Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vinos y Cervezas Hernani 20 "El sordo"-Wine & Beer 20 Hernani ("The Deaf")

In 20 Hernani Street within the traditional neighborhood of Cuatro Caminos we can find a typical tavern popularly known as "The Deaf" or Vinos Paco..
In the entrance just can be seen "Wine & beer" and the number "20" of the street. It is known by neighbors as "The Deaf" because of father of the actual bartender who is carrying on with the business.Typical Tavern that remains as it was losts of years ago.

Visiting that tavern is an incredible experience from "Old Madrid" and the environment and people from Cuatro Caminos in that time.
The jars, the taps, the color of the walls and ceilings, tiles, and even toilets remain with no change.

The building in which it is located is interesting in itself in Hernani Street corner to Isturiz being a typical building of the neighborhood from past times. It is one of the first houses builded in Cuatro Caminos, with brick exterior and interior structure of stairs, hallway or patio, with interesting cornices and baseboards.
The building was constructed between 1880 and 1900.

This cultural area, even today, is plenty of locals and typically traditional buildings (less and less every day) that are worth to be known and preserved.

For more information about the architecture of the area:
"Architecture of Madrid". Volume 2. "Ensanches". 'COAM Foundation (school Arquitectos de Madrid). 2003.
The data sheet is available on the College website:

 Pictures & Text: Álvaro Rey

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Until recently, in Plaza de Tribunal (Tribunal square) we could see the entrance to an old public toilets, very common in the early twentieth century.

These public toilets consisted in an entry of a wrought-iron railings and a original public lamp.

It was located near the gate (recent work) that separated the Fama fountain (by Pedro de Ribera) from the pavement of the square.

The sidewalk was big enough,  in fact it was used as a regular meeting place.

It was a little reminder of other times, in which the design and implementation of street furniture were carefully treated.

Why this happens? Instead of this public toilets now there is nothing, a few tiles that neither widen the sidewalk. Another example of  how functionality is misunderstood and how in the city the past is easily forgotten and destroyed, making cities poorer.
Although less charming, there are still a few of these public toilets. In the Parque del Retiro (Retiro park) we still can admire one of this toilets (still running ) and in the Plaza de la Cebada (Cebada square) of which we will write more about it in future posts.

In the case of Plaza de Tribunal (Tribunal Square), we just only have a memory and some old pictures.


At number 12 of Ibiza street survives one of the few traditional wineries (Bodega) that nowadays are preserved.

In this type of wineries (Bodegas), very popular until the 80s of XX century, were sold wine directly from barrels (called "litreo") as well as diferent sort of liquors and wines (specially from La Mancha Region). Also home deliveries were made.


In all the tipical districts of Madrid (barrios castizos) used to be one or two of this "Bodegas", their owners or dependents were usually from regions near Madrid. Some of them were small companies with a few branches f.e. La Ardosa, La Cubas, El Maño ...

Bodega Ibiza preserves its local plenty of this tradition, is a friendly environment and highly customer oriented service. As you can see in the photo above, still keeps the jars, the sink with the little fountain for wash the bottles and barrels that after were filled in with wine..

We recommend pop in in this place, buy a drink, and speak with his friendly owner. It seems that his sons are willing to continue the tradition, so we can luckily continue enjoying this old "bodega" (winery)

Photos and text:Álvaro Rey


 CHAMBERI STATION, is a singular space, is the only completely original station of Metro de Madrid (Underground). Now has been converted in part of the museum called "Anden 0" (the other place of the museum: Nave de Motores de Pacifico-Pacifico engineering Place). The station is not in used.

The station maintains the design and furniture as the day it was closed (even used tickets and other objects of the time), so it could be seen as a time machine. Inaugurated in 1919, was closed in 1966. In the 60s, because the passenger traffic was increased, Metro decide introduce new higher capacity trains of six cars. They decided the closure of the station (in curve) because its location was proximity to Bilbao Station and Iglesia station.

 The lobby retains all original features: The main ticket office, the booster, the revision, the input control traveler, nestled steps and even the staff room

"Chamberi" serviced the first Metro line (linea 1). Its design, by architect Antonio Palacios, with colorists panels at lobbies, corridors and platforms, using ceramic panels and white and cobalt blue

The platforms, decorated with tiles, brings us back to another times with ceramic advertisements were below of paper advertisements used in the lasts years that the station was used.

Route information was lettered by hand on the wall. This allowed change information when expanding a station

Currently the trains do not stop at the station, but the trains cross it. Travelers line 1 can see it from the train.

The station was restored and recovered in 2006, according to the project of the architects Pau Soler and Miguel Rodriguez, performing full interior restoration and recovery of the original furniture and platforms, and the creation of a new access (modern design) because the original had disappeared

For more information:
Catalogo de la exposición del Circulo de Bellas Artes: "Antonio Palacios: constructor de Madrid"
Text:Álvaro Rey
Photos: Manuel Rey/Álvaro Rey


1952 - 1955 Architects: Manuel Muñoz Monasterio / Manuel Manzano Monis Manzebo

The passage mutuality is a singular space, a rare jewel out of his time, in addition to being endangered.
This is a beautiful shopping arcade built out of time. The "arcades" born in France in the eighteenth century and were building during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Madrid had several of those, of which very few remain .
This place born  in an unusual time (50´s) and their forms are very different from the usual.It was built by the Montepio Nacional de Previsión Social de los Productores de la Dependencia Mercantil (an insurance company) . It was called: ”Pasaje Mutualidad"  ("Mutualidad Arcade”).It is a most advanced aesthetic Spanish architecture of the 50s. It is divided into a large shopping area on the ground floor and offices on the rest, with a central square with plant cover V.


It seems the new materials available at the time, as cover glass block and tile reliefs on black stone.
The set of curves in the walls, as the great central panel in contrast to rectilinear geometries expressionist elements create an original space and disconcerting, with the addition of the mysterious atmosphere.

The vanguard showcases contrast with the classic streetlights. Modern materials with expressionistic curves, sometimes reminding the '20s and art deco.

 The gallery has two entrances, in Fuencarral street, and othe in Corredera alta de San Pablo street, each with a different treatment. Fuencarral facade has two different volumes (with different materials).Vertical tower with balconies and a horizontal grid of stone.

Corredera Alta de san Pablo street facade
Fuencarral street facade
This is a space with disappearing risk.Only open thanks when "Relojeria Monge" is open, who clean and kept in good condition the gallery. When is open, the "Mutualidad Arcade is a passage between the two streets.


We hope this unique space survive

For more information:

-Arquitectura de Madrid. Tomo 2 .Casco histórico. Edit: fundación COAM. (2003)

Los pasajes comerciales de Madrid (2011).Carmen del Moral Ruiz, Edit:  

 text: Álvaro Rey
Photos: Manuel y Álvaro Rey