Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pasaje del Comercio-Pasaje Murga (arcades)

Between Montera and Tres Cruces Street you can find the best preserved nineteenth-century shopping arcade of Madrid. Built in 1845, is the last testimony in Madrid of the passages in the nineteenth century that became so popular throughout european cities such as Paris, London and Brussels.In Madrid this type of construction had a good development, specially around the “Puerta del Sol”, where we could find in the past, 6 of this arcades and some other projects that were never implemented.

Montera Street Entrance

The “Pasaje del Comercio” was built by Mateo Murga iniciative who was the terrains owner and member of a Basque traders and financial family settled in Madrid, who took part in the reform of the area and in the construction of some sites in Gran Via Street.

It consists of two separate sections covered by an open courtyard with commercial areas where it used to be shops and a popular cafe.
Overall the passage is very aligned with the Parisians ones, for example, the Galerie Vivienne

 The architect Juan Esteban Puerta was in charge of the project that had to replace to the ancient passageway that connected Montera and Tres Cruces through the courtyards of the houses that were there.
This area was becoming a major center of commerce and fashion, to the point that Romans Mesonero compared these streets with Vivienne and Richellieu of Paris, as stated "the population of these streets is exotic (specially in the Montera) and mainly consisted of French”Maybe the Parisian look of the passage is not by chance.

The area was booming construction trade passages, as it says in Romans Mesonero 1861 and the matter of the missing sleepers blacks "will soon become a continuation of the new Tetuan or in an elegant gallery crystals ".

The decoration is attracting for its arches, flat pilasters, columns and vegetables capitals.

Part of the original appearance was lost when the number of floors was increased but overall maintains its original appearance.

The passage communicates the number 33 of the Montera street with the number 4 of Tres Cruces

Tres Cruces Street Facade

Detail of Calle Tres Cruces Door. 1845

The passages start to decline years later, due to the change in consumers and the development of department stores.In almost every city went into oblivion and neglect.Outside Spain, in recent years seem to emerge out of its lethargy and, in part thanks to tourism, but without losing their looks decadent

The Pasaje del Comercio continues oblivion, with a few season, telephone and gold shops. Maybe one day it will wake up.

Detail of Galerie Vivienne. Paris

 For more information:
-"Los pasajes comerciales de Madrid". Carmen del Moral Ruiz ediciones La Libreria
-Guia Arquitectura de Madrid. Tomo I. Coam.
-"El antiguo Madrid". Mesonero Romanos.1861

text: Álvaro Rey
photos: Manuel Rey/Álvaro Rey

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