Spanish version

Banco de España

Banco de EspañaIn the Plaza de la Cibeles, in front of the Palacio de Buenavista, on the opposite side of the Calle de Alcala, is the Banco de España - Bank of Spain.

The Bank of Spain has its origin in the Banco de San Carlos, founded by King Carlos III in 1782. This was a private bank and it started issuing the first bank notes. They were called cedulas and could be exchanged for coins immediately. In general people did not like them, they preferred the coins they had always known.
In the first years of the XIX century the bank had many economic problems until it got a fund of money. With this money the shareholders decided to found a new enterprise called Banco de San Fernando. This bank had the monopoly to issue bank notes.

Bank of Spain

But after some years two other banks also got permssion to issue notes. One of them was  the Banco de Isabel II in Madrid. Finally both banks merged and became the Banco Español de San Fernando.
In 1856 it became the Banco de España. It had, again, the monopoly to issue bank notes. Many banks in other cities became part of the Bank of Spain as branch offices.
Little by little the bank lost part of its privileges and it was nationalized in 1962.
The building was started in 1884, finished in 1891 and enlarged several times. It had to reflect the power and assure the long-lasting existence of the institution.
It was built during the reign of Alfonso XII.
To build it several buildings had to be demolished. In 1927 the facade of the Calle de Alcala was extended, the most recent remodelling was finished in 2006, when the whole block was included in the building. This last remodelling was made by Rafael Moneo.
Now it has a surface area of 4726 m2 with 4 floors below ground, the main floor and four more above ground level.
On the main floor are the most important offices.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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