Spanish version

Calle Mayor

Calle Mayor

From the Puerta del Sol we continue our way along the Calle Mayor.

The Calle Mayor was the most important street in Madrid during the time of the Habsburg´s Monarchy.

It goes from the Puerta del Sol to the Cuesta de la Vega and although its route has not changed, its name has.

In its beginnings only the first part of the street was called Calle Mayor, the second part was called Puerta de Guadalajara, the next Calle Platerias, as the silversmiths worked here and the last Calle de la Almudena.Statue dedicated to Alvaro de Baztan

In the Calle Mayor many craftsmen established their shops, one could find many silversmiths, embroideries and shoemakers.

Very near to the Puerta del Sol, on the right, the first place worth visiting is the confectioner´s El Riojano. Its products are  made daily and they have a beautiful tea-room in the back.

On the left side we will see the Casa de la Villa (Old Town Hall) located looking on to a square where we find a statue dedicated to Alvaro de Baztan, heroe of the Lepanto Battle, by Mariano Benllure, cast in the XIX century. This square is known as Plaza de la Villa.

On the right side of the Calle Mayor is the Instituto de Cultura Italiano located in the beautiful Abrantes Palace.Abrantes Palace

This palace was built in the XVII century.

Don Juan de Valencia, a nobleman, had bought five adjoining houses to build the palace. The palace was bought by different noblemen. These used to have monetary problems so in the end the building was divided into smaller houses and even used to house the servants.

In 1842 the Duke of Abrantes bought the building and restored it. As his son had taken part in activities against Queen Isabel II, the Duke was more or less obliged to sell the palace in order to avoid reprisals.Sculpture dedicated to the victims of the attack

It was bought by the progressive senator Manuel Maria de Santa Ana who established there the head office of the newspaper La Correspondencia de España.

Later on the new owner of the newspaper sold the building to the Italian Government who established  its embassy there. The interior was restructured and restored and the façade embellished.
During the Spanish Civil War the building was occupied by the Italian brigades and seriously damaged.

In 1939 the embassy was moved to another building and the Italian Culture Institute housed in it.

In front of the Italian Culture Institute we can see a monument dedicated to the victims of the attack which Alfonso XIII and his wife, Maria Eugenia of Battenberg, suffered when returning from their wedding on May 31, 1906.

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