Madrid‘s distrito de Arganzuela must be proud for being the site of beautiful Moorish-inspired complex that serves to foster art and culture in the city. Red brick-and-tile edifices stand on a wide area of land in front of Plaza de Legazpi, sprawled along the riverbanks of the Rio de Manzanares. The complex is a must-visit after a morning stroll at the Madrid Rio Park.
Its name is Matadero Madrid; and yes, you guessed it right — it used to be the city’s slaughterhouse (hence the name). Apart from being the workplace for butchers, it also served as a market (I presumed all that slaughtered livestock went straight to this place to be sold).
The building was constructed under the helm of famous Spanish architect Luis Bellido during the early years of the 20th century, and was thought of as a major representative of Spain´s progressive, modern architecture. The project ensured the buildings or pavilions were functional to the optimum.
Moorish Architectural style
Notice the unique architectural style used in the pavilions, I say unique in that it is different from the designs common in many city edifices and structures.
The design used in Matadero is Neomudejar, which is Moorish styled architecture. Proponents of this particular style push for its emergence in the modern Madrid architecturul landscape, with claims that Neo-mudejar is uniquely Spanish.
Transformation to a haven for art lovers
Matadero continued to operate as a slaughterhouse until 1996, with the city government voted for the conversion of the place into a venue for contemporary arts and culture. As it was an experiment during its inception as a slaughterhouse, it continues such a tradition by making non-conventional renovations and development of the complex. This is done to optimize its use as a major haven for the creators and lovers of modern Madrid art.
What to see in Matadero Madrid
1. Deposito de Especies
2. Plaza de Matadero
3. Naves de Espanol
A modern center where films of documentary nature are screened for public viewing. The movie house also serves as the office for the prestigious Documenta Madrid film fest, the film body dedicated to the showing of documentary movies promoted and endorsed by the Madrid City Council and Cinetica.
5. La Casa del Lector
This venue was meant to accommodate the readers, and was created thru the efforts of the Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation. La Casa del Lector is a place for promoting reading of all forms and holding cultural activities such as reading workships, film exhibitions, and music performances.
6. La Casa del Reloj
How to Go to Matadero Madrid
Nearest Madrid Stations: Legazpi (Line 6), Principe Pio (you will have to go through Madrid Rio first, which involves a long, long walk)
Autobus Lines: Lineas 8, 22, 79, 123, 18, 19, 180, 45, 59, 148 (among others)