Pantheon of Illustrious Men Madrid

The city of Madrid, like so many other European capitals where the main historical landmarks have left their mark, jealously it guards small and large architectural treasures whose discovery pleases not only the visitor, but the very neighbor of the city, often prey to ignorance. The Pantheon of Illustrious Men, at number 3 of Julián Gayarre Street, is a good example of this.

From Cánovas del Castillo to Canalejas, the memory of those who decided Spain

The remains of great figures of the political life of our country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries rest in the Pantheon of Illustrious Men of Madrid, a building that few people have heard and whose visit is essential if we want to contemplate one of the best preserved examples of neo-Byzantine architecture in Spain.

Promoted by Queen Regent María Cristina at the end of the 19th century and raised around the church of Atocha, the first to arrive at the cemetery were, in 1901, the remains of the generals Prim, Castaños, Concha and Palafox, later claimed by different Spanish cities and exhumed for their transfer.

To the previous ones, the personalities of Francisco Martínez de la Rosa, first president of the Council of Ministers of Spain; Diego Muñoz-Torrero, deputy of the Cortes de Cádiz; the politicians José María Calatrava, Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, Salustiano de Olózaga and Cánovas del Castillo; Eduardo Dato, President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of the Interior and President of the Congress of Deputies, and José Canalejas, President of the Council of Ministers, President of the Congress of Deputies and Minister of several branches, and who will become President of the Government, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta, among others.

Special mention deserves the denominated Joint Mausoleum, of Federico Aparici, Ponciano Ponzano and Sabino Medina, also known like Monument to the Freedom. This is formed by a cylindrical body on which scratches a statue of Liberty sculpted by Ponzano.

Architecture and sculptural art of the Pantheon of Illustrious Men

The funeral monuments that keep the remains of the illustrious men in the buried Pantheon are worthy of admiration, as well as the marble sculptures signed by Arturo Mélida or Mariano Benlliure, all of them confined in a wonderful building of great ceilings projected by the architect Fernando Arbós in the vicinity of the old basilica of Our Lady of Atocha.

We must point out that the pantheon was practically abandoned between the thirties and the late eighties, when National Heritage decided to restore the place and open it to the public, for luck to the people of Madrid, as well as all the visitors interested in the place. In 2003, interior mosaics were also restored.

Schedule and prices of the Pantheon of Illustrious Men

Today there are many guided tours and sightseeing tours in Madrid that include the Pantheon of Illustrious Men. It is a magnificent opportunity to know one of the most unique and unknown buildings in the city, tremendously linked to its history.

If you prefer to go on your own, the schedule to visit the Pantheon of the Illustrious Men is from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 p.m. at 3:00 p.m. Admission is free and there is access for people with reduced mobility.

As for the days of closings by official act or festivity, it is necessary to note the May 1 and December 25, as well as the days of reduced hours or partial opening: August 15, October 12, November 1, 9 November, December 6, December 24 and December 31.

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Written by Ana Calero
Degree in Business Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid. She is part of the Proinca Apartments team and is a lover of Madrid.

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