The Carillon of Madrid!

And while we are at it, why not tell you something unique of my beloved Madrid. As said cannot be too far from it. It is a problem really as very difficult for me to go elsewhere once the big vacation time arrives…. Madrid is more than a visit for me. After many years my family has gotten used to it or surrender lol!  If in Spain, need to at least past by Madrid.

Now here is something unique in Madrid and Spain. A carillon of singing figures and just by the apartment we will be staying in Barrio de las Letras neighborhood! The Plus Ultra building singing figurines!

The Plus Ultra building is in the Plaza de las Cortes 8, next to the Westin Palace hotel, in front of the Congress of Deputies and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, closely watched by the Statue of Cervantes.

madrid

It was acquired in 1941 by the insurance company Plus Ultra (formerly Groupama), 100% owned since 2015 by Catalana Occidente. Their official site is here: Plus Ultra insurance company

It occupies part of the site of the former palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli (most of the site is occupied by the Hotel Westin Palace) and was built as a rental house for the Marquis of Amboage. Although the Plus Ultra building dates from the early 20C c. 1913, ordered to be erected by the Marquis of Amboage, the Carillon was inaugurated on December 20, 1993 by the Infanta Pilar de Borbón, Duchess of Badajoz.

On the balcony of the first floor there is a carillon that in addition to giving the hours at specific times of the day presents a small spectacle of mobile figures, the only one in Spain at the time of its inauguration. The carillon plays the anthem of Madrid, La Marseillaise, the Radetzky March, Libiamo ne ‘lieti calici of La Traviata, the Ritirata of Madrid and the Boccherini minuet, among many others. With the holidays, the list expands to universal Christmas carols like White Christmas.

The Goyesco (as a Goya style)  Carillon looks out from one of the balconies on the first floor of the Plus Ultra building. When it comes into operation, it captures the attention of pedestrians, who for a few minutes stare at the movements of the figures.

The Carillon consists of five figures designed by cartoonist Antonio Mingote, all of them from the Goyesque era: the painter Francisco de Goya, the Duchess of Alba accompanied by a dog, King Carlos III, a Madrid Maja (local women) and the bullfighter Pedro Romero. During the more than three minutes that the small show lasts, the figures perform a series of movements limited to the sound of a music performed by the 18 bells installed on the sides of the clock. This music varies as we hear it at different times.  Each of the five figures performs a different movement: the bullfighter Pedro Romero tempers his crutch before the onslaught of an imaginary bull, a manola (women) greets with her fan, Carlos III of Spain – the mayor king of Madrid – shakes his head, the Duchess of Alba will greet with a handkerchief and the painter Francisco de Goya draws in the air with a brush. To see the Goyesco show there are several sessions a day, at 12h, at 15h, at 18h and at 20h. On December 24 and 31 ,it also works at midnight. It is recommended to be very punctual since its entire duration is short.

 The Carillon was manufactured in the Netherlands by a company specialized in such rare gadgets. Although the technical realization is complex, the resulting spectacle is very simple and at the same time unique in Madrid. Indeed, a marvel worth the detour to see it and of course something different in wonderful Madrid.

This is what you will see and hear from YouTube

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

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