Archives of Madrid!

So I take you back to my wonderful beloved Madrid. Another soft spot in my heart and always come back to it, lucky me. I have written many posts on my city and you can tell my inclination for it. It never cease over the years since that day I came upon it in 1971.

Let me tell you a bit about an off the beaten path that is right in one of the most visible streets of Madrid!! I like to tell you a bit on the archives of the Community of Madrid in the old Church of San Ginés , Calle Arenal 13! off Puerta del Sol!!!!


The Calle de Arenal is a popular historical streetof Madrid, linking the Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Isabel II (Opera) Its name comes from the primitive stream that flowed through its path before urbanizing the area with which it appears labeled already in themap of Teixeira from 1656 as in the successive maps of the city of Madrid

A bit of history tell us that a route determined by the topography, the ancient Arenal, formed by the runoffs that flowed into it, followed the course of the intermittent Arroyo de la Zarza stream which, coming out of the ravine of the same name (in what would later be the Puerta del Sol), reached the plazuela del Barraco which would then be filled into the popularly known Plaza de la Opera. From there, taking the abundant flow of the Caños del Peral, the Arenal basin ran south in search of the stream of Leganitos, in the vicinity of the so-called Cuesta de San Vicente. The Arenal separated two of the oldest outskirts from the primitive medieval village, the one of Saint Ginés to the south ,and sheltered from the Church of San Ginés, and that of Saint Martin extending northward under the rule of the Benedictine abbey of San Martín , a Mozarabic priory

The first palaces were built in the 16C, disappearing gradually to make room for the houses of stale families of Madrid, In the second half of the 19C, the central and populous street was filled with hotels and houses of travelers and take out eateries in the books of foreign travelers of the 18-19C and first third of the 20C. the opening in 1853 of the Travasia del Arenal on the main road to link with the Plaza Mayor.   Although renovated on successive occasions, the Church of San Ginés still occupies the space from which we have the most distant news of a building. At number 11 is the new Teatro Eslava (Joy Eslava), a historic scene of various chapters of Madrid’s night history since the 1870s. Indeed fantastic souvenirs here.

From the cafes, you can remember the Café de la Europa, and the new Café de Levante, at number 15, with talks and encounters of the likes of Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, José Martínez Ruiz «Azorín», the painters José José Gutiérrez Solana, Santiago Rusiñol and Julio Romero de Torres, brothers Pío and Ricardo Baroja and cartoonist Rafael de Penagos. Even old shops such as the bookstore of the Librería de los Bibliófilos Españoles (Spanish Bibliophiles), the Prast Confectionery, or the castiza chocolatería San Ginés, in the Pasadizo de San Ginés are preserved. It is one of the most popular places to have chocolate with churros since it was founded in 1894. More on Chocolateria San Ginés here:


In 1106, during the pontificate of Pascual II and reigning in Castilla Alfonso VI, Bernardo de Cluny, first Archbishop of Toledo, consecrated outside the walls of the city of Madrid the church in honor of San Ginés, martyr of Arles. In 1360, Juan González, chaplain to King Pedro I and priest of the Parish of San Ginés carried out an important work of reconstruction by placing the royal shields on its walls.

The year 1641 is mostly demolished the old factory of the temple of San Ginés and this same year, King Philip IV entrusts the royal architect, the traces and supervision of the work of the new temple until its completion ,and with responsibility for its construction. On 10 May 1645, solemnly inaugurated the new temple, the date on which royal privileges are granted.

In the 18C, the parish church of San Ginés undergoes a major transformation within it.  Today the regional archives of the community of Madrid are kept in the Church of San Gines as well in Calle Arenal, 13.

The tourist office of Madrid on the Church  of San Ginés de ArlesTourist office of Madrid on the Church San Ginés

An anecdote for Spanish philes; In San Ginés de Arles Church was married, by proxy, Lope de Vega on his first marriage to Isabel de Urbina in 1588. The church was demolished in 1642 and the current church was  built between 1645 and 1672 as we know it today.

Another wonderful spot in my beloved Madrid come to see it for more than the church alone and you will be glad your read my post. Enjoy Calle de Arenal in Madrid!

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

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