And we continue collecting some little-known curiosities of Madrid.
- Madrid is the highest capital in Europe. In fact it is located on a large plateau at 650 meters above sea level.
- The narrowest house in Madrid is located at number 61 on Calle Mayor and is barely four meters wide. Curiously, one of the most important authors of Spanish literature lived and died there: Calderón de la Barca.
- The first hotel in Madrid dates from 1610 and was called “La Posada del Peine”. Interestingly, it was created by Juan Posada, a name very suitable for that business.
- The neighborhood of Malasaña is named after the embroiderer Manuela Malasaña, which was executed on May 2, 1808 by the French. As a tribute the neighbors dedicated the name of a street first, and then the entire neighborhood.
- The crocodile of the church of San Ginés. Alonso de Montalbán, “aposentador” of the Reyes Católicos, is said to have been persecuted in America by a huge alligator. To leave unscathed he prayed to the Virgin and they were able to chase him. When he returned to Madrid he ordered to expose the stuffed animal. And so it was until recently because to avoid agglomerations of tourists hid the crocodile in a chapel.
- In the Plaza de las Cortes there is a curious carillon where at 12 o’clock and 8 o’clock there are curious figures that symbolize Goya, the Duchess of Alba, the bullfighter Pedro Romero, King Carlos III and a “Manola”.
- The clock of the Puerta del Sol is not the largest in Madrid, since this honor is held by the Atocha station. In fact, its hands are 5 and 7 meters long.
- The closing of the mouth of the horse of the statue of Felipe III in the Plaza Mayor is not a whim. It is because, when the Second Republic was proclaimed, someone put an explosive in the horse’s mouth and, when it exploded, many small bones appeared. They belonged to sparrows that took refuge in the mouth of the horse and that later they could not leave. That is why, when the statue was rebuilt, the horse was made with its mouth closed to prevent the small winged neighbors of Madrid from dying so cruelly.
And as we always tell you, to get to know Madrid well, it is best to visit its more traditional sites, such as the Elder King of Wines, one of the few taverns in Madrid that are still open.