The Bank of Spain is one of the most beautiful examples of 19th-century Spanish architecture. Covered in a wealth of decorative elements, the building was one of the prizewinners at Spain’s National Fine Arts Expo of 1884. The Bank of Spain was built in order to provide the National Bank with a more fitting headquarters for the important functions that it carried out, including the issue of coins and bank notes for the entire country.
The project was awarded to the architects Eduardo de Adaro and Severiano Sainz de la Lastra. It is an eclectic building, in which the façades, with their classically-styled elements, stand out. They are complemented by the French-style doors and grillwork. The façades meet at the chamfered corner containing the main entrance and are notable for their sober plinths, which serve to heighten the solid sensation given by this institution. Of special interest in the interior are the staircase and the courtyard, which today houses the library. The monumental Carrara marble staircase is an excellent example of traditional Spanish architecture, designed by the bank’s architects and executed by Adolfo Areizaga. It is overlooked by a series of stained glass windows by the German company Mayer, made in a symbolist style and incorporating numerous allegorical figures in its designs. The industrial character of the bank can be seen in the library, the work of the Fábrica de Mieres factory, in which the cast iron structure is left visible and is combined with a number of Art Deco elements, such as the stained glass ceiling and the decorative work in the centre of the courtyard. The bank also houses an impressive collection of paintings, including works by Goya, Mengs, Maella and Vicente López, amongst other artists.
The inside of the building may only be visited by university and educational groups, or by cultural non-profit organisations.
Mon to Fri 8.30-14.00
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