Archive for September 21st, 2019

September 21, 2019

More streets of Madrid!!!

Well coming to the end on monuments of my last wonderful visit to my beloved city of Madrid. Never enough and already thinking of coming back lol!  As I left the shopping and restaurants for last will have several posts on them coming soon.

However, for now let me give you another look at my beloved Madrid and its streets, architecture ,history, briefly of course like me ::)

The first is the BBVA bank building on Calle de Alcalà,16  very near the Puerta del Sol. It was built between 1920 and 1923 as the seat of Banco de Bilbao.  In 1845 the Cafe Suizo (today gone but very popular) was inaugurated there, famous for its gatherings.  The quadrigas, which were covered in gilded brass and, therefore, could serve as a reference for Franco’s bombing of the city, during the Spanish Civil War, were painted black. After the end of the contest, it was decided that the new color be preserved. In the base of each tower, in front of the balustrade, there are two Italian marble atlantes. On each tower is a quadriga. The quadrigas were dragged each by four horses, whose legs protrude from the facade, flying over the sidewalk. The quadrigas were made of an alloy of bronze, lead and iron, with a golden brass coating. They were cast in the Madrid smelter Codina Hermanos and each of them weighs 12.5 tons and are four meters high. The charioteers are not inside the quadriga, but appear standing on a pedestal located on the carriage, so that they can be seen from the street. In 2010, and for a minimum period of ten years, the building is the headquarters of the Ministry of Environment and Land Management of the Community of Madrid (regional govt).


The Calle Cava Baja is a street in old Madrid, right in the La Latina neighborhood, that runs between the Puerta Cerrada square and the Humilladero square and has about 50 bars. Throughout history, countless establishments have been opened and closed on this street, almost all related to eating and drinking. For example, the Posada de la Villa dates from 1642, and in the place where Casa Lucio now opens its doors was the Posada de San Pedro, which already existed in 1720, and then the historic Mesón del Segoviano. The word cava comes from the fact that there was a moat that defended the wall of Madrid. Formerly this cava was a little beyond the Puerta de Moros, lower than the Cava Alta, hence its name. When the moat was filled, the road was renamed Cava Baja de San Francisco (in this area there are many references to this saint, such as the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande), and from 1835 simply Cava Baja.


The Calle de Toledo gave access of diverse merchandise and food coming from the province to the town. The street begins in the Plaza Mayor (in the arch of Cofreros), arrives until the Puerta de Toledo and continues until the Glorieta de Pirámides where it ends, linking with the Puente de Toledo bridge on the old road that led to the city of Toledo. It runs from its beginnings parallel to the Rastro of Madrid (flea market). The Portal de Cofreros, the Collegiate Church of San Isidro and the Royal Studios of San Isidro, which occupy the former offices of the Imperial College, are the only buildings of historical-artistic interest of the time of the Austrias that have been conserved.

The Plaza de los Carros is a square located in the Palacio neighborhood, belonging to the Centro district, in the set of open spaces that form the Plaza de la Cebada, Puerta de Moros and Calle de Humilladero, in the axis of the Carrera de San Francisco and surrounded by the Costanilla of San Andrés and the Calle de Don Pedro. It was until the beginning of the 20C a popular meeting point for transport in cars and carts due perhaps to its proximity to the old Cebada (barley) market. It is pedestrian since the last decade of the 20C, highlights the architecture of the dome of the Chapel of San Isidro and the facades of the house-palace of the Duke of the Infantado. During the Democratic Sexenio it took the name of Plaza de Aguirre and later, in 1931, it was Plaza de Julio Romero de Torres, a name that it maintained until 1965 when on the occasion of a remodeling of the urban environment it regained the traditional name of Plaza de los Carros.  In 1984 and following the works of pedestrian urbanization of the area a set of archaeological remains were unearthed, including various canvases of the Arab wall and a Muslim qanat dating from the 11C following the layout of the old Calle Alcantarilla (sewer) street. In 2018, remains of the 12C Christian wall were discovered.


The Calle de Cuchilleros street is located in the neighborhood of Embajadores, district of Centro , which runs,from the Cavas de San Miguel next to the Arco de Cuchilleros arch at the foot of the Plaza Mayor, to the Plaza de Puerta Cerrada It is part of the pit or closed door cellar that ran at the foot of the wall. It receives the name of the guild of knives in it established since the 17C. Known also as Calle de la Cuchillería for the abundance of stores of knives and cutlery established here for its proximity to the Casa de la Carniceria (Butcher Shop), on the south side of the Plaza Mayor, next to the Arcos de Cuchilleros

This street of little animation during the day, and during the night exploration field of the low gallantry. Of that cloudy splendor ,gates and buildings of singular antiquity are conserved with archaeological basements and medieval galleries, and the subsequent creation of some taverns, or wineries with the alleged solera such as La Daniela, La Traviesa, Asquiniña, Bodegas Ricla or Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas (taken family and dear late wife Martine here in 1990!, among which the Botín Restaurant can be found (considered the oldest restaurant in the world by Guinness without any interruption on the name)

In this Calle de Cuchilleros street the novelist Benito Pérez Galdós placed several passages of his contemporary Spanish novels, incorporating it into the map of the Galdosian territory in Madrid. This is how it appears frequently in Fortunata and Jacinta, as in the spooky and humorous night scene starring the character Placido Estupiñá:

The Arco de Cuchilleros is one of the ten accesses of the Plaza Mayor and was designed in 1617 the Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra and the Arco de Cuchilleros. However, the Arch as we know it today was the work of Juan de Villanueva, who remodeled the square after the fire of 1790. The peculiar Calle de la Escalerilla de Piedra extends along the interior of the arch and nothing else. Start at the first step and end at the last. That is, it is a street of few meters and completely staggered. Under the stone stairs is the inn Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas! Lovely side of the Plaza Mayor!


The tourist office of Madrid: Tourist office of Madrid

And there you go a bit more of architecture and history wonders in my beloved Madrid. Hope you enjoy the ride , it was great having you along! And remember, this is not over yet lol! Madrid is forever! And walking is heavens in my beloved city of Madrid.

Remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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