Gran Vía, Madrid
The Gran Vía, which runs from the Calle de Alcalá to the Plaza de España, reflects the very essence of modern Madrid. With its office blocks, its banks and department stores, its cafes and cinemas, its Metro stations and underground garages, it is the city's display window, its meeting-place and promenade, the center of commercial life and a major traffic artery.
Gran Via Map
Transit: Metro: Jose Antonio, Callao, Plaza de Espana; Bus: 1, 2, 46, 74, 146, 149, N8, N9.
Gran Vía American Section
Past the Capitol begins the third section of the Gran Vía, offering an impressive vista of the Plaza de España and the high-rise Torre de Madrid. This last section, the most American in aspect, breathes the very spirit of the architectural avant- garde of the 1930s. The enthusiasm felt by Spanish architects of that period for the modern style then in vogue in the United States is displayed in such buildings as the Rialto cinema, modeled on the Roxy and Paramount in New York; the old Banco Hispano de la Edificación (No. 60), topped by a huge statue of Victorio Macho; the building at the corner of Calle San Bernardo; and the Coliseum with its rationalistic facade.
Oratory of the Knight of Grace
The Chapel of the Caballero de Gracia is one of the surprises that lie in wait for the visitor to Madrid's principal shopping street, the Gran Vià.Amid the high-rise blocks, the cinemas, the department stores and the rush of traffic he will suddenly come upon this little Neo-Classical chapel situated in a quiet side street.The oratory was designed by Juan de Villanueva, the architect of the Prado, the Botanic Gardens and the Academy of History, here following the Italian masters whose work he had admired during his travels. The architecture, notable for its dramatic force, shows the particular influence of Andea Palladio, the leading Italian architect of the 16th C.
Palace of the Press
The Plaza del Callao is dominated by the massive facade of the Palacio de la Prensa (1924) and the Capitol, the most stylish building in the Gran Vía, built in 1931 by Fernández Shaw and Muguruza.
Palacio de la Música
Farther west from the Sepu department store, on the opposite side of the street, are the Palacio de la Música, Madrid's second largest concert hall and the Avenida cinema.
The Telefónica, which was completed in 1929, has for many years Madrid's tallest and best-known building. Designed by Ignacio de Cárdenas, it is 81m (265ft) high, with 14 stories, and occupies an area of 1,600sq.m (17,000sq.ft).
Map of Madrid Attractions
More Madrid Attractions