The Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!!

Well here we go again, I thought have told you about this wonderful promenade street of my dear Madrid , but after looking around my blog realised only have mentioned it briefly in previous posts. Therefore, it really needs a post of its own for one of the dandies streets in my Madrid which I have walked and driven zillions of times. Let me tell you some about the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Paseo de la Castellana , commonly known as La Castellana, is one of the longest and widest avenues of Madrid with 6 km of palaces and towers. It is named after an old Castellana fountain that used to exist in Plaza de Castilla from a stream starting in the Plaza Gregorio Marañon. It starts at Plaza de Colón, passes through the Nuevos Ministerios, Plaza de Lima, Plaza de Cuzco, Plaza de Castilla, and ends near the Nudo Norte (North Junction), connecting with the M-30 and the road to Colmenar Viejo. The Paseo de la Castellana is the continuation of Paseo de Recoletos and Paseo del Prado, and these three avenues vertebrate the north-south axis of the city. Here you have the supreme Estadio Santiago Bernabeu,home of the best of all times, Real Madrid CF! It entered service at the beginning of the 20C, and by early 21C consisted of 6 central lanes or main road, and 4 lateral service roads, Its extension to the north to Fuencarral is planned, within the urban project known as “Madrid Nuevo Norte”.

A bit of the long history of Paseo de la Castellana, short version :

In 1786 the Paseo de la Castellana was conditioned, at the end of which there was a basin that collected the waters of the Castellana Fountain. In 1807 the stream was canalized and work began on the future Paseo. A few years later in 1830 urbanization of the area began and the project ended in 1834. Subsequently, the nine rows of trees that originally ran along the Paseo were planted. The Paseo de la Castellana originates from the road that, in a south-north direction, flanked the city of Madrid during the 17C and 18C by the Paseo del Prado and Recoletos promenades. The extension to the north of this Prado-Recoletos axis was already considered during the regency of María Cristina de Borbón, widow of King Ferdinand VII, and mother of the one who later acceded to the throne under the name of Isabel II. At first, the promenade was not officially called that, but Paseo de las Delicias de la Princesa, in honor of the future Queen Isabel II, to distinguish it from the Paseo de las Delicias del Río (now Paseo de las Delicias), and it was completed in put up in 1834. The nobility that had historically settled in the center of the city, during the 19C and the first years of the 20C, gradually settled in the peripheral areas of the city. This is the reason why a good number of palaces were built in the Castellana. Most of them were demolished until the 1970’s. During the Spanish civil war, Paseo de la Castellana, together with Paseo del Prado and Paseo Recoletos, (see posts) received the name of Avenida de la Unión Proletaria (Proletarian union avenue) . After the war ended, the promenade underwent a new name change, becoming known as Avenida del Generalísimo (the General’s avenue for Franco) ,In 1949, Paseo de la Castellana recovered its name, but only in the section that existed before the war. The prolongation of the promenade, from its junction with Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde street, kept the name of Avenida del Generalísimo. It was not until 1980 that the Avenida del Generalísimo disappeared, once again being part of Paseo de la Castellana. After starting in the Plaza de Colón, (see post) the promenade has a large number of public buildings on both sides, especially ministries and embassies of different countries. They are buildings that date from the end of the 19C to the middle of the 20C. In this first section, which is winding and narrower than the subsequent ones, are the Plazas Emilio Castelar and Doctor Gregorio Marañón squares. After passing the Plaza Gregorio Marañón square, there is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences and the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers on the even sidewalk, and after the next square, Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, are the Nuevos Ministerios, (see post) a complex that groups several Public Buildings.

What is there is very nice, my Paseo de la Castellana !!

We start the paseo or promenade tour at Plaza de Colón (see post) which at number 1, we have the famous Torres de Colón. With its green dome and its gadget on the roof in the form of an Art Deco socket, they were unmistakable. At number 3 of the promenade is the Palace of the Marqués de Villamejor, built in 1893, where the mother of king Juan Carlos I was born. Today it is the headquarters of the Secretary of State for Public Administrations. On the opposite sidewalk, at number 2, the Hard Rock Café in Madrid has closed its doors, and a little further on is the German Evangelical Church or Church of Peace, a little-known temple slightly hidden behind walls and branches. The trees in the garden. at number 5 is the Alcalá Galiano palace, built in 1878, headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior. And at number 17, in front of the Hotel Villamagna, we have the palace of the Marquises of Fontalba and Cubas. Built in 1912, it won an award from the City Council for the most outstanding buildings. It currently houses the State Attorney General’s Office. A small but attractive mansion that belonged to the Marquis of Eliseda, at number 27 is the current headquarters of the Youth Institute, it is said that the Spanish Falange was founded here in 1933. At number 34 stands the ABC Serrano shopping center, in a Neo-Mudejar style building built in 1926. Behind it, the center has an exit on Calle Serrano in the Neoplateresque-style building from 1899. The complex was the headquarters of the ABC newspaper since its inception until 1989. Opposite the previous one is the Palacio de Bermejillo, on the Puente Eduardo Dato bridge that crosses the Castellana. Built in 1916, this palace has had various uses throughout its history and today is the headquarters of the Ombudsman. Under the Eduardo Dato bridge, the Museo Arte Público de Madrid or the Madrid Public Art Museum opens. Previously it was called the Castellana Open Air Sculpture Museum, because, indeed, it is outdoors. Here walkers can admire its 17 sculptures by contemporary artists such as Chillida, Miró, Sempere, Subirachs or Torner. Being open, you do not have to pay any entry or submit to any schedule.

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The palace of Eduardo Adcoh is the striking building at number 37 built in 1906. The privileged building currently houses the Rafael del Pino Foundation. The next thing the walker comes to is the Glorieta de Emilio Castelar roundabout, where the monument to the politician and writer who was president of the First Spanish Republic between 1873 and 1874 stands.If from this roundabout we take the left , we will arrive in a minute at the Sorolla Museum. Returning to Paseo de la Castellana, we immediately arrive at Plaza del Doctor Marañón, whose center is presided over by an equestrian statue of the Marquis del Duero. Two of the most prestigious hotels in the capital have their place in this same square. These are the Intercontinental (see post Istayed!) and the Miguel Angel. The next square we find is that of Plaza San Juan de la Cruz, with a large fountain in the middle ordering traffic. Next to the fountain rests the sculpture La Mano, by Fernando Botero, owned by the Fundación Telefónica, which donates it to the City Council. And to the right, on a rise in the land, is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales or museum of natural sciences, which occupies the Palace of Arts and Industry from the late 19C. In the garden between Paseo de la Castellana and the museum is the monument to Isabel la Católica. The sculptural ensemble, from 1883, is surrounded by a small pond that represents the queen on a horse accompanied by a military man and a religious man. In the same garden we see the monument to the Constitution of 1978. It is a marble cube with stairs on all four sides. If we continue along the left sidewalk we come across the monument to Indalecio Prieto, Minister of the Republic during the Spanish Civil War . The sculpture is sheltered in the wall of the Nuevos Ministerios, a project promoted by Prieto himself in 1933. Completed in 1942, it currently houses the Ministries of Transport and Labor. A little further on, on the same sidewalk as the odd numbers, is AZCA, a large commercial and office block (see post) . Opened in the 1960s, it houses the well-known Torre Picasso and Torre Europa. Here is also the Titania Tower, which was built on the ruins of the burned Windsor building. In the same space we have the Castellana 81 building (BBVA bank headquarters), the Mahou Tower, one of the largest branches of El Corte Inglés, the Moda Shopping mall, (see post) , and a good handful of restaurants and other establishments , When we cross Avenida del General Perón is the Palace of Congresses (see post). Opened in 1970, its façade displays a large mural designed by Joan Miró. In the square that forms at its entrance, if you look closely, you can see a sculpture of Ghandi. Opposite the palace, crossing the Paseo de la Castellana, stands the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, of Real Madrid ; yes simply the best !!! (see posts).

madrid Paseo de la Castellana el corte ingles by Nuevos ministerios aug16

If we continue going up the Paseo de la Castellana, we will arrive at Plaza de Cuzco, where the Ministry of Industry is located. At number 200, the Castellana 200 Shopping Center , a modern complex. And in the next block we have the Arte Canal Exhibition Center, where some of the most outstanding exhibitions in Madrid are programmed. We are already in Plaza de Castilla, in the highest part of Paseo de la Castellana. Opposite the warehouse rise the unaesthetic buildings of the Courts, which appear so often on the news. On the south side of the Plaza de Castilla is the monument to Calvo Sotelo, from 1960, dedicated to the politician who was assassinated shortly before the start of the Spanish Civil War. In the middle of the square stands the Column of Calatrava, a golden cylinder 93 meters high. Completed in 2009, it has also been called Obelisk de la Caja and Obelisk de Calatrava, after the architect who designed it. On the north side of the square are the Kio Towers, those two leaning skyscrapers that we have been seeing for a while as we go up the Paseo de la Castellana. The official name of the pair of towers is Puerta de Europa and its symmetrical buildings measure 114 meters. The most curious fact is that they present an inclination of 15 degrees with respect to the vertical. From Plaza de Castilla you can see the tallest skyscrapers in Spain, which are located at the end of the Castellana. The complex is called the Cuatro Torres Business Area and it forms a business park built on the land of the former Real Madrid Sports City. The two tallest towers, about 250 meters high, are the so-called Torre Cepsa (45 floors) and the Torre de Cristal (52 floors). The others are Torre PWC (58 floors) and Torre Espacio (57 floors), with a height of about 230 meters. Next to it, the Caleido Tower, known as the Fifth Tower, open in 2021 by the king 180 meters and 35 floors. And here, at the La Paz hospital, which is next to the skyscrapers, Paseo de la Castellana ends.

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In its northern section, between the end and the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, the avenue is covered by line 10 of the Madrid Metro, with stops at Begoña (Line 10), Plaza de Castilla (Line 1, Line 10, and Line 9 ), Cuzco (Line 10), Santiago Bernabéu Station (Line 10), Nuevos Ministerios (Line 10, Line 6 and Line 8) and Gregorio Marañón (Line 10 and Line 7). From the Plaza del Doctor Marañón to Colón, there is no Metro line that runs along the axis, but it is crossed by lines 5 at the Rubén Darío station and 4 at the Colón station. The main bus lines of the axis are 27 (wonderful ride) , which runs along the axis from Plaza de Castilla to Colón, and 147, which runs from Plaza del Doctor Marañón to the height of Hospital La Paz. Other important lines are the 14 (a good one too) that runs along the promenade between Nuevos Ministerios and Colón, the 40 that uses the avenue between the Cuzco square and the Doctor Marañón square, the 45 that has stops between the San Juan de la Cruz square and the de Colón, and the 150 that provides service from the Plaza de Lima to Colón, On the train side you have the from Nuevos Ministerios with a stop for lines C-2, C-3, C-4, C-7, C-8 and C-10 of Cercanías Madrid.

The Madrid tourist office on the Castellana district in Madrid: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-neighbourhoods/castellana

The official Madrid Nuevo Norte project : https://creamadridnuevonorte.com/en/home-en/

The Comunidad de Madrid regional tourist office on walks of Madridhttps://www.comunidad.madrid/en/cultura/organiza-tu-visita/paseo-calles-madrid

There you go folks, feel better now, this is one of the dandiest street in my dear Madrid. Often overlook by visitors going to the tourist Centro/center but worth every meter/foot of it. Hope you enjoy the post on the Paseo de la Castellana of Madrid as I

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

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