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Districts of Madrid

Interesting Facts about the Neighbourhood of Malasaña

view of Malasaña in Madrid
Written by Daniella

Malasaña is one of the most modern and bohemian neighbourhoods in Madrid, and it can be characterized by its underground movement and retro culture. The area is very dynamic and there are lots of vintage clothing stores, bakeries and charming cafés.

Some of its more special locations are the historic Plaza del Dos de Mayo, where you can discover many market stalls and bars, and the Conde Duque cultural centre, dating back to the eighteenth century. This last centre displays art exhibits, and it also plays open-air movies.

Today, this article by ShMadrid will share some interesting facts on the neighbourhood of Malasaña.

Related article: Vegetarian Restaurants in Madrid’s Malasaña Neighbourhood

Malasaña and what you probably don’t know yet

street in Malasaña Madrid

Photo by Andrea Benassi via Visualhunt

Would you like to know more about the neighborhood of Malasaña? Keep reading, because we will reveal some of its curiosities that will give you some in-depth information.

  • The first interesting fact is its name. Before 1980, the neighbourhood’s name was Barrio Maravillas because of the convent in the area. Its current name is derived from Manuela Malasaña, a young seamstress who became a heroine after being killed by Napoleon’s troops in the uprisings of May 2, 1808.
  • The second interesting detail is the name of the famous Plaza del Dos de Mayo, as it honours two fallen soldiers: Pedro Velarde and Luís Daoíz.

There is a monument in memorial of this event, and on the square you will see a monumental arch that belonged to the small barracks that housed the army that bravely rebelled against the French forces.

  • Malasaña played a key role in the social and cultural revolution Movida madrileña, witnessed by many of its residents in the eighties. The neighborhood, at that time, became a meeting point for many groups, as it was the epicentre of a post-Franco era.
  • On Calle de Pez you can see Julia, a statue honouring a woman who had disguised herself as a man, in order to be able to attend law school at the Universidad Central.
  • If you stay in the same street and look carefully at the shopping window of a clothing store called “LaModa”, you will see a is child’s mannequin having a bar of chocolate. The interesting fact is that this doll has been on display in the shop since it was once opened in 1896.
  • The market at Plaza San Ildefonso can be discovered in Pérez Galdós’ famous work “Fortunata y Jacinta”. The market was also one of the first covered street food markets in Madrid, just like the remodelled old markets in London and New York.

Related article: A Night Out in Madrid´s Most Modern Neighbourhood: Malasaña

  • typical spanish apartment building with small balconies

    Photo by Tonymadrid Photography via Visualhunt

    Malasaña has plenty of bars for young people to enjoy. It is said that there is actually one bar for every 70 inhabitants, and this is surely a fairly high percentage, but that is also why it is one of the most popular and vibrant neighbourhoods in the capital.

  • The social initiative “Rebrota Malasaña” (Regrow Malasaña) stems from 2013, and it filled the neighbourhood’s balconies with flowers and plants. There are more than 36,000 balconies in this neighborhood, and the project’s goal is to have at least one balcony per floor decorated with plants and flowers. This not only creates a certain level of environmental awareness, it also brings Madrid’s nature back to the city centre.
  • The cursed house of Malasaña is located at Calle Antonio Grillo. It is well-known for the number of horrific murders that have been committed here. The first murder took place in the 18th century, but the murdering continued and altogether 10 people ended up being dead.

*Main hoto by gaelx via Visualhunt

Do you know other interesting facts about the neighbourhood of Malasaña?

About the author


Daniella loves to write and translate. Her bucket list is filled with beautiful places she still needs to visit.

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