Madrid.  Bear in mind that the inside of the building may only be visited by university and educational groups, or by cultural non-profit organisations. Just a look under the Madrid sun is enough for me!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!


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