The statue of the Fallen Angel at Retiro Park

Come and see, the most unusual Madrid arrives by Metro!

Madrid is full of surprising places and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by the most adventurous minds. Today we propose a your to discover these small wonders which, of course, you can travel to by Metro. Open your eyes to the most unusual Madrid...

18/11/22

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, Madrid is like a box of chocolates in which you know that all of them, without exception, are delicious. And there are truly unusual 'chocolates', special places that sometimes go unnoticed, but which are of great interest because of their surprising and in some cases exceptional character.

They say that we have everything in Madrid, don't they? So much so that we even have an entrance to the Umbra-sphere. And what is the Umbra-sphere, you may ask? Well... Listen up, because you're not expecting this! The Umbra-sphere is a fictional hidden place where darkness reigns, with a direct access door in Madrid, at the convergence of Calle Tudescos and Plaza de la Luna; a door that 'directly' connects our planet with a parallel universe full of creatures that do not conform to known physical laws. Astonishing, disconcerting...?

If you are interested in this history, a visit to the popular 'Plaza de la Luna' –which is actually called Plaza de Santa María Soledad Torres Acosta– (Callao station, L3) is a must. There you will see a mysterious plaque that will give you some clues about this supernatural door and the universe it unveils.

Mystery plaque

We continue our journey to the Pantheon of Illustrious Men, also known as the Pantheon of Spain, a cemetery as beautiful as it is unknown, where we can contemplate the funerary monuments of some of the most important Spanish politicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout its history, celebrities such as Eduardo Dato, Cánovas, Ríos Rosas and Sagasta, among others, have been buried here.

The pantheon occupies an imposing building with very high ceilings and a central courtyard that provides great light and solemnity to the rooms. The building, in neo-Byzantine style, was built between 1892 and 1899 on the site of the former basilica of Nuestra Señora de Atocha and was designed by the architect Fernando Arbós. You can find it at calle de Julián Gayarre, 3 (Menéndez Pelayo station, L1). If you plan to visit the pantheon, you can

Pantheon of Illustrious Men

Now it's time to delve into the always disturbing world of crime. In the Professor Reverte Coma Museum of Forensic Anthropology and Criminalistics, you will find such terrible instruments as a garrotte, a collection of 800 skulls, mummies, pieces from judicial cases... The museum has 1,500 pieces belonging to various scientific fields such as forensic odontology, criminalistics, forensic anthropology, ethnobotany and historical mummifications, among others.

If you are interested in the subject, you can find more information in this Telemadrid report:

It's a little bit scary! It can be visited at the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Complutense, Plaza de Ramón y Cajal (Ciudad Universitaria station, L6).

And from the world of crime we make the leap to the demonic world, specifically the one we can see while strolling around Retiro Park. There you can find a statue dedicated to Lucifer himself, the first in the world! The sculpture of the Fallen Angel is the work of Ricardo Bellver and is located at exactly 666 metres above sea level. Remember you can get there from Retiro (L2) and Menéndez Pelayo (L1) stations. Surprising, right?

Sculpture of the Fallen Angel

We're going on a trip to Africa without leaving Madrid. Exactly, in our city you have the chance to immerse yourself in the history of this beautiful continent thanks to the Black World African Museum. This museum has a large collection of artefacts that will help you understand the customs and beliefs of its tribes and ancient kingdoms. Would you like an appetizer of this proposal? Watch this video:

Get to the African Museum from our Arturo Soria station, on L4.

Journey to the Middle Ages

And now we move to Barajas and not just to go to the airport. This time we're going to visit the Castillo de la Alameda, a 15th century medieval monument that has been restored and converted into a museum. It's one of the few surviving examples in Madrid of military architecture from the 15th century. It was built as a stately castle and was located between the medieval villages of Alameda and Barajas. Its first inhabitant was the lord of Barajas, Juan Zapata, and it was later transformed into a Renaissance palace and one of the summer villas of the Madrid aristocracy. During the Spanish Civil War it was used as a Republican stronghold. As you can see, the Alameda Castle has an interesting history and is very close to the metro (Alameda de Osuna and El Capricho stations, L5).

Alameda Castle

Now it's time to take this proposal of 'made in Madrid' surprises to the heights. If you're into aerial prowess, your place is called the Air Museum or the Museum of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is located near Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport and covers an area of 66,938 square metres, with 7 hangars and 200 aircraft of all types, from some thirty planes and helicopters to engines, simulators, models and many materials on the historical heritage of Spanish aeronautics.

 

And remember, our nearest station is Cuatro Vientos, on L10

Finally, we suggest that you take a look at another unique and little-known institution: the Royal Observatory of Madrid. It is located where you least expect it, in the heart of Madrid, at number 3 Calle Alfonso XII, next to Retiro Park.  It was founded towards the end of the 18th century on the initiative of Charles III for research into astronomy and the earth sciences: solar and stellar physics, celestial mechanics, development of instrumentation, official timekeeping, applications in geodesy and cartography, geomagnetism, seismology and meteorology. It can be visited and has very interesting exhibits such as Herschel's telescope and a Foucault pendulum. Our nearest stations are Estación del Arte and Atocha Renfe, on L1.

Royal Observatory of Madrid

And that's as far as we go! Madrid has many more hidden treasures and unusual places you can reach by Metro, but we'll save those for another time. See you next time!