Architectural Walk - Barrio Salamanca

The Barrio Salamanca has some of Madrid's most beautiful buildings, many from the 19th century. It is interesting to take an architectural walk to see some of them. Here is some background. Jose de Salamanca y Mayol was a businessman and politician who was born in Malaga in 1811 and died in Madrid in 1883. He became the Marques de Salamanca. He studied law in Granada and later went to live in Madrid. He became a deputy and later a senator. He started many business enterprises, such as banks and railways. Queen Isabel II gave him the title of marques for his services to the state. He started the Barrio of Salamanca with new city planning, with wide avenues formed in uniform grids. He built his palace on the Paseo de Recoletos and convinced his rich friends to buy property in the new Barrio of Salamanca. At the end of his life he was unfortunate with his finances and went bankrupt. Today the Barrio de Salamanca is filled with beautiful buildings and expensive stores.

1. Start at Calle Serrano at the Plaza de Colon. Go up the street with ascending building numbers.

2. Turn right when you reach Ortega y Gassett. This street has apartment buildings that are very well cared for because the street has some of the most expensive stores in Madrid.

3. Turn left for a short detour when you reach Calle Velazquez. Go to Velazquez, 79, which has the Italian Embassy. This was the former Palacio de Amboage, built in 1917 by the architect Joaquin Roji Lopez-Calvo for the Marques de Amboage. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Madrid, in the Belle Epoque style.

Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cat...

4. Go back to Ortega y Gassett. Continue to the Plaza Marques de Salamanca. At the corner of Castello there is a beautiful little palace. At the plaza there are two beautiful houses.

5. Return to Calle Velazquez and go all the way to the end of the street to Velazquez, 1. Look at the building at No. 16.

6. At the end of Velazquez, turn right on Alcala. See the Church of San Manuel and San Benito

at Alcala, 83, beside the El Retiro Park.