Casa de las Alhajas of Madrid!!

This is the thrill of walking any city and Madrid is a must to walk it. You will encounter many marvelous architecturally stunning buildings and with pleny of history. One of these not yet mention in my blog is the one known as the Casa de las Alhajas. I like to tell you a bit about it,hope you enjoy it as I.

The Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad building in Madrid, better known as Casa de las Alhajas, is located in the Plaza de San Martín 1. The main entrance at No 1. It has secondary accesses to the Calle Hileras,18, and calle San Martín,5, as well as a last one recently opened to the private Calle Francisco Piquer. It was built between 1870 and 1875, and now house the headquarters of the Montemadrid Foundation. The façade is a clear example of the architecture of the second half of the 19C. And its interior, organized around a central covered patio, has been conditioned for the new use of the Foundation and as a temporary exhibition hall. Best reach by metro Opéra lines 2, 5, and R coming out at plaza de Isabel II,go around walking to calle de la Priora to your right ,straight ahead becomes Calle de la Flora to the Plaza San Martin.

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It is located in the historic center of Madrid, in an area of ​​medieval origin known as the suburb of San Martín. It takes its name from the disappeared convent of San Martín, one of the first religious foundations in Madrid, originally located outside the walls, in the vicinity of the Puerta de Balnadú. It was the first convent founded in Madrid, in 1126. In the 15C it became a parish church, being one of the most important ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the city. At the beginning of the 19C, José Bonaparte (occupation of Napoleon) had the church of the complex, located in its northern part, demolished, thus expanding the Plaza de San Martín. In 1836, thanks to the confiscation of Mendizábal,(sep of State and Church), the convent passed into the hands of the State, becoming successively offices of the Civil Government, Provincial Delegation, court and stock exchange, Health Council, and Civil Guard headquarters. It was finally demolished in 1868, during the revolutionary Sexenio. (revolution of 1868) Part of the site was acquired by the Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad (a savings bank) to build its new headquarters.

In the patio had the operating room the counters for loans and pawns were located, and from there you could access the different dependencies, Around this central volume ran the different bays: in the north wing, facing the Plaza de San Martín, they were located the main entrance and the lobby, which had pictorial decoration similar to the patio, with rooms for accounting at the ends; the sales room was located in the east wing, a space for auctions with a capacity of 400 people and exterior access, from Calle San Martín; the warehouse was developed in the bay, conceived as an independent safe and limited access; finally, the chapel in the bay, which covered the original religious function of Monte de Piedad, also with access from the outside. The building also included the houses of the institution’s workers: the director occupied the main floor, the parish priest was located in the attic and the rest of the employees on the mezzanine floor.

The property is currently used as a private cultural endowment. The Casa de las Alhajas has remained the property of the Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad, which has adapted it to new uses compatible with the conservation of the property. After the disappearance of the savings bank, the property belongs to the Fundación Caja Madrid. the brand under which the Fundación Obra Social y Monte de Piedad de Madrid is presented, a Spanish foundation based in Madrid and whose objective is the development of social work and the management of the cultural heritage, it owns, as well as the operation of several centers of piety in some Spanish cities , The oldest of the Spanish savings banks, founded on December 3, 1702 as Monte de Piedad by the Aragonese priest Francisco Piquer. The savings bank existed until December 14, 2012, which became the special foundation Fundación Especial Caja Madrid. Subsequently, its name was changed to that of the ordinary foundation Fundación Montemadrid as of today.

The Madrid tourist office on the Casa de las Alhajashttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/casa-alhajas

There you go folks, another dandy building in sublime Madrid, my Madrid mind you… This is a pretty Casa de las Alhajas building in a wonderful old quant area of the city , worth the detour and a great walk around. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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