Madrid, and the Casa Arabe!

And yes, as said, the fun of updating old posts made me realised there were many things left out or not fully shown in my blog. Perhaps an oversight ,and now I am  catching up too. This time I present you the Casa Arabe or Arab House of Madrid!

Little mention of my Madrid is that the capital city of Madrid was Muslim for more than two hundred years ,and Moorish in many other ways. Discovered its history into Arabic Madrid . Muhammad I of Cordoba founded the city by then called Mayrit ,and on principal was just a military outpost.

The Casa Árabe de Madrid is a public institution created in 2006 on the model of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (see post). It is a cultural and research center on the Arab and Muslim world as well as on the Spanish history of Al-Andalus.

Casa Arabe or Arab House is at calle de Alcalá, 62 , opposite the Madrid gate of Retiro Park and my old home . It constitutes the block formed by the streets of Alcala, Aguirre and O’Donnell. The Casa Árabe and resident library, Balqis, host a monthly club that read and comment on works of the great names in the Arab world, both classic of contemporary authors and new publications. Scholars and specialists that enrich the debate with their contributions attend each session.

mad casa arabe side o donnell feb13

How to get here, if not walking is by Metro on line 2 Retiro. Line 2 and 9 Principe de Vergara. By bus lines 1, 9,15, 19, 20, 28, 51, 52, 146, and 152. Also, a bike depot or Bicimad station 96 at calle de Alcalá, 111.

A bit of history I like

The Madrid headquarters are housed in the building of the former Aguirre schools, inaugurated in 1886. The Aguirres school was founded thanks to the bequest of Lucas Aguirre y Juárez. The first stone was laid in 1881 and the building opened in 1886. The wall and the ornate gate that isolate it from Aguirre, Alcalá and O’Donnell streets date from 1887. The garden pavilion, today the Shukran restaurant, was built in 1896. In 1929 the school had 16 levels, from kindergarten to high school. The classes were on the ground floor, on the first floor there was the library, the administration, and official accommodation for teachers and teachers. The school closed in 1971. The building was then used by the municipal administration, until  when Casa Arabe opened.

Since its foundation in 2006, the Casa Árabe has been developing its work as a platform and tool for Spanish diplomacy, jointly with the network of Spanish cultural centers, the Casa de America, the Casa de Asia, the Casa de Africa, the Casa del Mediterraneo, and the Casa de Israel and the Spanish Jewish world.

It is a neo-Mudejar style building, with the use of brick as an essential structure. Neo-Mudéjar architecture is a branch of Neo-Moorish architecture, one of the renaissance exotic architectural styles adopted at the end of the 19C by European and American architects in the wave of Western Romantic fascination with oriental arts. The Mudéjar is the name given to the Muslims of Spain who became subjects of the Christian kingdoms after the Reconquista, from the 11C.

The rectangular-shaped building includes a ground floor, which once housed the classrooms, and an upper floor. A red brick tower evoking a minaret and sheltering a staircase rises in the center of the main facade. A singular element of the district, which it dominates from a height of 37 meters, it is also part of the perspective from the Puerta de Alcalá.

The official webpage of Casa Arabe

The Madrid tourist office on the Casa Arabe:

There you go folks a missing link to my Madrid,now shown in my blog for yours and mine pleasure. Madrid is Spain, everything under the Sun!

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

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