KIO is Puerta de Europa ! Madrid of course!!

And here I am updating this older post of my beloved Madrid. Well of course, if you read my blog you know me and Madrid. However, most folks guided by tourist guides go to the Centro or center area of  Madrid which is loaded with tourist hangouts waiting for you. I have said and I do, go out into the regular living, know the country, the city , the people and you will see nice monuments too. This is the case at the Puerta de Europe or Europe’s Gate and the KIO buildings. Let me tell you about them ,and hope you enjoy as I.

I am trying to remember my memories and have plenty so hard to choose as they all look sentimental. Getting to write about Madrid is easy for me, my favorite city. From Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!  So you all go to the Centro, old city center by now overrun with visitors; visitors are good don’t get me wrong, they are needed and all around like it. It is just that after a while, it becomes so so visited that the locals starts cooking, painting and showcasing just for the visitors and not the local modes. So I always said get out from the center and see the city,it will amazed you.

I am taking you up north along Paseo de la Castellana to lovely Plaza de Castilla (Castile square) in the Chamartin district. And here you have a wonderful architecturally done buildings and art centers and a huge local transport hub. It is one of my hangouts in Madrid and we love to shop by it, especially the gourmet grocery store of Sanchez Romero (many branches in Madrid) at Castellana 196 not far on right hand side to Plaza de Castilla.

The two towers that are located in Plaza de Castilla, and that make up the so-called Puerta de Europa (gates of Europe) , are commonly known as Torres Kio because they were promoted by the Kuwaiti company Kio (Kuwait Investments Office).  The two buildings are located on either side of the Paseo de la Castellana, the main artery of the center north of Madrid, on the northern edge of the Plaza de Castilla, in the Chamartín district., and across from the Centro de Arte Fundación Isabel Canal II  Paseo de la Castellana, 214 ( a foundation for arts center name after queen Isabell II water chanel). webpage: https://www.fundacioncanal.com/la-visita/

The buildings are two inversely symmetrical towers inclined towards each other, 15 degrees with respect to the vertical one, and were the first inclined skyscrapers of the world. The skyscrapers have a height of 114 meters and twenty-six floors, and are visible several km away from Madrid, given their situation in one of the highest heights of the city. They are the first towers voluntarily inclined in the world. The construction of the towers began in 1989, but due to a series of financial difficulties, it interrupted for several years and ended only in 1996.  On a total surface of 2 340 m2 of floor, the towers consist of a steel structure covered with glass curtain walls totalling a surface of 32 864 m2 for a height of 114 meters.(about 376 ft)   Each building has four elevators, the first two of which serve floors 1 to 13 and the next two floors 13 to 27. These are the second highest twin towers in Spain, after those located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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The tower that has the top of the logo of Bankia is called Puerta de Europa I, whereas the other one, with the logo of Realia, is known as Puerta de Europa II. To avoid confusion the first has a heliport painted in blue and the second in red. KIO towers, at that time in construction, are one of the scenarios where the film is developed The Day of the Beast (El Dia de la Bestia) by Alex de la Iglesia.

Around the plaza you will see the obelisk of Calatrava itself 92 meters high (304 ft) ,and 6 meters in diameter (19.8 ft).  the monument of Calvo Sotelo, a huge sculpture of the Spanish jurist and politician, built in 1959 in memory of the assassination that was one of the sparks of  the Spanish civil war. The area is one of the main bus terminals in Madrid, above ground many local buses have a stop here, and underground you have buses to nearby cities and inter province service. You reach it on metro Plaza de Castilla ,lines 1,9,10.

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The Madrid tourist office on the KIO towers at Puerta de Europa in the Plaza de Castillahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/torres-kio-puerta-europa

The Bankia bank story on the Kio towers in Spanish: https://www.bankia.com/es/30-aniversario-torres-kio/

Hope you enjoy this trip out from the tourist center and be encourage to see more of Madrid. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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