The history of the Crystal Palace

Some people say it reminds them of a garden from a fairy tale, others say it is the perfect place to let art flow. Some people, however, prefer not to speculate, being surprised by its impressive structure of glass and iron.

The Crystal Palace is one of the most visited and photographed places in Madrid, but do you know the true history of this emblematic monument?

Built by the architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco in 1887, the Crystal Palace was the official headquarters of the General Exhibition of the Philippines in Madrid. During that time, the palace hosted a greenhouse with species of exotic plants from the Philippines, at that time, a Spanish colony.

It soon became a symbol of the Spanish bonanza, exhibiting the technological progress that characterized the 19th century in Spain.

Throughout history, the Crystal Palace has received many heads of state and government. It was also the place where, in 1936, Manuel Azaña was voted as president of the Second Republic in Spain. Currently, the palace is one of the two exhibition venues of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and often hosts artworks of all kinds.

Maybe is because of the way in which the light floods inside this place; maybe is because of the way it makes us feel free and protected at the same time… or maybe is because sometimes we all need a dose of fantasy.

Nobody really knows what makes this place a true sanctuary, but it certainly is.