Cascada 'Iguazú' en la estación de Chamartín

Lines with art: Line 1, a journey between the past and the future

Since the first Metro de Madrid line opened to the public in 1919, the people of Madrid have been able to enjoy different decorative elements, both in its installations and outside. Since then, new stations, new lines and new styles have been added to the network, so that nowadays, our metro is a great museum in which there is room for murals, sculptures and all kinds of artistic expressions. We encourage you to discover all the art on the Madrid Metro by visiting its most interesting stations line by line. We begin with Line 1, in which past and present merge like in no other.


Pina de Chamartín

Let’s start from the north at the Pinar de Chamartín station, where nature is brought into Metro thanks to a large mural, measuring no less than 25 x 5 metres, representing the original pine forest of the area that gives its name to the station. It’s the work of Sergio Gil García.

Here we can also find an old tram of the kind that ran in Madrid for much of the 20th century and honours the modern light metro that leaves from this very station. Interesting fact: this train, which is perfectly preserved, covered the route between Serrano and Sol.

Mural de la estación de Pinar de Chamartín que representa un pinar

Antiguo tranvía expuesto en la estación de Pinar de Chamartín


Our next stop is at Chamartín station, where you can immerse yourself in a sea of light thanks to an impressive waterfall called "Iguazú". Its authors, Vicente Patón and Alberto Tellería, were inspired by the light that floods cathedral apses, replacing it in this case with a constantly moving artificial light that accompanies passengers as they descend through the different levels of the station.

Literature fans will also find in this station a phrase from Julio Cortázar's "Rayuela": "We walked without looking for each other, but knowing that we were doing so to find each other". This is a very special mural, because it was created in 2016 by the Boa Mistura collective with the help of 60 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Chamartín station is also home to one of Metro de Madrid's museums, home to classic trains that were restored for the company's centenary celebrations in 2019. The visit is free and worthwhile, but remember that you need to book a ticket.

Cascada de luces Iguazú en la estación de Chamartín

Detalle de la frase de Rayuela que decora la estación de Chamartín

Exposición de trenes históricos de la estación de Chamartín

Plaza de Castilla

Let’s continue on Line 1 and get off at Plaza de Castilla, where a mural by the Valencian illustrator Paco Roca pays tribute to the elderly, one of the groups most affected by COVID-19.

The work is 8 metres wide by 1.90 metres high and depicts a scene from everyday life in a park with the elderly as the main characters.

Mural de Paco Roca dedicado a los mayores en la estación de Plaza de Castilla

Cuatro Caminos

In Cuatro Caminos, there are several decorative elements, including a cement mural depicting the face of a bull.

Following the recent remodelling of the station, it has been joined by two other very different ones made by DNA studio: a panoramic montage of the views of Bravo Murillo and a train that represents a journey through time along the history of the Metro.

Also, if you go outside you will find a replica of the totem designed by Antonio Palacios in 1919 to signpost the access to some stations.

Mural que representa el rostro de un toro en la estación de Cuatro Caminos

Mural que muestra una panorámica sobre Bravo Murillo en la estación de Cuatro Caminos

Mural que muestra la historia de Metro en un tren

Réplica del tótem diseñado por Antonio Palacios en el acceso a la estación de Cuatro Caminos

Ríos Rosas

Let’s continue our route in a very literary station. This is Ríos Rosas, dedicated to Galdós, in which several quotations from his work Fortunata y Jacinta are reproduced, the plot of which is set in Chamberí.

Vinilo con un fragmento de Fortunata y Jacinta en uno de los andenes de la estación de Ríos Rosas


Let’s continue our route in a very literary station. This is Ríos Rosas, dedicated to Galdós, in which several quotations from his work Fortunata y Jacinta are reproduced, the plot of which is set in Chamberí.

Reproducción del cuadro Pescadoras Valencianas en la estación de Iglesia

Reproducción del cuadro La bata rosa en la estación de Iglesia


At Bilbao station, you are greeted by a large mosaic mural depicting a bridge.  In addition, a century-old tile mural advertising a radio repair shop was recovered in 2020 and is an important example of the ads of the time.

Mosaico que representa un puente en la estación de Bilbao

Antiguo anuncio de un taller de reparación de radios recuperado en la estación de Bilbao

Gran Vía

As part of the remodelling work on Gran Vía station, which was completed in 2021, the original pavilion by Antonio Palacios was recovered on the exterior, which is also represented in a ceramic mural in the hall by Miguel Durán-Loriga Rodrigáñez.

The station is also home to a small museum with archaeological remains discovered during the excavation and extension works, including an ancient coat of arms of Madrid, a rarity.

Réplica del templete de Antonio Palacios recuperado en el acceso a la estación de Gran Vía

Mural que reproduce el templete de Gran Vía en el vestíbulo de la estación

Museo que muestra los restos arqueológicos recuperados durante las obras de remodelación de la estación de Gran Vía


In this central station there are two sculptures: one that honours Miguel Otamendi, Antonio González Echarte and Carlos Mendoza, the three founding engineers of Metro de Madrid, and another that represents the stars that today are the symbol of Madrid and are reminiscent of the seven stars of the old City Hall.

Escultura que rinde homenaje a los primeros ingenieros de Metro en la estación de Sol

Escultura que representa las estrellas de la Comunidad de Madrid en la estación de Sol

Tirso de Molina

Tirso de Molina is home to the oldest artistic expression preserved in the network: the original hall from 1921. It features a coat of arms of Madrid on a mosaic of white and blue tiles framed by borders with soft decorative motifs.

Escudo que preside el vestíbulo original de la estación de Tirso de Molina

Estación del Arte

This station is the closest to Madrid's main museums –the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza– and its corridors, platforms and halls are home to a series of 36 vinyls reproducing 12 of its most important works. They include Picasso's Guernica, Sorolla's Boys on the Beach and Hans Holbein the Younger's Henry VIII.

Andén de la Estación del Arte vinilado con cuadros de los principales museos del Paseo del Prado


Like Tirso de Molina, this L1 station also conserves the original hall, in this case from 1923, the year the station was inaugurated, on the section extending from Atocha to Puente de Vallecas. It is open to the public with a guided tour and all the ornamental elements of the original design by Antonio Palacios are on display.

Outside, you can also visit the old Nave de Motores de Pacífico, built between 1922 and 1923 and restored in 2008, which conserves three enormous diesel engines and the rest of the machinery that once served to generate and transform the energy with which the trains ran.

If you would like to visit both the hall and the Nave de Motores, you can book your ticket at these links.

Antiguo vestíbulo de Pacífico

Motores expuestos en la Nave de Motores de Pacífico

Buenos Aires

Let’s continue our route at Buenos Aires station, where you can find a large, brightly coloured mural by Laura Colina, depicting a marine composition, and another smaller one that reproduces a verse by Jorge Luis Borges dedicated to the founding of the Argentinean capital: "I don’t really believe Buenos Aires was founded, I judge it to be as eternal as the sea and the wind".

Mural que representa un fondo marino en la estación de Buenos Aires

Versos de Borges dedicados a Buenos Aires en la estación que lleva su nombre

Alto del Arenal

This station has a classic car similar to the one that can be visited at the Chamartín classic train exhibition, specifically the R-122, of the "Quevedo" type, which ran between 1925 and 1931. It is also home to a mural by Carmen Castillo made with 15 convex mirrors in the form of a panel of monitors, which reflect daily movement on the station's stairs and lobby, and reproduce the three syllables that make up the name of the district of Vallecas.

Antiguo tren expuesto en la estación de Alto del Arenal

Mural dedicado a Vallecas en la estación de Alto del Arenal

Miguel Hernández

In the station that bears his name, you can read some verses by the brilliant poet Miguel Hernández, among which you can find references to his native Orihuela and Madrid, as well as his biography.

In addition, a colourful mural by Paola León presides over the station, depicting a man who thinks and reads, calmly, while a large clock marks the time and other characters run around.

Versos de Miguel Hernández en la estación que lleva su nombre

Mural dedicado al hombre que lee en la estación de Miguel Hernández


Our route on L1 comes to an end at Chamberí, a station that was part of the first Metro line but was closed to the public in the 1960s and today is home to one of the underground's main museums. It is known as the ghost station and has a special charm, which is why it has been an inspiration for different novels and films and has been the setting for several shootings.

As with the other Metro museums, you can book your visit here.

Detalle de uno de los andenes de la estación de Chamberí

Are you still hungry for more? Then don't miss our cultural guide, a tour of all the artistic expressions you can enjoy at Metro de Madrid, which you can also learn about on our podcast 'Art in Metro'.