The Bank of Spain in Madrid!

And I need to rush quickly to my beloved Madrid and to tell you about a symbol yet an off the beaten path place. As a child I lived not far from it in my Madrid and now each time need to pass by it and pay my reverence to this wonderful architectural gem.  I like to tell you a bit more on the Banco de Espana or Bank of Spain in Madrid. A bit of history and architecture I like.

The headquarters of the Bank of Spain shows its facades to the Plaza de Cibeles, Calle de Alcalá, Paseo del Prado, Calle de los Madrazo and Calle del Marqués de Cubas. The Bank of Spain, as an institution, was created in 1856, following the merger of the Banco de Isabel II with the Banco de San Fernando in 1847, and its first headquarters was the building of the Five Major Guilds (cinco Gremios Mayores), located on Calle de Atocha. On July 4  1884, the first stone of the Bank was placed, in a solemn act, with the presence of King Alfonso XII. The finished building will be inaugurated on March 3, 1891 by King Alfonso XIII and his mother Queen Regent Maria Cristina.

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The building  is distributed in parallel bays to a series of patios aligned with the axes of Paseo del Prado and Calle de Alcalá, articulated by diagonal sections. The facades reflect an eclectic decorative repertoire, In the year 1927 the construction of the later half of the facade to Calle de Alcalá was approved, demolishing the palace mansions known as Santamarca. Finally, the closing of the block was completed from 2003 to 2006. At the corner of Calle de Alcalá with Marqués de Cubas where the Palacio de Lorite was located, the former headquarters of the García-Calamarte Bank building was added. You can see the most notable elements such as the stained-glass windows, as well as the stonework, in classicist style, as well as its golden dome that culminates in the façade that opens onto Plaza de Cibeles. A symbol of Madrid and my gearing point each time going home in my beloved Madrid of the 1970’s. A must stop now when lucky to visited every year.

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As posted a new event and decided to update this one as they go together (see some news from Spain post). This is wonderful news as now all can see part of it that was before only by the lucky few. The Bank of Spain, its splendid collection, made up of more than 5,300 works (paintings, sculptures , drawings, photographs, prints and pieces of decorative arts), divided into two sets: the historical part (20%) and the contemporary (80%). , A collection that has Francisco de Goya as its standard. A treasure that in the almost 240 years of the institution’s history, only bank workers and those who attended guided tours have been able to enjoy (yes!!). The opening sequence will be ; first, in the middle of the pandemic, the raison d’être, in three volumes, of the collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures of the Bank of Spain, with 1,200 works. Later those of engraving and decorative arts will be undertaken. A heritage web portal was also launched. And now open to the public, which was inaugurated by the King. It will be free to access, although for now you have to reserve tickets ‘online’.

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As you know,if reading my blog, that I lived at Calle de Alcalà in Madrid and the bank at the corner of institutions such as Prado, Thyssen and Cibeles fountain/square and the Retiro park are a must while in Madrid. I am again lucky to be able to see these gems every year and sometimes more. Enjoy it as I do.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit are:

The official Bank of Spain webpage : https://www.bde.es/bde/es/secciones/sobreelbanco/organizacion/Organizacion_ter/Madrid.html

The Madrid tourist office on the bank of Spain: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/banco-de-espana

The new open Bank of Spain arts collection webpage: https://coleccion.bde.es/wca/es/secciones/coleccion/

And there you have it folks, another gem and because it is a bank, an off the beaten path lovely architecture of my Madrid.  Bear in mind that the inside of the building may only be visited by university and educational groups, or by cultural non-profit organisations. However, as above the new Sala Chaflàn will be open for the collection to be seen by all!! Do not missed it if in Madrid, worth the detour indeed,

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

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