Capital's Lifeline

Extending from the center to the North and West of the city this section contains some of the "newer" areas of Madrid.  Buildings in this area date back to the mid-18th century. 

Starting from the top left, just showing is the Nuevos Ministerios.  This is a large complex of Government buildings.   Construction begin in the 1930's.  At the southern end is a statue of Franco on a horse.  At the northern end is the metro and train station which is the link line to the airport.  Inside the complex is a garden-like area that is open to the public and  frequented by workers during their lunch time.

Continuing clockwise is the Museo de Cincias Naturales (Museum of Natural Sciences) (#7).  This museum contains giant skeleton and dinosaur replicas.  In the front of the museum stands a statue of Pablo Iglesias, the father of Spanish socialism.

In front of that is the Monumento de la Constitutión.  This statue was constructed in the 1980's and is a white cube.  A hundred years ago this area was the site of the Madrid race track.  It is still occasionally refered to as "el hipódromo" (the racetrack).

Continuing down Paseo de la Castellana we encounter the Plaza del Doctor Marañon.   Doctor Gregorio Marañon was instrumental in helping form the Spanish Republic in 1931.

Continuing down the Paseo de la Castellana we enter see the Glorieta de Emilio Castelar. Glorieta is a traffic circle.  Emilio Castelar y Ripoll (1832 - 1899) was a writer who wrote extensively about founding a Spanish Republic. 

If we were to turn down the Paseo General Martíinez Campo we would could enter the Museo Sorolla (#5).  This is the former house and studio of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863 - 1923), an important Spanish realist painter.  He even helped design the house which was built in 1910.  It contains many of his works. The street is named after General Arsenio Martinez de Campos (1831 -1899).  In addition to being soldier he also briefly served as Premier.

If instead we were to proceed right from the Gloriete de Emilio Castelar and head slightly north we could visit Museo Lázaro Galdiano (#6). Lázaro Galdiano (1862 - 1947) was a writer and publisher and this is his private collection.  It contains not only 16th & 17th century paintings but also very early bronzes and jewellery.

Heading down the Calle de Seranno at the next major intersection on our right is Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre (Museum of Open Air Sculpture) (#4) and on the left El Museo Pedagógico de Arte Infantil (Children's Museum).

Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre displays huge abstract works in stone and metal by modern artist such as Joan Miró.

If at this point we were to head west down the Paseo Eduardo Dato we would encounter the Glorieta de Ruben Dario. Ruben Dario (1867 - 1916).  He was a poet from Nicaragua.  His poem Azul (Blue) established him as one of the founders of moderismo movement in Spanish literature. Eduardo Dato y Iradier (1852 - 1921) was a famous Spanish politician who at one time was also Mayor of Madrid.  He was assassinated March 8, 1921.

Continuing instead south down the Paseo de Castellano we would come to Calle de Goya.   Turning west we would enter the Plaza de Colón (#3).  Here is a monument to Christopher Columbus.

Just to the east is the Jardines del Descumbimiento (Discovery Gardens).  These are an extension to Plaza Colón with massive stone blocks which are monuments to the discovery of America.

Continuing south down Paseo de Recoletos on the right is the Museo de Cera and on the left is the Biblioteca Nacional which shares a building with the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.

The Museo de Cera (Museum of Wax) contains wax figures from Spanish history and also contemporary celebrities.

The Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) was built in 1892 to mark the 400 year anniversary of the founding of America. 

The Museo Arqueológical Nacional (National Archeological Museum) (#2) was founded in1867 by Queen Isabel II.  Since 1895 it has shared the same building  as the Biblioteca Nacional.  Its 40 gallaries contain examples from Prehistoric times to 19th century artwork.

The Paseo de Recoletes, like Paseo de la Castellana the street it connects to at the Plaza de Colón was built by Carlos III in the 18th century. At night time it is a very popular place where traffic jams at 4 a.m. are not uncommon. On Christmas day there is an Arts & Crafts fair held here. In April a very large antique book fair is held here. The final sprint of the Vuelta de España (the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France) is held here. Along it streets are also wonderful statutes.

Some of the streets (located north to south):
Some of the streets (located north to south):
Calle de Pedro de Valdivia - Pedro de Valdivia (1497 - 1553) was a solider.   He served with Francisco Pizzaro in Peru and later founded the city of Santiago in present day Chile.
Calle de José Abascal - José Fernado de Abascal (1743 - 1827) was the Spanish Viceroy of Peru (1806 - 1816).
He skillfully defused the revolt against Spanish colonial rule. 
Calle de María de Molina - María de Molina (? - 1321) was queen of Castille and regent (1295 - 1301) for her son, Fernarnd IV.  She later became guardian to her grandson Alfonso XI.
Calle de Garcia de Paredes - Garcia de Paredes was a new world explorer in Venezula.  He was known as the "Hercules of Spain" and carried a huge sword.  The type of sword he carried is now named after him.  The Panamian embassy is located on this street.
Calle de López de Hoyos - Maybe named after Juan López de Hoyos.  He was priest who ran a school.  His most famous pupil was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
Calle Fortuny - Maybe named after Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871 - 1949), Spanish photographer and designer. Or maybe named after Mariano Fortuny (1838 - 1873) who was a Spanish painter.
Calle de Zurbarán - Francisco de Zurbarán (1598 - 1664) was a Spanish baroque painter.
Calle Salustiano Olozaga - Salustiano Olozago (1805 - 1873), was a former Governor of Madrid, helped write the Constitution of 1837, Premier of Spain and finished his career as Ambassador to France.  Interestingly the current French Embassy is located on this street.

For more information on the locations shown on the map, but not discussed above see the following links:
Palacio de Buenavista - Paseo de Prado
Palacio de Linares - Paseo de Prado
Palacio del Marqués de Salamanca - Salamanca
Puerta de Alcalá - Parque Retiro

Note anything that prints out looking like this text indicates a hypertext link available on the page with the map.  You will want to make sure you visit these links to learn more.

  Return to the Capital's Lifeline Page