Madrid keeps many curious things. In this post we collect some of them, that maybe you did not know.
- The origin of the name “Madrid” comes from the Arabic Mayrit and means something like “mother brook”. Really, it refers to the abundance of water channels in the region.
- The walls of the Tirso de Molina “metro” station keep the remains of monks who lived in the Convent of La Merced. When it disappeared the ground was leveled, but below it was the cemetery that belonged to that convent. That is why, when the subway works were carried out, many skeletons appeared. Finally it was decided that they would stay behind the walls of the station.
- The statue of the Fallen Angel of the Buen Retiro Park is one of the few existing dedicated to Lucifer. It is the work of Ricardo Bellver and caused great controversy in his time. But there is a curious detail that we do not know if it is casual, and that it is erected exactly 666 meters above sea level.
- The statue of Felipe IV, located in the center of the Plaza de Oriente, next to our Anciano Rey, is the first one called “in corvette”, that is, with its front legs raised, which was due to the apparent technical complexity of this type of sculpture. Its author was the Italian Pietro Tacca and it is said that to carry it out he asked for advice from Galileo Galilei. This, apparently gave him an easy solution: make solid the back of the horse and hollow the front.
- Gran Vía is one of the most emblematic streets of Madrid. It was inaugurated in 1914 and to carry out its construction, more than 300 houses and 50 streets had to be demolished. However, the street is not straight, since the churches that were on its layout could not be demolished.
- La Cibeles, besides being one of the symbols of Madrid, protects the vault of the Bank of Spain which is located 35 meters below. Just below the Cibeles there is an underground river called the Pascualas. So, to avoid temptation, someone thought of designing a mechanism that would cause river water to flood the chamber in just a few seconds.
- Our neighboring Royal Palace covers an area of 135,000 square meters and is the largest in all of Western Europe. In fact, it’s twice as big as Buckingham’s.
- In the 18th century, the gardeners of the Retiro Park said that the beauty of the place was due to a goblin that changed the flowers every day. That’s why a legend became popular that whoever got to see the goblin would be lucky in love. This is due to the presence of a funny statue of a goblin that was erected in 1985 in the former “Casa de Fieras” del Retiro.
- The Madrid metro has a ghost station: Chamberí. It is on line 1 and was opened to the public in 1919. As there were more travelers it was necessary to expand the stations, but the problem was that the Chamberí station, because it was curved and very close to two other stations, could not be enlarged. That’s why it was closed in the 60’s of the last century. For years many travelers struggled to try to see the old station in the shadows when the train passed by. However, it is no longer necessary because in 2008 it was decided to turn it into a curious museum.
Surely you are willing to see for yourself some of the things we have told you. Spring is the ideal time to do it. And if you already finish your visit having a wine in El Anciano Rey… the best.