Souvenirs full of history

Bookstores, boutiques, jewellery stores, candy shops… Madrid has many centuries-old businesses worth visiting, where you can get regional souvenirs full of charm. Here we provide you with a selection of historical sites close to URSO Hotel & Spa.


La Violeta (since 1882)

La Violeta was founded by the Gil family, a lineage with a long confectionery tradition. The contribution to the world of candy was innovative when creating sweets based on the essence of violet. These were so successful that became typical of Madrid. Despite the current profusion of these candies in bakeries and shops, La Violeta is the only business that sells the original sweet.


Jamonería López Pascual (since 1919)

Only 10 minutes walking from URSO, in the Lower Corredera of San Pablo, this ham shop was founded as “The 3 little pigs”. It was originally called like this, because of a painting of three little pigs and a wolf that showed off his shop window. Since always, its vocation has been to offer customers a high-quality Iberian ham, from Iberian pigs raised in freedom in the pastures of Extremadura and cured in Jabugo, Cumbres Mayores or Guijuelo. In the 70s the window was smashed and the painting of the three little pigs was lost. On the occasion of the subsequent reform of the establishment, it was decided to change the name, which remained permanently with the surnames of the son of its founder, López Pascual.


Grassy Jewelry (since 1923)

Grassy was the first jewellery store that opened on Calle Infantas, specializing in watches. Due to the great success of this first business, a few years later, Grassy opened a second establishment with more than fifty watchmakers working in the large basement. Its reputation as a serious and honourable home grew along with the business, which led to the opening, in 1953, of another store at number 1 on Gran Vía, where it is still located today. This store is located in an emblematic building from 1916 and houses the Old Clock Museum. In our lobby bar, we have a collection exclusive for URSO, that we invite you to discover.


Librería San Ginés (since 1650)

In the narrow passageway of San Ginés, at its corner with Calle del Arenal and wall to wall with the church of San Ginés, it is located the oldest establishment in the passage, the San Ginés Library. According to the academic Manuel Rico y Sinobas in his book “The Art of the Book in Spain”, Diego Logroño is the first bookseller known to be, established there on November 1650. The bookstore is still open with hundreds of books exposed on the old wooden shelves so that both the regular customer and the occasional visitor can admire this small and long-lived corner dedicated to the book.


Casa De Diego (since 1858)

This shop-workshop sells fans, umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks since 1800. Casa De Diego has expanded its facilities since then, with a factory and store on the popular Mesonero Romanos street. They manufacture all their articles by hand, taking special care of the quality and exclusivity of the products. Until now, the business has been run by the founder’s successors. Their experience in this trade has led them to work for royal houses around the world, including the Spanish one.


Loewe (since 1846)

Enrique Loewe Roessberg founded his first leather goods workshop on Calle del Lobo, which is currently called Echegaray. Later, in 1905, he became a supplier of the Spanish Royal Family. He has always been in the sale of leather, travel effects and luxury bindings. In fact, Loewe is the one that will drag luxury trade to other areas in the 1950s, such as the Barrio de Salamanca.


Casa Hernanz (since 1840)

This popular shoe store has been selling Castañer espadrilles for more than a century and a half. This fashion arrived in the 60s from the hand of Yves Saint Laurent who took them to the catwalks around the world, becoming the shoes worn by well-known characters such as Jacqueline Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe. Casa Hernanz is the only store in Madrid that sells hand-sewn espadrilles in 32 colours. The store has become known worldwide, to the point that even the New York Times has talked about it.


La Nueva Parisien (since 1897)

The origin of the name of this haberdashery specialized in buttons and haute couture accessories must be found in Parisian fashion, which at this time was an indicator of quality and glamour. Made with their designs, their buttons shine with their light together with leading brands such as Balenciaga or Pertegaz.


Image: © Casa De Diego