The Centro Cultural Conde Duque of Madrid!!

And I am back in the neighborhoods of off the beaten path areas of my beloved Madrid. This is pretty well known building already but seldom visitors dare go to this real Madrid area, and they should. Let me tell you about the  Centro Cultural Conde Duque or the Cultural Center Count Duke of Madrid!!

The CondeDuque Contemporary Culture Center  Calle Conde Duque, 11. The metro lines that can get you there are Noviciado , and Plaza de España on lines 2, 3 and 10, San Bernardo on lines 2 and 4 and Ventura Rodríguez on line3, Several bus lines best the No 2. The Conde Duque is located in the heart of the Universidad neighborhood (belonging to the Centro district of Madrid), which is limited by the streets of Princesa, Gran Vía, Fuencarral, Carranza and Alberto Aguilera. The neighborhood gets its name from the Central University, opened in 1843 on Calle de San Bernardo, in the old Jesuit novitiate.


It was built in the early 18C (worked began in 1717 finished in 1730) to house the Royal Guards Corps. Two centuries (and two fires) later, the 58,000-square-meter barracks was on the brink of demolition due to its poor condition, but the insistence of the public to use it for public use managed to save it. The Royal Guards Corps barracks formed part of the optical telegraph communication system devised in Spain in the 19C. The telegraphy tower located in this barracks was number 1 of the Castilla Line that communicated Madrid with Irún. This tower communicated with the headquarters of the Royal Post Office at Puerta del Sol.

The current and reformed CondeDuque not only serves as a cultural container for the city, it also houses part of its history with the Villa Archive , the Historical Library, the Municipal Newspaper Library, the Musical Library and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was intended for cultural and leisure activities for all audiences. Concerts, exhibitions, ferias or cinema cycles take place both indoors and in its large central patio. The Conde Duque center also has multi-purpose rooms, a theater and a modern reception hall.

Regarding its name, there have been different versions of the origin. On the basis of some writings of Mesonero Romanos from the 19C, the idea spread that it was due to the Count-Duke of Olivares, valid of King Felipe IV. However, another hypothesis indicates that this name comes from being based on the site of the previous palace of the Count of Aranda and Duke of Peñaranda. Other, more recent investigations suggest that the Conde Duque or Count-Duke in question would be the III Duke of Berwick y Liria, also Count of Lemos, who promoted the construction of the neighboring Palace of Liria, and whose family retained ownership of the barracks grounds until 1943. 

The official CondeDuque Cultural Center

The Madrid tourist office on the CondeDuque

There you go folks a dandy neighborhood of wonderful architecture in chic Madrid. This is right off Calle de la Princesa where we went walking to the Conde Duque. Hope you enjoy this bit of off the beaten path walk in my Madrid.

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

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2 Comments to “The Centro Cultural Conde Duque of Madrid!!”

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