Paseo de Recoletos is a central boulevard that climbs slightly from Plaza de Cibeles to Plaza de Colón, one of the city’s main roads. A beautiful landscaped promenade with large trees that has retained its original layout from 1840 and features several architectural landmarks along a route that contains sculptures and unique places.
It owes its name to a convent for friars of the Order of Recollects, which stood from the sixteenth century on the site on which the National Library and the Archaeological Museum were later built, two of its noteworthy enclaves. As we stroll along the promenade, we find 19th-century palaces such as the Casa de América or the Palace of the Marquis of Salamanca (current headquarters of the BBVA Foundation). Other contemporary institutions such as the Mapfre Foundation also own several historical buildings here, such as the Palace of Elduayen and the Palace of Medina de las Torres (which houses the Foundation’s Recoletos Hall).
Along the way, you can stroll through well-kept gardens where you will find a few historic cafés such as Café Gijón (inaugurated in 1888) or terraces such as that of Café del Espejo. The central avenue of Paseo de Recoletos features fountains and decorative statues, such as the one dedicated to Ramón María del Valle-Inclán. Along this section of the road, several book and craft fairs are set up during the year.
As we approach the Plaza de Colón we find the Wax Museum and the Casino Gran Madrid where a spectacular giant frog has been installed. On the other sidewalk stands the majestic building of the Palace of the National Library and National Museums which houses the National Library and Archaeological Museum. A neoclassical building with a rectangular floor plan completed in 1892 that is of particular note for its broad outdoor staircase and its main façade, with a Corinthian-style portico with a rectangular pediment topped by sculptures representing the Triumph of Letters, Sciences and Arts.
Fill out and process the form for an Announced action (in spanish only) or a Permit for occupation of the public thoroughfare (in spanish only). For more information on these permits and how to process them, please consult the webpage “How to film in Madrid?”.
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