Archive for August 7th, 2022

August 7, 2022

The Puerta de San Vicente of Madrid !

This is just by the wonderful parks on the western part of the city , and I will be updating the post for you and me. The Puerta de San Vicente gate is a nice monument at the corner of a very busy intersection leading to the Principe Pio shopping center and on the other direction the Campo del Moro, Jardines de Sabatini and the Palacio Real. (see posts), Let me tell you a bit more on the Puerta de San Vicente.

The Puerta de San Vicente is a monumental gate located in the Glorieta de San Vicente .Since 1995 it occupies the space in which between 1775 and 1892 was the original gate, the work of the architect Francesco Sabatini. pic 2019


The history of it is like this

In 1726, the Marquis de Vadillo, mayor of Madrid commissioned Pedro de Ribera to build a monumental gate near the city, to replace an earlier gate, which was in a dilapidated state and was called “del Parque”. The gate, which consisted of three arches, was adorned with a statue of San Vicente ( St. Vincent) , so it received that name, although it would also be known later as the Puerta de la Florida ,gate of. This gate was demolished in 1770, due to the remodeling of the Cuesta de San Vicente, (sloping hilly street) as part of the reorganization of the western accesses to the Royal Palace and its connection with the Camino de El Pardo. Shortly after, King Carlos III commissioned Francesco Sabatini to build a new gate to replace the previous one as an entrance to the city from the new Paseo de La Florida promenade. The works finished in 1775. This later work consisted of an arch and two shutters or gates and was built of granite and limestone from Colmenar de Oreja. The arch was ornamented with two Doric columns on the outside and two pilasters, also Doric, on the inside. It was crowned by a triangular frontispiece topped with a military trophy. The side shutters were also crowned by military trophies. pic 2016

Madrid puerta de san vicente front aug16

Again in 1890 the this gate was dismantled to improve traffic in the area. However, the track of it’s remains was lost, which remain unaccounted for with many theories, but they were never found in spite of being searched in the final decades of the 20C. Finally, In the 1990s, the Madrid city council decided to replace the gate in the same place where it was located. To do this, a replica was made. being placed in an inverse position to the original, that is, looking at the city. The new Puerta de San Vicente then moved the fountain of Juan de Villanueva, which was in that location since 1952, and which was moved to the Parque del Oeste. For the replica, in gray granite and limestone plated concrete, the moldings of the upper cornices that were still preserved from the original were used, in addition to the reference of the original plans and a photograph of 1890! pic 2019.


The Madrid tourist office on the Puerta de San Vicente

There you go folks, another nice walk from the Palacio Real would be wonderful, and nice residential areas with gorgeous architecture to reach the beautiful new Puerta de San Vicente! Hope you enjoy the post on this off the beaten path gem of my Madrid !!

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

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August 7, 2022

The Museo Casa de la Moneda of Madrid !

Always Madrid! Madrid is it for me!, and had the priviledge of living and now visit often. This is an update of an older post on a monument near my old home, Let me show you a museum, but different, one we can still use every day, as it is a money mint museum! This is the case of the Museo Casa de la Moneda of Madrid

The Museo Casa de la Moneda  or House of Money Museum is a permanent exhibition of the National Mint and Stamps Factory in Madrid. It contains the largest numismatic collection in Spain and one of the most complete in Europe.


The origins of the museum date back to the 18C and are closely linked to the figure of Tomás Francisco Prieto, General Engraver of the Mint of King Carlos III. Mr Prieto was Director of Engraving at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and founder, in 1771, of an Engraving School in which artists were formed who would later work at the Royal Mint of Spain and its colonies. The initial core of the museum was a collection of drawings, prints, old books, coins and medals made by Prieto to help in the teaching of his students. It was bought by King Carlos III, expanding it with acquisitions and donations.

In 1867, during the reign of Isabel II, the original collection of the Mint Museum was first exhibited to the public in the former Casa de la Moneda building in Plaza de Colón. It remained there until 1964, when it was moved to the current location on Calle Doctor Esquerdo No. 36. And my visit was here, not far from old home, Admission is free.  Get there from Metro O’Donnell line 6 circular or Goya lines 2 and 4.



The National Mint and Stamp Factory was founded in 1893 with the merger of two independent organizations: the Mint and the Stamp Factory. Since 1861 both institutions had shared the same building in Plaza de Colón (see post), although they were independent and had separate administrations. Later moved as above.

The numismatic collection starts from its origins, passing through Greece, Rome, Hispania, the Middle Ages, the Catholic Monarchs, the House of Austria and the House of Bourbon. Two rooms with coins from the 19C to the 21C are also included. Also, the museum has rooms dedicated to the medal, graphic arts, sealed paper, lotteries, philately, as well as temporary exhibitions and some examples of minting machinery and verification of authenticity of bills.


The numismatics collection is one of the largest in the Museum. You can explore the history of the currency from its origins (first coinage in electron, from 7C BC), through the Greek and Roman series, which exhibit important specimens such as coins minted in Syracuse, Athens, Aegina, etc … and arrive until the first emissions of the Roman Republic. As for the medieval period, the Museum offers a significant sample of the gold minting of the Suevian and Visigoth kings and a broad representation of Islamic emissions in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as of the Christian kings during the Reconquest. The modern and contemporary currency series range from the Catholic Monarchs to the current euro issues.


The Museum of Money or Museo Casa de la Moneda, also gathers all the issues of Spanish Post stamps printed since its creation in 1850, in addition to the elements used in its manufacture: original drawings, irons, state tests, coats, etc. The Museum also has about 2,000 letters with pre stamps marks from the 18C and 19C, prior to the appearance and use of the postage stamp.


Really a nice place to visit and good for the whole family, we enjoyed very much with the boys. I remember been here with my dear late mom Gladys once, and later came back to show to my dear late wife Martine and the boys as of 2019, Madrid has endless possibilities of wonderful places to see and enjoy!

The official Museo Casa de la Moneda :

The Madrid tourist office on the Museo Casa de la Moneda:

The official Mint Factory of Spain :

There you go folks, another jewel in my dear Madrid and easy to get to from the city center on an area near where I used to lived not far from Retiro park and lately on visits stayed in hotels nearby.  Hope you enjoy this post on the Museo Casa de la Moneda as I.

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

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August 7, 2022

The Cibeles and CentroCentro of Madrid !!

This is Madrid !! The subject today has many changes over the years, and one that I came to know early for not only the post office function but also to make long distance phone calls while in my Madrid of the early 70’s to the USA! The Palacio de Comunicaciones or central post office or the  Palacio de Cibeles well you will get the idea. This is a Madrid landmark and will tell you a bit more on it ,and hope you enjoy it as I!


The Cibeles Palace (also called the Telecommunications Palace) or Palacio de Cibeles or CentroCentro  is a complex consisting of two white-fronted buildings. They stand on one side of the Plaza de Cibeles in the Jerónimos neighborhood , district of Retiro, and occupy around 30,000 square meters of what were the former Buen Retiro gardens (Jardines del Buen Retiro). The building consists of five floors in total. The block in which the palace building is located is limited to the North with Calle de Alcalá (my street !), to the South by Calle Montalbán , to the East by Calle Alfonso XII  and to the West by Paseo del Prado. You get here on metro line 2 Banco de Espana!

A bit of history I like

The building’s first stone was laid in 1907 and it would be officially inaugurated on March 14, 1919, beginning its operation as a modern distribution center for mails, telegraphs and telephones. The one officially called “Cathedral of Communications” is officially inaugurated. The royal couple attends the celebration king  Alfonso XIII and his wife Victoria Eugenia, accompanied by various components of the government.  One of the characteristic elements of the environment was the installation of the Cibeles fountain  in 1794  designed  of Ventura Rodríguez right in front !. The current Plaza de Cibeles was called Plaza de Madrid, which was renamed Plaza de Castelar. The Buen Retiro gardens reached their extension to the Paseo del Prado. The inaugurations of the Jardines del Buen Retiro in 1876 and the Hippodrome de la Castellana two years later caused the traffic to travel to the confluence of the street of or Calle de Alcalá with the Paseo del Prado.

In 2007, it began to house the municipal offices of the Madrid City Council, moving its units from the Casa de la Villa and Casa de Cisneros, both located in the Plaza de la Villa (see post). This reform of the early 21C in the building also included a cultural area called CentroCentro”The main access gives rise to the Hall Principal or main hall, a large space in the heart of the Cibeles building in the form of a lobby. In this Hall Principal  the three communications services were arranged, distributed radially trilobite from the central dome, integrated in the Hall Principal  illuminated by the exterior windows. To the right of the entrance are the postal services, in the telegraph entry and in the left one, the telephone service. All services were in the same space: the Hall Principal. The set is divided into two buildings separated by the Pasaje de Alarcón passage , which is currently covered by glass vaults. The building that overlooks the Plaza de Cibeles is the Post Office, Telegraph and Telephone Central. The other building after the passage of Alarcon is the General Directorate. The mailboxes are arranged in a section located to the right of the Central Post Office, behind a porch. In this building a large mail room aka Sala de Batalla or battle room  with space for 400 postmen was arranged. In the Pasaje de Alarcón there was a distribution truck parking lot. The radial structure of telegraphic communications and its operation during 24 hours allows its use at any time. The telephone service area had twelve telephone booths for public service that allowed sufficient independence and isolation. In the General Directorate building, the administration of Telegraphs by Calle de Alcalá and Correos or post office by the Paseo del Prado is distributed.


The new era of the Palacio de Cibeles as CentroCentro!

The Palacio de Comunicaciones or Communication palace becomes at the beginning of the 21C the new headquarters of the Madrid City Council and, in doing so, changes its name to Palacio de Cibeles. In 2003 it was decided that some functional areas of the building be transformed. This is the case of the sala de batallas or battle room, which is modified as in the Plenary Hall. On November 5, 2007, hosts the headquarters of the Mayor’s Office of Madrid . On November 29, 2011, the inauguration of the Plenary Hall of the building takes place with the presence of King Juan Carlos I and Mayor Alberto Ruiz- Gallardón.



Now it opens the possibility of accessing the central tower of about 70 meters on floor no 8  that is opened to the public , and use it as a mirador or lookout of the city for a small fee.In the courtyard, at both ends, two social areas have been created, dedicated to citizen information and a reading room. There is now an exhibition space called  CentroCentro,  this space is incorporated with a couple of exhibition halls and an auditorium with capacity for a little more than three hundred people. In the central tower there is a huge electric clock face of about three meters in diameter that lights up at night ,and officially replacing the Puerta del Sol clock.


The official CentroCentro cultural center

The Madrid tourist office on CentroCentro

There you go folks, another dandy and by now very much visited by all , CentroCentro is very nice,and the lookout or mirador is a nice alternative at least once to see the city from above its tower at 70 meters or about 231 feet. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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