Located to the east of the Manzanares river, Arganzuela is an area of Madrid with plenty to discover. One of the city’s 21 administrative districts, it contains 7 major barrios – Imperial, Las Acacias, La Chopera, Legazpi, Las Delicias, Palos de Moguer and Atocha. This last one is home to the largest railway station in the capital of Spain – so large, in fact, that part of it is located in the neighbouring district of Retiro.
Related article: The districts of Madrid
Main attractions in Arganzuela
The district of Arganzuela contains many great examples of Neo-Mudéjar architecture. A revival of traditional Moorish features and concepts, it originated in Madrid late in the 19th century before eventually becoming common throughout the entire country. If you’re visiting Madrid, take a trip to this part of town and make sure you go to some of the historical buildings in which this unique artistic movement still lives on:
Matadero Madrid – Formerly a slaughterhouse, this charming building is now a dynamic centre for arts and creativity. It functions as an exhibition space, a cinema (with an emphasis on documentary films), a library and a workshop, amongst other things. A noteworthy highlight of the facilities is its “Avant Garden”, a showcase of innovative landscaping with several activities on offer for visitors.
Casa del Reloj – This beautiful building used to function as the slaughterhouse’s central offices. Nowadays, it serves as both a cultural centre and the district’s administrative headquarters.
Joaquín Leguina Regional Library – An old brewery converted into a library, this is the biggest depository of books and historical documents in the district. Originally built between 1912 and 1914, it is one of the many great examples of Neo-Mudéjar architecture that you’ll be able to find in this part of the city.
Parque Madrid Río – If you’re more into natural beauty than man-built wonders, don’t worry. Stretching along the Manzanares river, this huge, gorgeous park is the perfect destination for a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.
Related article: Seven Parks You Should Visit In Madrid
Come see the stars
If you’re a fan of football, Arganzuela should be an obligatory stop for you, as it is the home of Atlético de Madrid, one of the top clubs in Spain (and eternal rivals of Real Madrid). Capable of holding close to 55,000 fans, the Vicente Calderón stadium has been the team’s home since the late ’60s. Take this opportunity to visit it, though, as Atlético is soon moving to the renewed La Peineta (in the San Blas district).
In case you prefer your stars up above rather than kicking a ball, head to Planetario de Madrid, another highlight of the Arganzuela district. Located in another one of the district’s large parks, this planetarium offers free outdoor sessions and promotes various informative workshops on astronomy and related subjects.
Will you be visiting Madrid soon? Will you check out the district of Arganzuela? Let us know using the comment box below. Have fun discovering the capital of Spain!