The Spanish Air Force building in Madrid!

Ok there you go another dandy in the off the beaten path trail of my beloved Madrid. Ok you can visit the historical part with proper permission from the ministry or in a tour group like I did several years back. I always keep a souvenir picture and why not included in my blog for nostalgia’s sake. Therefore, here is my take on the Spanish Air Force building in Madrid!

The General Headquarters of the Air Force is located in the Argüelles neighborhood part of the Moncloa-Aravaca district in Madrid. It was in the middle of the 20C, between the period between 1939 and 1977, when it held a ministerial department in charge of civil and military aviation in Spain. At present it is a barracks HQ of the Spanish Air Force, since its disappearance as a ministry. It is a Neo-Herrerian style building. It is the headquarters of the Air Force and where the units of the Air Force Headquarters Group (ACGEA) and the Air Force Historical and Cultural Service (SHYCEA) are located.


A bit of history I like

In 1854 it is mentioned in the area of ​​the existence of the North Barracks of the Villa and Court of Madrid. The construction of the building in Moncloa has a certain significance for the moment in which it is done, at the end of the Spanish Civil War and taking advantage of the openings of a prolonged battle for almost two and a half years, At the beginning of the 20C, the area that the building will occupy is occupied in part by the Model Prison (sad stories). After the Coup d’état of July 1936, Madrid remains in the area loyal to the Spanish Republic (leftist govt), and soon becomes a military target of the rebel forces (Nationalist fascists). The advance to Madrid led to the Battle of the University City, this warlike confrontation in the heart of Moncloa, began the defense of Madrid with its front line being a few meters from the location of the current building. The projectiles and the intense bombardment of the area cause the Model Prison to be badly damaged. This was an important battle that finally surrended Madrid in the Spanish Civil War.

After the Spanish Civil War, it was decided to restore the Moncloa area and an urban project for the area was started. The area was known in those years as the Plaza de los Caídos or Fallen square of Madrid. This situation led to the choice of the Arguelles-Moncloa wasteland as the building site, which was the area of the great battle. Since 1940, different locations have been sought for the future building, and after various options the Moncloa site is chosen. The official inauguration of the construction with the laying of the first stone takes place on December 10, 1943. The Portico de Honor or Honor gate is built early 1953 when the work is in an advanced stage of construction , Although the building was not completely finished until 1958, by 1954 it was already fulfilling its mission.

It has 1,225 windows and 253 balconies and about 105 dormitories, In addition to the staircase of Honor, it has about ten stairs inside. The façade is made of exposed brick and the cladding is made of granite and limestone from Colmenar. The roofs are made of slate, on reinforced concrete slabs, terrazzo and marble floors in the Honor area. The building regularly shows a height of six stories, except for the four side towers that reach eight, The Portico de Honor is made up of four elegant granite half columns of the Tuscan style with three doors opening in the Portico. It is large in size and is inspired by the schemes of the El Escorial monastery and the Prado Museum. Made of granite and brick, its four corners are topped with tall square towers of eight stories each, and typically Madrid slate spiers. The bourse that forms a square is owned by the Madrid City Council. The rectangular floor plan of the building leaves inside a regular distribution of three large interior patios. The Central or also called Honor courtyard of 37 x 35 meters, where the windows of the noble rooms of the building go, while the other two are identical and 52 x 30 meters fulfill mere functional squares.

The Madrid tourist office on the Air Force HQ

The official Ministry of Defense on the Air Force HQ

There you go folks, you need to move away from the center to see this marvel of a building, near the Faro de Moncloa, Museum of the Americas etc (see posts). Hope you enjoy, the Ejercito del Aire or Air Force HQ, and get you to come to this part of my beloved Madrid.

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

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2 Comments to “The Spanish Air Force building in Madrid!”

  1. Fabulous building, looks like a Palace.

    Liked by 1 person

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