Butchering La casa de la Carnicería

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Madrid's Plaza Mayor is a continuous building that closes on itself. It is made up of two segments:

  1. La casa de la panederia (the baker house),
  2. La casa de la carnicería (the meat house).

The former is roughly one third of one of the longest side (the south one). It is the part that bears the frescoes. The other is technically all that remains, although some limit it to the 1/3 matching the Panederia.

This little bit is currently under repair. When I looked up in a break when are the works scheduled to complete, I broke myself by discovering what it was planned to become.

An hotel.

It is not new, apparently. The city hall that had such a project since a couple of years, should however make it official in the months to come. The building has been empty since 2008 and indeed was starting to get damaged (with humidity stains near the roofs). So putting it to use is a welcomed news. Now it all depends what will actually come of it. You don't fiddle with a landmark without serious risks of spoiling it completely, and when it involves some commercial business of any sort, it starts to become extremely dodgy.

There are already fantastic accommodations for travelers in the Plaza Mayor, in fact this one could possibly be regarded as the best flat in the World (doubtlessly if you are infatuated with the Plaza Mayor as I am). So much so that I can't help but save some snapshots, in case they would be taken away [there are much more pictures in their booking page]:

It is available as part of the Airbnb concept from someone called Anouk who is an actress and "manage these very nice apartments from my friends actors and artists too" (the portfolio she handles from her—no doubt, celebrity—friends is nothing short of amazing). Apart from this dream place certainly belonging to someone famous, other windows will open for guests of all types on the square. The fourth floor of our building, for instance, hosts a dormitory variation of the Bed & Breakfast ([1][2][3]), apparently popular with people who don't understand simple instructions of doors closing. There are more innocuous ones and possibly others still. Let's be frank about it: leaving at the Plaza Mayor is a unique and fantastic experience. So, after all, better another hotel than nothing. It would possibly make the site livelier with no or little damages. Actually the inhabited rooftops of the Plaza Mayor give it a Bohemian touch in delectable contrast with the austere Austrias look of its facades. This is a picture I shot earlier (at 20:18) of the corner opposite ours:

Resized PlazaMayorRooftop-31Aug2014Thumbnail.jpg

In the center lies the luxury duplex of the gallery above (there was nobody on its terrace at this time). The neighbor on the(ir) left has set up a garden. Going in the other direction, we finally reach, after other terraces, the Carnecería under reform, that is, with all its tiles torn off and an horrible plastic cover to hide the scaffolds.

It would have been great that the the Plaza Mayor becomes a parador, a stated-owned prestigious hotel in buildings of historical importance (so it seems to fit the bill). But it was thought too small for that, and a private investor was sought instead.[1] I have been in a few paradores (though only for a coffee) and do not feel the casa de la carniceria is too small. At the outset, I am a bit suspecting that such a move (selling national patrimony to private organizations) is part of these terrible and treasonous cession of invaluable wealth to third parties, to particulars, possibly, to people well connected with those able to surrender so casually half of the most important building in the Spanish capital. It also required, incidentally, to move the firemen (bomberos) located in the building back to the Carnicería [2], to make room for back-entrance and parking lots. So the package looks like a great deal, but neither for Madrid nor for its people.

At least, let's hope they will not butcher the Casa de la Carnecería, and that its external look will remain essentially the same, and free of advertisement.


  1. La Casa de la Carnicería, un hotel, El Mundo.
  2. Desbloqueado el hotel en la Casa de la Carnicería, La Razón.
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